India inches to third place as largest energy consumer

Despite increased policy measures promoting energy efficiency, progress remains insufficient to meet climate targets, warns the Energy Efficiency 2023 market report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

India will overtake the European Union as the world’s third largest energy consumer by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.

The Agency in its latest report “Energy Outlook 2021” said that the energy consumption of India would nearly double by 2040 in the present scenario. The Outlook points out that continued industrialisation and urbanisation increased the demands of India’s energy sector.


Energy use in India doubled since 2000, the report said. It noted that India meets its 80 per cent of the demand from coal, oil and solid biomass. The report notes that the country was re-entering a very dynamic period in energy development after the Covid 19 slump in 2020. With India soon to become the world’s most populous country, the report said that the country needed a power system the size of the European Union to meet the growth in electricity demand over the next twenty years.


Despite developments in energy sector, Covid-19 pandemic disrupted many of the advancements. The pandemic complicated the efforts of the Indian Government in resolving several issues in the energy sector. Before the Covid 19 pandemic, the energy demand was projected to increase by 50 percent between 2019 and 2030. However, the growth now is close to 30 percent. The report fears that the country’s gains in the fight against energy poverty are at risk. This happens as the low income households fall back on more polluting and inefficient sources of energy. The Agency also said that investments would see a shortfall. They estimate that investments fell by about 15 per cent in 2020.


India to see an explosion in solar power in the coming years, the IEA said. Solar power now accounts for less than four percent of India’s electricity generation and coal 70 per cent. The country has a target of 450 GW of renewable capacity by 2030.


The report notes that Air conditioning equipment will consume the largest power. The electricity demand for cooling units is projected to increases six-fold by 2040. Apart from this, the demand for energy for road transport is also poised to double over the next two decades. The IEA report said that about 25 million trucks would add to Indian roads by 2040. In 2040, the oil demand will touch 8.7 mb/day.


The IEA report notes that the country is yet to trap gas based energy to its full. India’s six per cent share of natural gas in is among the lowest in the world, it said.


The Outlook projects 50 percent rise in India’s CO, emissions in 2040, slated to be the largest of any country. Industry and transport makes the larger share of air pollutant emissions than the power sector.


With respect to India’s energy future, the report noted that it depended on buildings, factories yet to be built, and vehicles.



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