Energy

Being the second most populous country in the world, India’s energy needs are growing rapidly. In 2015, India’s energy consumption surpassed that of Japan’s and is now poised to overtake all the major economies by 2035. It has 16% of the world’s population, but less than 1% of the world’s oil and gas reserves, and just 10% of its coal reserves. Much of the coal is regionally situated, and is of low-calorie and high-ash content—it accounts for 55% of the country’s energy needs.

At a conference in 2013, Fatih Birol, the Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics at the International Energy Agency in Paris, said that India must spend $100 billion every year to meet the ballooning energy demand of its expanding economy. "India needs three things for its energy sector: investment, investment and investment," he quipped.

The country's energy needs have sky rocketed in the past decade, when its economy grew at an average pace of over 7% despite global economic slowdown. Many of India's power plants are laying idle, while coal, oil and gas production have struggled to rise for years.

Demand

The consumption of electricity is expected to increase rapidly over time due to a higher demand in residential and commercial sectors. This is in addition to the ever-growing demand from the industrial sector.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that coal will remain as India’s most used fuel, making up 49% of total energy demand in 2040. The IEA’s forecast of a 6m-barrels-a-day increase in oil consumption is also the largest projected for any country.

Solutions

India stands to benefit enormously from world-class energy technology ecosystems. These systems can harvest energy effectively and efficiently from natural resources at the country’s disposal. This is crucial since India does not have any significant resources of natural energy.

The various technologies and global best practices that India’s energy sector can integrate include:

  • Techniques to produce energy from tight reserves, deep-water reserves and high-temperature reserves
  • Advances in renewable energy, such as wind, solar and advanced energy storage.
  • A variety of new tools and technologies to improve energy efficiency such as:
    • Energy Assessment and Long Term Modelling
    • Optimization of Thermal Energy Systems by identifying areas of thermal energy wastage
    • Techno-Economic analysis of Thermal Energy Systems
    • Energy Mapping and Energy Storage Systems are some of the ways in which energy needs can be tackled.

Smart Cities that include processes for improved monitoring and regulation of energy usage, in addition to use of clean energy such as solar, wind, biofuel, hydro and even nuclear can be of enormous benefit to a developing country like India.