India currently ranks as one of the top energy consumers in the world and with growing population the consumption will significantly rise in the future. Examine the present status of India’s energy utility. What measures can be taken to ensure energy justice in India?
India is home to 18% of the world’s population but uses only 6% of the world’s primary energy. India’s energy consumption has almost doubled since 2000 and the potential for further rapid growth is enormous.
Present status of India’s energy utility
- Government has been supporting the expansion of distribution grid infrastructure across India to foster electricity access in villages.
- India continues to promote cleaner cooking and off-grid electrification solutions, including a shift toward using solar photovoltaics (PV) for cooking and charging batteries.
- Government provides large-scale public subsidies to ensure access to electricity, energy and clean cooking for its population.
- India’s electricity security has improved markedly through the creation of a single national power system and major investments in thermal and renewable capacity
- Government has embarked on an ambitious policy to boost renewable electricity, with a target of 175 GW capacity by 2022.
- Government has ruled out deploying new coal capacity up to 2027 (beyond plants still under construction) and aims to close the oldest most inefficient coal plants in the country.
Measures to ensure energy justice in India
- The electrification policies of India have to be included to assess changes in the transport sector.
- the methodology of the entire end-use demand sector can be further refined
- greater representation of energy supply, e.g., waste to energy and biofuels have to be focused
- there is a need to add taxes on various types of fossil fuels
- Creation of transparent and flexible markets for both oil and gas.
- Electricity and natural gas should remain outside of the GST.
- Government should adopt a national energy plan to set a long-term framework for all stakeholders across the energy system, which also identifies future energy infrastructure investment needs and provides an integrated approach.
In future, India is set to be at the center of the world’s energy stage. It is set to contribute more than any other country to the projected rise in global energy demand, around one-quarter of the total. Urbanization will be a key diver of this trend