TERI and Shell have come together to chart India’s Net-Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario. The report evaluates India’s current options and limits across each of the energy sectors and sub-sectors towards examining the need for additional technology and policy options in moving towards a net-zero emissions energy system by 2050.
The principal focus of the report is to examine whether adequate opportunities exist to fully decarbonise the energy sector. The report also highlights the areas where India’s energy sector does not have enough choices for full decarbonisation by 2050. From a second scenario, Towards Net-Zero (TNZ), the report highlights barriers to change that might emerge.
Energy efficiency, electrification, and a switch towards decarbonised fuels are the three main pillars of India’s energy strategy, with the need for a transformative move towards renewable electricity, hydrogen, and bioenergy as key fuels. This analysis indicates that the industrial and heavy transport sectors are likely to face limits in achieving full decarbonisation, primarily due to technological constraints which leave residual emissions in the system. This necessitates the need for carbon removal options to achieve net-zero emissions, including both technical and natural solutions.
The report is a comprehensive assessment of a net-zero emissions strategy for India’s energy system. It is hoped that findings from this study encourage further deliberations on energy sub-sectors that could benefit policymakers and planners in charting India’s sustainable energy transition.
Below are key elements from the pathway that the sketch suggests for India to achieve net-zero emissions from its energy system.
- Increase the generation of electricity fourfold from 2,000 terrawatt-hours (TWh) in 2020 to nearly 9,000 TWH in 2050, and raise electricity’s share of final energy from 18% today to 45% in 2050
- Shift the electricity mix from about 65% generated by fossil fuels in 2020 to almost 90% generated by wind and solar in 2050; phase out coal by 2050, with some gas (up to 5% of generation) remaining
- Raise the share of hydrogen from negligible levels today to around 13% of final energy consumption in 2050, mainly as a fuel for industry and heavy-duty transport
- Increase the use of bio-resources (biomass and liquid biofuels) more than twofold, with residential biomass use declining and commercial biomass use (primarily in industry) increasing substantially to account for two-thirds of all uses by 2050
- Invest in infrastructure – particularly urban and industrial infrastructure – to reduce the energy intensity of the economy by around 50% between 2020 and 2050
- Establish significant carbon removal projects (using technology and nature) to achieve net-zero emissions in India’s energy sector by 2050, primarily to capture residual emissions from hard-to-abate industries such as cement and to offset emissions from fast-growing sectors like aviation.