India is making significant strides towards meeting climate commitments and is on course to surpass its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets before 2030, said an independent study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
Non-fossil fuel energy sources, largely due to the rapid growth of solar energy, will garner a share of at least 48 per cent in India’s electricity generation capacity by 2030, according to the study, ‘Sustainable development, uncertainties, and India’s climate policy: Pathways towards Nationally Determined Contribution and mid-century strategy’, released on Monday.
However, India will need to bear the cost of integration which will increase as the share of solar and wind increases.
Also, the energy sector carbon dioxide emissions intensity of GDP will decline by at least 48 per cent between 2005 and 2030, on the back of significant developments in energy efficiency of end-use sectors such as residential, transportation and industrial sectors.
But, if the efficiency improvement in these sectors occurs at a lower rate, energy demand in the economy increases at a faster rate, and share of electricity in meeting industrial energy demand remains stagnant, then the emissions intensity of GDP will be higher by 11 per cent in 2030.
India’s economy and power generation sector has changed significantly since 2015.
The change has been mainly driven by a rapid ramp-up of solar energy deployment, substantial decline in the costs of solar and wind-based electricity, and multiple developments in the end use-sectors.
CEEW’s study identifies the cost of integrating variable renewable energy into the electricity grid as a key element of India’s energy transition to a low-carbon economy.
The cost of integrating variable renewable energy consists of grid infrastructure costs, grid balancing costs, and utilisation effect caused due to reduced utilisation of thermal power plants.