India Can Halve Electricity Costs and Reach Net Zero before 2050: Wärtsilä Report

India can cut its overall cost of electricity in half and reach net zero before 2050 by developing a 100 per cent renewable energy power system, as per modelling by global technology company Wärtsilä and the Finnish Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology.

October 06, 2021. By Manu Tayal

India can cut its overall cost of electricity in half and reach net zero before 2050 by developing a 100 per cent renewable energy power system, as per modelling by global technology company Wärtsilä and the Finnish Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology.
 
The modelling shows a clear, actionable pathway to achieve a net-zero electricity system that can bring enormous environmental and economic benefits to India, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies:
  • Increasing renewable energy from 25 per cent today to 100 per cent before 2050 cuts the cost of India’s electricity by 48 per cent, from USD 88 per MWh in 2020 to USD 46 in 2050.
  • A flexible 100 per cent renewable system provides large levels of excess power that can address India’s rising energy dependency, forecast to double by 2030.
  • Increasing renewable energy could also generate major new revenues from hydrogen production, creating a technology market worth USD 39.8 billion.
Explaining further on the report, Sandeep Sarin, Market Development Manager of India, Wärtsilä Energy, and co-author of the report, said, “this year, India will become the world’s fastest growing economy. Our modelling shows a path to a clean power system that will catalyse India’s transformation into a global clean energy powerhouse; lifting millions from poverty, creating new jobs, insulating the system from energy shocks and simultaneously playing a vital role in limiting global temperature rises to below 1.5°C.”
 
He further added that “India has a mountain to climb in reconfiguring its energy system for net-zero, but it’s certainly possible with technologies that are already available at scale. With the right vision and planning, India can leapfrog developed nations into a sustainable future, but we must act now before it’s too late.”
 
Wärtsilä’s ‘Front-loading Net Zero’ report sets out clear steps for India to decarbonise its power system:
  1. Set ambitious clean energy targets over longer-term time horizons to attract investors.
  2. Increase climate regulation for companies, including mandating consumers and power producers to meet a certain percentage of their requirements from renewable sources.
  3. Strengthen flexibility solutions, such as thermal balancing power plants and battery storage, that can raise the share of renewables.
  4. Launch an incentive programme for the production of electrolysers (as capital costs are responsible for 30% of the cost of green hydrogen) and create new demand centres equipped to cost-effectively develop and transport green hydrogen.
As well as showing a path to an affordable clean energy transformation, the modelling also demonstrates the major planning challenge to cleanly meet energy demand as India’s population rises to around 1.7 billion by 2050.
 
Power demand is estimated to increase by 340% by 2050 – from 1,345 TWh in 2020 to 5,921 TWh in 2050, with 1,023 GW of peak demand. The modelling confirms India can affordably meet this demand through renewable energy, aided by solar energy prices that are amongst the lowest in the world, averaging around $26 USD per MWh.
 
The report provides a wake-up call to leaders on the need for a comprehensive energy transition plan, underpinned by a long-term plan to deploy massively increased amounts of renewables, phase out coal, and dramatically scale up energy storage and flexible power system solutions.
 
Wärtsilä’s report also lays out the shifting role of gas power in India. The modelling shows that by 2050, thermal balancing power plants will have a relatively small, but crucial, backup role, providing 1.1 per cent of electricity generation.
 
Thermal balancing power plants will play a crucial role in decarbonising the power system by shifting to carbon-neutral, hydrogen-based sustainable fuels, such as synthetic methane, to generate electricity and help decarbonise the final 10 per cent of India’s energy system.
 
Commenting on the report, Håkan Agnevall, CEO and President of Wärtsilä, said, “our modelling shows that it is viable for all energy systems to be fully decarbonised before 2050 and that accelerating the shift to renewable baseload, coupled with flexibility, will help economies to thrive.”
 
Agnevall added “we have all of the technologies that we need to rapidly shift to net-zero energy. The benefits of renewable-led systems are cumulative and self-reinforcing – the more we have, the greater the benefits – so it is vital that leaders and power producers come together now to front-load net zero this decade.”
Please share! Email Buffer Digg Facebook Google LinkedIn Pinterest Reddit Twitter
If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content,
please contact: contact@energetica-india.net.
 
 
Next events
 
 
Last interviews
 
Follow us