India can achieve energy independence by 2047

20 March 2023 16:29

Berkeley - India can achieve energy independence by 2047, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab. Currently, India imports most of its oil and coal. The country’s green plans could save $2.5 trillion in energy costs through 2047, however. New lithium deposits are key to these changes.

Indians are on track to achieving energy independence by 2047 and net-zero emissions by 2070, according to a new U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study.

Entitled Pathways to Atmanirbhar Bharat (or “self-reliant India”) published March 14, Berkeley Lab scientists found that India’s plan will have a major global impact. The world’s largest democracy, India is expected also to become the world’s most populous nation in the near future.

India’s plans could save $2.5 trillion in energy costs through 2047, the study found. Cutting fossil fuel imports by 90 percent would save $240 billion annually. The discovery of new deposits of lithium, a major component in electric car batteries and other renewable energy technologies, would play a key role in these changes.

Domestically produced lithium would help Indians install more than 500 gigawatts of renewable energy generation by 2030, an electricity grid that uses 90 percent green by 2047, while almost 100 percent of cars sold in the country could be electric by 2035. Hydrogen and sustainable electricity, meanwhile, could power 90 to 100 percent of the manufacturing of iron, steel, cement, and fertilizers.

“The case for clean energy has never been stronger. India has achieved the world’s lowest renewable energy prices and has found some of the world’s largest lithium reserves,” said Berkeley Lab scientist Nikit Abhyankar, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “This can propel India towards cost-effective energy independence in a way that is economically and environmentally advantageous.”

At present, India imports 90 percent of its oil, 80 percent of its coal, and 40 percent of its natural gas. Skyrocketing energy prices have therefore cost India dearly. Because India’s energy infrastructure is antiquated, however, the country has the advantage of a relative tabula rasa for new clean energy projects, the study contended. jd

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