Stock Markets
Daily Stock Markets News

Bharat needs ‘One Energy’ Governance

The mantra (sonic form) of energy security, energy efficiency and green energy requires energy transformation, which is possible when Economy, Ecology, and Energy achieve complete embrace with balance. Alongside, ‘Just Transition’ governance must go hand in hand making economic and political power shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy.

The energy sector is presenting Bharat with its toughest of challenges as Bharat will see the largest energy demand growth of any country in the world over the next three decades. Bharat’s overall energy consumption is likely to be closer to 100 percent surge by 2050 as heatwaves will be more frequent, durable and intense. The energy sector is responsible for around three-quarters of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Energy efficiency, however, could slash Bharat’s GHG emissions by up to 50 percent through advanced technologies. For now, Bharat is overwhelmingly reliant on coal for power generation.

Besides, our fossil fuels requirements are heavily import-dependent: 87 percent for crude oil, 53 percent for gas and 24 percent for coal. Energy security and green energy mean diversifying energy supplies, boosting oil & gas exploration footprint, transitioning to a gas-based economy, smart room air-conditioning, heat-proofing, electric vehicles, and an inevitable transition to clean renewable fuels embracing green hydrogen, solar, and nuclear power etc.

Bharat has made a ‘net-zero’ commitment, setting 2070 as its target year (net-zero or carbon neutrality means that the amount of CO2 produced by a country is balanced by the amount removed from the atmosphere). It has also made tangible commitments of one-billion-ton reduction in the carbon emissions projected for 2030, and raising its non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by the same year (requiring USD 360 Billion investments), which would also meet 50 per cent of its energy needs by renewables.

Keeping in view Bharat’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) commitment to reducing carbon emission intensity, coal is in the crosshairs. The viable options would be: Mining in an environmentally responsible manner, reducing imports, coal-washing and gasification etc. Needing to increase the terminal regasification capacity, and expand the usage of E20 fuel etc., Bharat is seeking to invest large amounts for developing the gas sector. Power on the rooftops scheme has the potential to change the dynamics of access to electricity and the country’s climate-change commitment, once structural problems are addressed. Bharat has faltered in locating its oil reserves for decades, but its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a vast area of 2.36 million square km, is likely to have reserves much higher than those discovered so far.

The state-owned Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) are in fragile financial health due to the high level of Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses, the levy of inadequate tariffs compared to the power supply cost, and insufficient subsidy support from state governments. Each unit of energy sold results in a loss of 60 paise for the DISCOMs, and if Bharat has to ramp up its non-fossil capacity, the financial health of the DISCOMs must improve phenomenally which necessitate dealing with serious systemic issues, including separating political objectives from the electricity system.

Renewables (including large hydro) make up almost a fifth of the country’s generation. Solar accounts for almost half of this output, followed by large hydro and wind power. There have been several policy reforms involving wind and solar power, and local manufacturing is being pushed through a combination of incentives for manufacturing and disincentives for imports. But we need out-of-box thinking beyond tariffs, non-tariff barriers and capex-linked incentives. Similarly, the key to integrating Renewable Energy into a round-the-clock availability of power to cope with demand cycles is battery energy storage systems (BESS). Energy storage may become just a transitional technology if commercial nuclear fusion takes off. For the shift to be sustainable and meaningfully carbon-reductive, many new technologies will have to be developed and stabilized. This is to intensify the R&D of clean energy technologies – battery storage, carbon capture and sequestration (CCUS), green hydrogen, coal gasification, modular nuclear reactors, etc.

Green hydrogen is the future of energy. The National Hydrogen Mission is set to make Bharat a global hub for green hydrogen production and export. It promises to afford dimensional shifts across industry, power and mobility; and, of course, to meet the country’s decarbonization goals. The amount of energy produced per unit of hydrogen is estimated to be three…

Read More: Bharat needs ‘One Energy’ Governance

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.