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India’s Long-term Strategy for transition towards Green Energy

  • Published
    15th Nov, 2022
Context

India has announced its new set of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) at UNFCCC COP27 event to make the transition towards green energy using Nuclear Power and Non-fossil fuels.

About
  • While 195 member countries were the signatories to the UN climate agreements and are obliged to submit the long-term document by 2022. However, only 57 countries have submitted so far and India is one among them.
  • At the ongoing United Nations Conference of Parties (COP), India has premised on expanding its nuclear power capacity by at least three-fold in the next decade, apart from becoming an international hub for producing green hydrogen and increasing the proportion of ethanol in petrol.
India’s Updated list of Commitments:
  • Increasing Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure: India aspires to maximize the use of electric vehicles, with ethanol blending to reach 20% by 2025 (it is currently 10%) and a strong shift to public transport for passenger and freight traffic.
  • Strategies for the transition: India will also focus on improving energy efficiency through the Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT) scheme, the National Hydrogen Mission, increasing electrification, enhancing material efficiency, and recycling and ways to reduce emissions.
  • Reducing Greenhouse gas emissions: India’s forest and tree cover is a net carbon sink absorbing 15% of CO2 emissions in 2016, and the country is on track to fulfilling its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitment of 5 to 3 billion tonnes of additional carbon sequestration in forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • Using Non-fossil fuel-based energy: India updated its NDC commitments to ensure half its electricity is derived from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 and reduce the emissions intensity by 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • Domestic emissions trading scheme: is a key element of India’s strategy, given that the government has already announced the creation of the same in India.
Significance:
  • India’s long-term strategy (LTS) can guide the growth of the Indian industry, urban planning, and infrastructure creation.
  • Connecting India’s net-zero target with near-term climate actions is critical to avoid investments that might be incompatible with a low-emissions and climate-resilient future.
The Strategy for Nuclear Energy Development in India:
  • Nuclear currently produces 25 percent of the global clean energy.
  • India has a largely indigenous nuclear power program.
  • The Indian government is committed to growing its nuclear power capacity as part of its massive infrastructure development program.
  • The government has set ambitious targets to grow nuclear capacity.
  • Because India is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to its weapons program, it was for 34 years largely excluded from trade in nuclear plants and materials, which hampered its development of civil nuclear energy until 2009.
  • Due to earlier trade bans and a lack of indigenous uranium, India has uniquely been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium.
  • Since 2010, a fundamental incompatibility between India’s civil liability law and international conventions limits foreign technology provision.
Government Initiatives:
Reforms in Transport Sector:
  • India is accelerating its e-mobility transition with the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles Scheme (FAME).
  • A voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out old and unfit vehicles complements the existing schemes.
India's Support of EVs:
  • India is among a handful of countries that support the global EV30@30 campaign, which aims for at least 30% of new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030.
  • India’s advocacy of five elements for climate change “Panchamrit”, at the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow is a commitment to the same.

Five commitments made at COP26:Panchamrit” Commitments

  • By 2030, India to bring its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW
  • By 2070, India will achieve net-zero emissions
  • Come 2030, India will fulfill 50 percent of its energy requirement through renewable energy
  • Come 2030, India will bring its economy's carbon intensity down to 45%
  • By 2030, India will reduce 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions from the total projected emissions
Role of Government Schemes:
  • The PradhanMantri Ujjwala Yojana has helped 88 million households to shift from coal-based cooking fuels to LPG connections.
Role of Industries in Low-Carbon Transition:
  • The public and private sectors in India are already playing a key role in meeting the climate challenge, helped by growing customer and investor awareness, as well as increasing regulatory and disclosure requirements.
Hydrogen Energy Mission:
  • Focus on the generation of hydrogen from green power resources.
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