A sustainable, renewable-energy-based economy, where as much as 90 per cent of India’s total primary energy supply is based on renewable sources, could theoretically be achieved, according to a report released today by WWF-India and TERI, at WWF-India, New Delhi.
The study examines the possibility of a near 100% Renewable Energy Scenario (REN) for India by the middle of the century against a reference scenario in which the economy is likely to be dependent primarily on fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas. 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 for India is a sequel report to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 released by WWF International in 2011 that researched the technical potential and long term economic viability of a renewable-energy-based future at the global level.
In 2010, fossil fuels accounted for 74 per cent of the total energy consumed in India – a scenario that is undesirable in the long term both from an environmental as well as energy-security perspective. This study therefore, looks at an alternative and more favourable growth path that would entail larger deployment of renewables- solar, wind and hydro – as main fuels for electricity generation, with second-generation and algal biofuels meeting the additional demands of the transport sector. It observes that aggressive efficiency improvements also have a large potential across energy demand and supply sides and could bring in large savings – of the order of 59 per cent by 2050.
In order to achieve such a sustainable, renewable-energy-based future for the Indian economy, the report recommends timely availability of alternative commercially-viable technological solutions across sectors, rapid scaling-up, together with accelerated strengthening of supporting infrastructure. It further advocates the development of appropriate skill-sets, regulatory and institutional frameworks and adequate manufacturing capacities.
Dr. Leena Srivastava, Executive Director (Operations), TERI & Vice Chancellor, TERI University on the occasion said, “Blessed with an abundant endowment of renewable energy sources, India urgently needs to design innovative policies and mechanisms by which to transform its energy future to a secure and sustainable renewable resource base. This study explores the limits of ambition that India can aspire for in its quest for energy security and a greater energy independence.”
Speaking on the necessity of making the transition to renewable energy, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India said, “While the government has taken certain measures for the promotion of renewables, these need to be scaled up and expedited. Besides the government, other stakeholders including the industry as well as citizens need to play a proactive role. ‘Renewables as the new normal’ should be something that we should all strive for. This report is a step forward in that direction. “
The report, 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 for India therefore attempts to provide a larger vision and direction for the paradigm shift to renewables by the middle of the century through transformational technological and policy shifts.