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Researchers at Lappeenranta Lahti University of Technology (LUT University in Finland) have concluded that Delhi can completely transition off fossil fuels by 2050.
The research produced an “Energy System Transition Model” that was tested for its feasibility in North India, with Delhi as the case.
This research is a first of its kind to explore the technical feasibility and economic viability of 100% renewable energy systems including power, heat, transport and desalination sectors for a global megacity like Delhi within the North Indian grid region. It presents a technology-rich, multi-sectoral, multi-regional and cost-optimal energy transition pathway for Delhi, which is a hub within the regional energy system.
The results of this research indicate that a megacity such as Delhi can benefit and drive a regional energy transition, with reduction in primary energy of over 40%, reduction in energy costs by over 25%, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and associated health costs. While creating more than three times the number of direct energy jobs as of today across North India and Delhi.
With the case of Delhi within the North Indian grid, this research provides snapshots of the current and future energy landscapes and discusses several aspects of an energy transition pathway that could lead to an affordable, efficient, sustainable and secure energy future for megacities around the world.
According to the study, batteries, prosumers and utility scale solar meet most of the demand in Delhi by 2050 as fossil fuels are phased out by then. The energy system taken into consideration includes the power, heat, transport and desalination sectors.
Study said that solar energy supply will increase rapidly during the transition. It is expected that it will generate approximately 96% of the total demand by 2050. This is the lowest-cost source of electricity.
Delhi will likely import low-cost, renewable electricity from neighboring states as it is the most cost-effective solution for the region. This could be done through direct investments, power purchase arrangements, or other longer-term contracts that would help to equalize the cost. This will create huge opportunities for low-carbon investment in cities and that these investments can be amplified to drive energy transitions both regionally and nationally.
This will lead to a rapid decrease in GHG emissions compared to the current levels in 2020. Also it is expected that the level of air pollution will drop through the transition to near zero in 2050.