An autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Finance


Exploring Low-Carbon Energy Security Path for India: Role of Asia-Pacific Energy Cooperation

Publication date

Apr, 2019


NIPFP Working Paper No. 259


Sacchidananda Mukherjee


In World Energy Outlook 2018, India's total primary energy demand (TPED) is expected to grow from 898 million tonne of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2017 to 1465 Mtoe in 2030. India's growth in TPED during 2017 to 2030 is expected to be the single largest source of global growth in TPED. India's share in world's TPED will go up from 6.4 percent in 2017 to 9.1 percent in 2030. With rising demand for energy, India's contribution in world's energy-related total CO2 emission is expected to go up from 6.7 percent in 2017 to 10.6 percent in 2030. Though India's per capita CO2 emission is one-third of world’s average, the rising contribution in CO2 emission is mostly attributable to high emission intensity of India’s GDP. It is expected that India will be the single largest driver of global growth in total energy-related CO2 emission during 2017-2030. Achieving energy security is important for India to sustain high economic growth and socio-economic wellbeing of Indian populace. However, it would be important for India to reduce emission intensity of GDP and explore low carbon energy security path through inter-regional energy cooperation. 
Coal is the single largest source of India's total primary energy demand and it is expected to be so in 2030. Coal is predominantly used in India's power sector and it contributes 71 percent in India's total energy-related CO2 emission. Reducing dependence on coal in power sector could be the foremost priority in achieving low carbon energy security for India. Power sector contributes 53 percent of India's total energy-related CO2 emission in 2017 and it is expected to fall to 46 percent in 2030. India needs to explore options for electricity trade rather than high value primary energy sources for power generation to reduce dependence on energy imports as well as greening up the power sector. Being net importer, 58 percent of India’s trade imbalance is attributed to import of energy sources. Given the vast potential exists in non-hydro renewable power generation in India, it would be important for India to explore electricity trade in the Asia-Pacific region by mobilizing finance to invest in inter-regional electricity generation and transmission infrastructure.
India’s objectives to achieve energy security and environment sustainability need to be integrated. This paper explores challenges in achieving India’s low-carbon energy security and possible scope for Asia-Pacific energy cooperation thereof. 
Key Words: Energy security, CO2 emission, inter-regional energy cooperation, India.
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