India’s ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070 aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and reach net zero emissions by mid-century. Wood Mackenzie’s latest report, ‘India Energy Transition Pathways 2070,’ delves into the necessary transformations that the country must undergo to realize this goal. The report highlights the need for a radical shift in India’s energy landscape, prioritizing renewable energy, electrification, hydrogen adoption, and carbon removal strategies.
As the world’s most populous country, India faces a dynamic energy landscape, anticipating a population increase of a quarter billion by 2070 and projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth from $3 trillion to approximately $27 trillion.
Wood Mackenzie’s analysis indicates that India’s energy demand will surge from 30 exajoules (EJ) in 2022 to 52 EJ by 2070 under the 2°C energy transition scenario. Despite this growth, CO2 emissions are expected to decouple from GDP in the early 2030s and gradually decrease from 2037, amounting to 1.2 billion tonnes by 2070. To achieve net zero emissions, India will need to transition from fossil fuels to zero-carbon fuels, with 73% of primary energy supply generated from zero-carbon sources.
Key strategies outlined in the report include a significant increase in electricity generation, with 93% of it coming from non-fossil sources. Low-carbon hydrogen and bioenergy will play crucial roles, covering 11% and 12% of energy demand, respectively. The share of fossil fuels in final energy demand must decrease from 72% to 27% by 2070, with coal demand peaking by 2030 and natural gas serving as a transition fuel.
Wood Mackenzie emphasizes the role of hydrogen and carbon capture to achieve net zero. Annual low-carbon hydrogen demand is projected to reach 30-40 million tonnes by 2050 and 85-90 million tonnes by 2070. Additionally, Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) will play a vital role, with an annual capacity of 700-750 million tonnes by 2070.
The report also highlights the importance of electric vehicles (EVs) in decarbonizing the economy, creating investment opportunities in the EV, battery, and renewable energy sectors. India’s pathway to net zero will embrace niche and emerging technologies, such as small modular nuclear reactors, geothermal, and offshore wind.
India’s energy security remains a priority, with proactive steps to revise its energy security plan in response to global events. Despite geopolitical shifts, India remains steadfast in its commitment to a resilient energy strategy.
As India introduces the Net Zero Bill in parliament, its efforts to rapidly reduce carbon emissions hold significant global implications. Low-carbon energy projects and a revamped energy landscape will be essential to achieving India’s net zero goal by 2070.