The world’s population pecking order is on the verge of changing. As per latest UN report, India is expected to surpass China as the most populous country. It is also emerging as one of the most youthful countries. This milestone is an indication of trends that will have huge positive economic and social impact. India’s GDP, currently at $3.1 trillion, will consequently cross five trillion soon and become the third-largest economy. These are good signs.
What is disturbing, though, is the fact that India is also the worrying, though, is ranked third globally in terms of carbon emissions. In 2021, the country emitted 2.7 billion metric tons of CO2 or seven percent of the global total. The population will peak at 1.7b in 2064, when it will be nearly 50% larger than that of China.
As a result of its growing population, India’s energy consumption is projected to grow about 1.5 times faster than the global average over the next three decades. Over 80% of this energy is expected to be renewable as promised.
India is moving in the right direction, but there will be challenges to face.
If one were to break India’s commitments down to phases, the country will meet 50 percent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030. It will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion metric tons from 2022 through 2030. India is also aiming to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by at least 45 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
India is taking significant steps towards promoting renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. The government has set ambitious targets to generate 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, which includes 280 GW of solar, 140 GW of wind, 10 GW of biomass and 5 GW of small hydroelectric projects.
The government has introduced several policy initiatives to encourage investment in renewable energy, such as the National Solar Mission, which aims to achieve 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022, and the Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, which seeks to promote the development of hybrid projects that combine wind and solar energy.
India’s private sector has also been playing an active role in promoting renewable energy. Many companies, including Adani Green Energy, Tata Power, and ReNew Power, are investing heavily in renewable energy projects. These companies are not only reducing their carbon footprint, but also creating new jobs and contributing to the country’s economic growth.
However, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed to achieve India’s goal of net carbon neutrality by 2070. Some of these challenges include lack of adequate financing for renewable energy projects, inadequate grid infrastructure to support the integration of renewable energy, resistance from the fossil fuel industry and other stakeholders and the need for policy stability and consistency to attract long-term investment.
Despite these challenges, India’s commitment to renewable energy is commendable, and the country has made significant progress towards achieving its goals. With continued efforts from both the government and the private sector, India can become a global leader in the transition to a low-carbon economy.