US research indicates India can attain energy independence by 2047.

According to a research conducted by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, India can attain energy independence by 2047, when it will celebrate its 100th year of independence.

The study, dubbed “Pathways to Atmanirbhar Bharat,” also states that India’s energy infrastructure requires a USD3 trillion investment over the next three decades.

It determined that achieving energy independence will result in significant economic, environmental, and energy benefits for India, including USD2.5 trillion in consumer savings through 2047, a 90% reduction in fossil fuel import expenditure (USD240 billion per year), increased industrial competitiveness globally and enabling India to meet its net-zero commitment ahead of schedule.

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

According to the study, India’s energy independence path would involve the power sector installing more than 500 GW of non-fossil electricity generation capacity by 2030, a goal that the government has already announced, followed by an 80 percent clean grid by 2040 and a 90 percent clean grid by 2047.

It is predicted that by 2035, nearly all new vehicle sales would be electric. According to the report, heavy industrial output might transition predominantly to green hydrogen and electrification.

The majority of the lithium required (estimated at 2 million tonnes by 2040) for the production of new electric vehicles and grid-scale battery storage systems may be manufactured domestically utilising newly discovered sources, according to the report.

Furthermore, the Indian sector must switch to clean technology such as electric vehicles and green steel manufacture. According to the report, India is one of the world’s major auto and steel exporters, with its biggest markets in EU countries committed to carbon neutrality and a prospective carbon border adjustment levy.

“India can exploit the existing policy framework it has built out to increase clean energy deployment,” Phadke added. India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer, currently imports 90 percent of its oil, 80 percent of its industrial coal, and 40 per cent of its natural gas. According to the report, price and supply instability in global energy markets, as seen in recent years, strains India’s foreign exchange reserves, leading to economy-wide inflation.

“The case for renewable energy has never been more compelling. “India has attained the lowest renewable energy prices in the world and discovered some of the world’s greatest lithium reserves,” said Nikit Abhyankar, a Berkeley Lab scientist and the study’s primary author. “This can accelerate India towards cost-effective energy independence in an economically and environmentally beneficial manner,” he added.

According to the press release, the analysis also discovers that India has a distinct edge in leapfrogging to a clean energy future because the majority of its energy infrastructure has yet to be constructed.

“We find that India will start on an ambitious energy transition in the next decades,” said co-author and Berkeley Lab researcher Priyanka Mohanty. “Yet, the transition runway allows for the strategic deployment of clean technology at scale and the planning of a just transition.”

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