India may become energy-independent by 2047, transition to near 100% EV sales: US study

India can attain energy independence by 2047, when it would celebrate 100 years of independence, according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy. 

The “Pathways to Atmanirbhar Bharat [self-reliant India]” study additionally finds that India’s energy infrastructure will require $3 trillion in investments over the next several decades, reported PTI news agency. 

It concluded that achieving energy independence would have significant positive effects on India’s economy, environment, and use of energy, such as savings to consumers of USD 2.5 trillion through 2047, a 90 per cent reduction in the country’s yearly spending on fossil fuel imports, or USD 240 billion. This is an increase in India’s industrial competitiveness on a global scale, and the capacity to fulfill its net-zero commitment sooner than anticipated.

“India’s energy infrastructure requires a USD3 trillion investment in the coming decades, and our study finds that prioritizing new energy assets that are cost-effective and clean is crucial for long-term financial sustainability,” said Berkeley Lab staff scientist and co-author Amol Phadke in a statement issued by the Department of Energy and quoted by PTI. 

According to the report, India would achieve energy independence by adding more than 500 GW of non-fossil electricity generation capacity by 2030, a target that the government has already set, followed by an 80 per cent clean grid by 2040 and a 90 per cent clean grid by 2047. 

By 2035, it is predicted that sales of new vehicles might be nearly completely electric. According to the report, renewable hydrogen and electrification might replace heavy industrial output in most cases. 

It claimed that the majority of the lithium required for the production of new electric vehicles and grid-scale battery storage systems (estimated at 2 million tonnes by 2040) could be supplied locally using recently discovered deposits.

“We find that India will embark on an ambitious energy transition in the coming decades,” said Priyanka Mohanty, a co-author and researcher at Berkeley Lab. “However, the transition runway provides time to strategically deploy clean technologies at scale and plan for a just transition.”

The Indian industry must also make the transition to clean technology, such the production of green steel and electric vehicles. India is one of the world’s top exporters of steel and automobiles, and the EU nations who have made a commitment to carbon neutrality and a potential carbon border adjustment price are their biggest customers, according to the report.

(With inputs from agencies)

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