“The Ignored Culprits of India’s GHG Emissions: Transport, Industry, and Buildings”
India, like many other countries, is facing a significant challenge in reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While the electricity sector is often cited as the primary source of GHG emissions, recent studies have shown that it is responsible for only 30% of India’s total emissions. The other sectors such as buildings, transport, and industry are often ignored, but they are responsible for the rest of the 70% emissions. In this article, we will examine India’s GHG emission sources, explore the options available to tackle GHG emissions in the building sector, and examine how technologies such as carbon capture and storage can be useful in reducing emissions.
India’s GHG Inventory
According to India’s GHG inventory, the country’s total GHG emissions in 2014 were 2.607 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The energy sector, which includes electricity generation, accounted for the largest share of emissions at 67.3%, followed by agriculture at 17.8%, industry at 7.9%, waste at 3.8%, and buildings at 3.2%.
While the electricity sector is responsible for a significant portion of India’s GHG emissions, it is not the only sector that needs attention. The building sector, for example, is responsible for a substantial portion of emissions and has been largely ignored in the past.
Tackling GHG Emissions in the Building Sector
The building sector is a significant contributor to GHG emissions in India, accounting for 3.2% of the total emissions in 2014. Buildings are responsible for emissions from energy consumption, construction materials, and waste. The good news is that there are several options available to reduce emissions in the building sector.
One of the most effective ways to reduce GHG emissions in the building sector is through energy-efficient building design. This involves designing buildings that are well-insulated, have efficient heating and cooling systems, and use energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Energy-efficient buildings can reduce energy consumption and, in turn, lower GHG emissions.
Another option for reducing emissions in the building sector is through the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Solar panels can be installed on the roofs of buildings, and wind turbines can be installed in open areas around buildings. By using renewable energy sources, buildings can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and lower their GHG emissions.
Carbon Capture and Storage
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a technology that can capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities and store them underground. CCS has the potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions from these sources.
The use of CCS in India is still in its early stages, but there is potential for the technology to be used in the future. The report “Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) – A Key Enabler for India’s Low Carbon Energy Future” by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) outlines several opportunities for CCS in India, including:
- Capturing CO2 emissions from power plants and using them for enhanced oil recovery.
- Capturing CO2 emissions from industrial processes such as cement production and using them for manufacturing.
- Capturing CO2 emissions from coal gasification and using them for fertiliser production.
India’s GHG emissions are a significant challenge, but there are options available to reduce emissions in the building sector and other sectors. Energy-efficient building design and the use of renewable energy sources can reduce emissions in the building sector, while CCS technology can be used to capture and store emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities. By implementing these solutions, India can make progress towards achieving its climate goals and reducing its impact on the environment.