The demand for electricity in the country will continue to grow. It is projected that by 2050, India will consume more power than Europe and the United States, stated Tata Power - Renewables, president, Ashish Khanna, during a webinar organised by NMIMS-FPJ in association with Tata Power.
He added while the consumption in the country is around 170 gigawatt (GW), India has an appetite of 749 GW. With the passing time, the consumption will continue to grow which will be supported mostly by decentralisation and digitalisation.
While the consumption in the country dropped during COVID-19-induced lockdown, the country is back to its pre-COVID-19 consumption levels, added Khanna. According to the research paper, the electricity demand and generation in India had fallen to a five-year low during April-May 20. The fall in demand has led to a decline in power generation, particularly from coal-based power plants. However, the renewable energy sources saw an increase year on year.
Comparing India’s electricity consumption with the rest of the world, Khanna stated, “By 2050, India will consume more power than Europe and the United States. By 2038, we will overtake Europe. By 2050, it will be beyond the US.”
In the case of solar, the country has added more than 100 GW of solar capacity on a year-on-year basis. “It is not small.” This growth is dominated by newer technology and drop in prices in solar panels. Newer technology has allowed the prices to fall by 94 per cent and output per solar cell to double over the past decade.
He added that with the energy mix (inclusive of oil and gas as well) changing, the contribution of electricity will more than double from the current level of 19 per cent to almost half by 2050. Khanna asserted that by the time the share of electricity in the energy mix will be 49-50 per cent (by 2050), the contribution of renewables in this will be around 86 per cent. “Out of 86 per cent of renewable, 66 per cent will be solar.”
He strongly believes that the estimation made for 2050 might happen much before that. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of technologies and digitalisation has become much faster, he averred.