Establishing plausible scenarios for mid-century energy demands in India
Some energy outlooks predict India to have the world’s lowest energy intensity by mid-century. India’s energy demand growth is critically important to the global decarbonization effort, given the scale of Indian economic growth expected over the next 40 years. The energy intensity of India’s economy is relatively low by the standards of major developing economies, and has been declining slightly in recent years. However, it is not clear whether those declines represent the start of a long-term trend, or were the temporary result of a particular form of economic growth that will not be maintained as India embarks on a period of sustained, rapid growth in GDP and middle-class consumerism. More broadly, the available (albeit limited) empirical evidence suggests that countries with the lowest energy intensities achieve the least amount of energy intensity improvement over time. This project investigates the following: the drivers for energy demand growth; the likely constraints to energy demand reduction; and the implications for energy supplies, service reliability, and industrial innovation. What plausible energy intensity trends emerge from these macro-economic and sector-specific insights? The analysis aims to provide insights to generate more realistic outlooks for energy growth by sector, carrier, and fuel type, and more realistic outlooks for interactions between demand growth and economic development.
Joe Lane; Chris Greig