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An overview of Indian Energy Trends: Low Carbon Growth and Development Challenges

Author(s): Girish Sant, Narasimha Rao, Sudhir Chella Rajan Publication Date: September, 2009

With the Copenhagen meeting is fast approaching, the pressure on India (and China) from Annex I countries is increasing. While India's stance of not undertaking mitigation measures without assistance has received wide media attention, not much is understood internationally about its low carbon path and the policies that have been driving it, or about its development imperative. This report compares the energy use trends in India with the US, EU and China. India contributes less than 5 percent of global GHG emissions with almost twenty percent of the world's population, which includes one-third of the world's poor. Indian energy prices for the non-poor are among the highest in the world and its renewable share of electricity capacity is also among the highest, both promoting a low carbon path. This report points out that though the economic growth in India has been neither sufficiently equitable nor environmentally sustainable, compared to other countries it has been less energy-intensive.  The report also points to many additional opportunities for further reductions in carbon intensity.

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