India’s primary energy consumption will expand by 1.2 billion tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) – or 156% – by 2040, due to robust growth in prosperity and population size. That will make India the largest source of energy demand growth, according to oil and gas giant BP’s Energy Outlook 2019 report.
The economy will nearly treble in size and per capita income will double, predicts BP. Consequently, India’s share of global primary energy demand will jump from 6% today to 11% by 2040. Power generation will increase by 207% to 4,781 TWh, accounting for 61% of primary energy demand growth.
Sector-wise, most of the growth in energy demand will come from industry – with an extra 238 million toe – followed by transport (144 million toe) and non-combusted oil (64 million toe).
In the fuel mix, coal will meet 42% of India’s new energy demand according to BP, increasing by 493 million toe. Most – 84% – of this additional consumption will be met through domestic production.
Renewable energy consumption will surge from around 20 million toe today to 300 million toe by 2040, and be concentrated mainly in the power sector and driven largely by growth in solar capacity. Yet, despite that growth in renewables, BP predicts coal will continue to dominate India’s power generation mix, accounting for 80% of output by 2040.
As a result, although the carbon intensity of India’s power grid will decline 29% by 2040, it will remain 58% above the global average.
The BP Energy Outlook considers a range of scenarios to explore different aspects of the energy transition. The narrative is based on its evolving transition scenario, which assumes government policies, technologies and societal preferences evolve in a manner and speed similar to the recent past.
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This news is music to our ears but energy experts are not to become complacent with present efforts. Realities are invariably far from projections and projections of two decades in a developing economy has limited certainty. Considering the thrust given and investment made, renewable energy should steadily replace to become the backbone of energy source. That Coal will continue to retain and enjoy its share in market is welcome but considering the problems dogging coal and efficiency of thermal plants, a phased and significant reduction is imminent.
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