India is the only major economy moving ahead in all aspects of energy dimension
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According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, India is the only major economy making progress in all aspects of the energy transition. However, despite this achievement, the country still ranks relatively low at 67 out of 120 countries regarding overall progress in the transition.

The WEF states that the transition momentum in India is crucial for the country to meet its multilateral carbon reduction goals. The WEF emphasises that this momentum is accelerating across equity, security, and sustainability dimensions as measured by the Energy Transition Index (ETI).

Over the past decade, India has shown steady improvement across the three dimensions of the energy triangle, along with two other significant emerging demand centres, namely China and Indonesia. India’s score has increased by more than 10 percentage points, reflecting progress in the areas of equity, security, and sustainability in its energy transition journey.

According to the World Economic Forum’s report titled “Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2023 Edition,” the significant improvement in India’s Energy Transition Index (ETI) performance can be attributed to several key factors. These include achieving universal access to electricity, transitioning from solid fuels to cleaner cooking options, primarily liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and increasing the deployment of renewable energy sources. These efforts have played a pivotal role in driving India’s progress in its energy transition journey.

At COP26, India committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070 and raised its ambition in the revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reduce emission intensity by 45% from 2005 levels. India aims to achieve 50% of its power generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

The sustainability profile of India’s energy sector has improved despite its predominant reliance on carbon-intensive sources. As stated in the report, this improvement is attributed to reduced energy intensity and an increasing share of renewable energy.

The report highlights that political commitment, an ambitious reform agenda, infrastructure investments, and a competitive renewable energy landscape have facilitated improvements in the enabling environment of India’s energy sector.

India’s energy consumption has more than doubled since 2000, driven by its status as the fastest-growing major economy. This trend is expected to continue, leading to a further rise in energy demand. Consequently, India’s energy imports have also increased to meet the growing demand.

The report acknowledges that while India maintains a well-diversified mix of energy trade partners, the increasing dependence on imports poses a risk in the face of global energy market volatility. To mitigate this risk, the decarbonisation of power generation and the final energy demand electrification are crucial levers in India’s energy transition. By prioritising these areas, India aims to reduce its reliance on imported energy sources and achieve a more sustainable and resilient energy sector.
To achieve its target of installing 500 GW of non-fossil fuel power generation capacity by 2030, India will require substantial investments and grid infrastructure modernisation, as per the report.
The report emphasises the need for strategies to retire or repurpose existing thermal power plants, despite the slowdown in their expansion. It acknowledges India’s commitment to maintaining energy security for sustainable growth. It recognises the importance of balancing the transition to cleaner energy sources while ensuring a reliable and secure energy supply.
The report identifies challenges such as strong economic growth, job creation, workforce skills, and R&D investment in low-carbon technologies that could impact India’s energy transition.

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