Renewables to slash 17% of India’s industry emissions by 2030.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 25, 2024
Renewables can cut 17 per cent of India’s heavy industry emissions by 2030: Ember.jpegOrginal image from:

Renewable energy has the potential to play a significant role in reducing emissions from India’s heavy industry sector. According to a recent report by energy think-tank Ember, renewables could cut 17 per cent of the expected carbon emissions from heavy industry by 2030. This shift towards renewable energy is crucial as electricity demand in heavy industries is projected to increase by 45 per cent in the coming years. By meeting this rising demand with renewable energy sources, India could avoid emitting 180 million tons of CO2, equivalent to the annual emissions of the Netherlands.

Benefits of Renewable Energy in Heavy Industries

Switching to renewables in heavy industries offers multiple advantages beyond emission reductions. It provides industries with access to cost-effective renewable power, enhances grid flexibility, and most importantly, improves air quality within industrial facilities. Duttatreya Das, the lead author of the report, emphasizes that prioritizing renewables and ensuring clean air in industrial settings should be a people-centric approach for heavy industries.

Strategies for Decarbonization

The report outlines near and long-term decarbonization strategies for heavy industries in India as the country navigates compliance with the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) proposed by the EU. To achieve full decarbonization of electricity use and maintain competitiveness in the global market, heavy industries in India would need to have 120 GW of dedicated renewable energy capacity by 2030. The report focuses on key sectors like steel, cement, petrochemicals, aluminum, and ammonia for decarbonization efforts.

Future Outlook and Potential for Innovation

Looking towards the future, the report highlights the importance of developing key technologies to electrify thermal processes in heavy industries. By making these technologies commercially viable, the share of electricity in the industrial energy mix could triple by 2050, reaching about 700 GW and avoiding 737Mt of emissions. Aditya Lolla, Asia Programme Director at Ember, underlines the significance of understanding the potential for near-term emission reductions as India prepares for emissions-related trade regulations like CBAM.

Unlocking Opportunities with Renewable Energy

Renewables-based electrification not only benefits heavy industries but also presents opportunities for India’s broader energy ecosystem. It can attract significant private investments, stimulate the clean energy manufacturing sector, and position India as a global leader in clean energy. By embracing renewables and implementing innovative solutions, India can pave the way for a sustainable and low-carbon future for its industries and economy.

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