The government may be planning to have power for all by 2019, but a report released on Tuesday said densely populated and low-income countries like India may find it difficult to meet their electricity energy needs with zero-carbon power in the short term. On the other hand, rich and lightly populated countries such as the US or Australia face far easier challenges in this respect, it said. Additionally, the world may witness a global warming of over 4°C, at the current intensity of carbon dioxide, if the current system of energy generation is not changed, the report titled Better Energy, Greater Prosperity warned.
The report, prepared by the Energy Transitions Commission which is a diverse group of individuals from the energy and climate communities, emphasised that zero-carbon energy sources, mainly renewables, must grow by at least one percentage point per annum to contain global warming within 2°C as agreed upon by 195 nations, including India, in the COP21 summit.
The report also stressed that equitable and affordable access to electricity for all across the world will be essential to provide the same standard of living for all. At present, huge differences in prosperity are matched by huge differences in energy use per capita, ranging from over 200 GJ per capita in the US and Australia to only 20 GJ per capita in much of sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, 80-100 GJ per person per annum is likely to be required for attaining a higher standard of living for all.
The twin goals will require a strategy for transition and steps such as decarbonisation of power combined with extended electrification and decarbonisation of activities which cannot be cost-effectively electrified. Acceleration in the pace of energy productivity improvement and optimisation of fossil fuel use within the overall carbon budget constraints would be required to speed up the required transition.India plans to have installed capacity of renewable power resources at 175 GW by 2022.