Carbon Emissions from India’s Electricity Grid: Examining the Trends and Future Outlook
“Reducing emissions from the electric power sector is a critical element of India’s goal to achieve a 33%–35% reduction in the emissions intensity of its economy from 2005 to 2030.”Carbon emissions from electricity production in India have become a critical issue as the country aims to reduce its emissions intensity by 33%–35% from 2005 to 2030. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s report on Indian power system planning suggests that while total emissions are expected to increase over the planning period, emissions intensity will decrease by 47%, from 0.76 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour in 2017 to 0.40 in 2047.
However, emissions from electricity production will become more concentrated in a few states by 2047, primarily in the Eastern Region, where coal remains cost-competitive with other technologies. While this may alleviate air quality problems in some states, it may lead to greater air quality concerns in neighboring states.
Coal generation in almost all states contributes to the production of carbon dioxide emissions across the country in 2017, but by 2047, 99% of carbon emissions will be concentrated in eight states. This concentration of coal-fired generation highlights the importance of developing sustainable and low-carbon technologies in the Eastern Region and other regions with high coal usage.
India has great potential for renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power. As these technologies become increasingly cost-competitive, their installation can help reduce the reliance on coal and associated carbon emissions. The report highlights the importance of considering carbon emissions in Indian power supply planning, emphasizing the need to develop sustainable and affordable energy solutions to achieve India’s emissions reduction targets.