India will surely meet its goal of energy independence: US Department of Energy

India can make its dream of energy independence come true by the year 2047. In fact, according to a new study titled Pathways to Self-reliant India, released by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the mixed effects of affordable clean energy technology and rapid growth in renewables and lithium in India The dream of cost-effective energy independence can come true.

Examining three of India’s most energy intensive sectors (electricity, transport and industry), the study found that achieving this energy independence would also generate significant economic, environmental and energy benefits. These benefits include consumer savings of $2.5 trillion by 2047, reducing fossil fuel import costs by 90% or $240 billion per year by 2047, enhancing India’s industrial competitiveness globally, and advancing India’s net-zero commitment To get

India is the world’s third largest energy consumer and its energy demand is set to quadruple in the coming decades thanks to rapid economic growth. Currently, India imports 90% of its oil, 80% of industrial coal, and 40% of natural gas to meet its needs. Thus, price and supply volatility in global energy markets puts pressure on India’s foreign exchange reserves, resulting in high inflationary impact on the economy.

Summing up the findings, Nikit Abhyankar, Berkeley Lab scientist and lead author of the study, says, “There has never been a better time for clean energy in India. India has achieved some of the lowest prices for renewable energy in the world and has some of the world’s largest lithium reserves. This can directly lead India towards cost-effective energy independence. And it is also beneficial economically and environmentally.”

The study suggests that India’s path to energy independence will involve installing more than 500 GW of non-fossil electricity generation capacity by 2030. The government has already declared this target. Thereafter, 80% clean grid by 2040, and 90% clean grid by 2047. At the same time, by the year 2035, almost 100% of new vehicles sold can be electric. By 2047, heavy industrial production may also rely primarily on green hydrogen and electrification. In this, 90% of iron and steel, 90% of cement, and 100% of fertilizers will be produced by this change by 2047.

Most of the lithium needed to build new electric vehicles and grid-scale battery storage systems (estimated at 2 million tons by 2040) can be produced domestically using newly discovered reserves. In addition, Indian industry is expected to move towards cleaner technologies such as EVs and green steel manufacturing. India is one of the world’s largest auto and steel exporters, with countries in the European Union, their biggest markets, committed to carbon neutrality and a possible carbon border adjustment fee.

Amol Phadke, co-author of the report, says, “India’s energy infrastructure requires an investment of $3 trillion over the coming decades. Our study shows that prioritizing cost-effective and clean new energy is critical to long-term financial stability. India can take advantage of the existing policy framework set out to expand clean energy deployment.”

The study finds that India has a unique advantage to get a jump start on a clean energy future as the bulk of its energy infrastructure is yet to be built. India’s growing energy demand provides a significant runway of fifteen years to convert existing fossil energy assets to clean energy. It will be important to make this transition in tandem with the communities most affected, thereby ensuring an equitable transition for the country’s workforce.

This energy transition will require significant policy support, including deployment orders for clean technologies, financial and policy support for emerging technologies such as green hydrogen, and investment in domestic manufacturing capacity.

“We see in our study results that India will embark on an ambitious energy transition in the coming decades,” said Berkeley Lab co-author and researcher Priyanka Mohanty. The good news is that the long transition track provides great time to strategically deploy clean technologies and plan for a smooth transition.”

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, established in the year 1931, and its scientists have been awarded 16 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers not only develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, but also create useful new materials and push the boundaries of computing. The lab also investigates the mysteries of life, matter and the universe. Scientists from all over the world depend on the facilities of this lab for their research. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory managed by the University of California, Berkeley for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

In view of these things, there is no doubt that India will really realize its vision of energy independence in time.