Report: India's reliance on coal to continue

India's clean energy sector has seen massive investment and commitments over the past few years, but the country's dependence on coal will continue, says New Energy Outlook-2016 brought out by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

According to the report, the Asia-Pacific region will lead the pack with 50 per cent of all new investments worldwide in energy sources ranging from coal, gas to renewable energy.

In this, India would see the highest growth in energy and fuel demand. The country's electricity demand is forecast to grow 3.8 times between 2016 and 2040.

"Despite investing $611 billion in renewable in the next 24 years, and $115 billion in nuclear, India will continue to rely heavily on coal power stations to meet rising demand. This would result in trebling of its annual power sector emissions by 2040," said the report.

Zero-carbon power

An extra $5.3 trillion investment in zero-carbon power would be needed by 2040 to prevent power-sector emissions rising above Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 'safe' limit of 450 parts per million, the report said.

India has revised by five times the target for installed renewable energy capacity to 175,000 Mw till 2022. Solar power is envisaged to hold the lion's share of 100,000 Mw in the total renewable energy capacity.

In the Paris Climate Change commitment, India committed 40 per cent of it power generation to come from renewable energy sources. However, with rising energy demand, India would also lead the pack in emissions numbers, the report noted.

According to the report, the slowdown in China could reduce carbon emissions after 2015, but emerging economies such as India would contribute similar amount of emissions. "China's weakened GDP and rebalancing economy means emissions peak as early as 2025. However, rising coal-fired generation in India and other Asian emerging markets indicate that the global emissions figure in 2040 will still be some 700 mega-tonne, or five per cent, above 2015 levels," said the report.

According to the report, coal generation would slow down in Europe and peak in 2020 in the US and in 2025 in China. The report estimates that the cost of coal and gas would remain low as a supply glut is projected for these commodities.

"This cost of generating power by burning coal or gas, but will not derail the advance of renewable," it said, adding: "Wind and solar costs would also drop. These two technologies become the cheapest ways of producing electricity in many countries during the 2020s and in most of the world in the 2030s." Onshore wind cost is projected to fall by 41 per cent and solar photovoltaic costs by 60 per cent by 2040.

Among the areas where high growth is expected include electric car, which would increase the global electricity demand by eight per cent and represent 35 per cent of new light-duty vehicle sales in 2040, some 90 times the 2015 figure.

The report says the rise of electric vehicles will bring down the cost of lithium-ion batteries.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Asia-Pacific to lead in energy investment

     
  • Growing Indian economy continue to have dependence on coal and gas

     
  • India to invest $611 billion in renewable in the next 24 years, and $115 billion in nuclear

     
  • Reduction in China's emission to be offset by increase in India

     
  • Onshore wind cost is projected to fall by 41 per cent and solar PV costs fall by 60 per cent by 2040

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