You are here

Danish Mallick asked: Does India have any codified policy till date to be at least 60 per cent self-sufficient in energy, and how much time it is going to take?

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • Shebonti Ray Dadwal replies: In its Vision 2.0, the NITI Aayog has projected the following paths that India is likely to take in its endeavour to achieve energy security:

    Level 1- the 'Least Effort' scenario: This assumes that little or no effort is being made in terms of interventions on the demand and the supply side.

    Level 2- the 'Determined Effort' scenario (also seen as the most achievable): This is by the implementation of current policies and programmes of the government.

    Level 3- the 'Aggressive Effort' scenario: This describes the level of effort needing significant change, which is hard but deliverable.

    Level 4- the 'Heroic Effort' scenario: This considers extremely aggressive and ambitious changes that push towards the physical and technical limits of what can be achieved.

    The current share of imports in the primary energy mix of the country is 31 per cent. This is expected to rise to 57 per cent in Scenario 2 projection and 22 per cent in the Maximum Energy Security Pathway (MESP) or Scenario 4 due to large additions to domestic energy production by higher level choices on coal and other sources of energy (renewable energy included).

    However, while the supply side of the energy sector is important, efforts to reduce energy imports are also imperative to curb the energy demand, and hence the consumption. Given the high energy intensity levels in India, ‘Heroic Effort’ (i.e. Scenario 4) should be made in all energy consuming sectors, particularly in the transport and industry sectors, which are expected to comprise of nearly 80 per cent of the total energy demand in 2047.

    Therefore, only if 'heroic efforts’ are made that India will be able to become more than 60 per cent self-sufficient in energy. However, this is a highly improbable scenario due to the following reasons:

    1. It envisages a nearly 34 per cent reduction in energy demand from Scenario 1 case, which is challenging as it would require significant urban planning reform, and public choices moving from private transport to public transport.
    2. It would require a very high level of capital expenditure in creating physical infrastructure, particularly in the transport sector (for a shift to rail/public transport), the cost of which is deemed difficult.
    3. Scenario 4 assumes that fossil fuel-based energy system would be replaced by a renewable energy-based one. This would cause a big cost to economy which cannot be compensated by the State or consumers.

    Hence, Scenario 2 or the 'Determined Effort' level is deemed the most achievable, which, although a vast improvement on Scenario 1, falls far below the 60 per cent energy security level.

    Posted on March 08, 2016