Mobility interventions, renewable energy can lead to significant savings, says NITI Aayog report

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 30, 2020 Published on June 30, 2020

File photo of essential commodities being unloaded from trains for transport during lockdown   -  The Hindu

‘600 million tonnes of oil demand by 2030 can be saved through shared, electric transportation’

India’s transport sector can save 1.7 gigatonnes of cumulative carbon dioxide emissions and avoid about 600 million tonnes of oil equivalent in fuel demand by 2030 through shared, electric, and connected passenger mobility and cost-effective, clean, and optimised freight transport, said a new report on clean energy transition in India released on Tuesday.

It can also achieve significant savings in the power sector through the adoption of renewable energy, energy storage, efficiency, and flexible generation and demand, said the report titled ‘Towards a Clean Energy Economy: Post-Covid-19 Opportunities for India’s Energy and Mobility Sectors’, brought out jointly by the NITI Aayog and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

Covid challenges

Covid-19 has presented significant demand and supply side challenges for India’s transport and power sectors, from liquidity constraints and supply shortages to shifts in consumer demand and preferences. But the report stressed upon the need for stimulus and recovery efforts that work towards building a clean, resilient, and least-cost energy future for India. These efforts include electric vehicle, energy storage, and renewable energy programmes.

“India's strong democratic institutions promote policy stability. Ongoing economic reforms, if executed well, should keep the country's growth rate ahead of peers,” said Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog expressing confidence that India’s economy will recover following the containment of the pandemic.

“Clean energy will be a major driver of India’s economic recovery and international competitiveness,” added Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.

“We must look at how to leverage our domestic innovation ecosystem to bring value to the country and industry in this new normal. We have recommended specific actions by which India can revive two of our economic powerhouses — the transport and power sectors — and emerge stronger.”

Four principles

The report laid out four principles as a framework for policymakers and other key decision-makers considering programmes to support India’s clean energy future: (1) invest in least-cost-energy solutions, (2) support resilient and secure energy systems, (3) prioritise efficiency and competitiveness, and (4) promote social and environmental equity.

Opportunities in the transport sector include making public transport safe, enhancing and expanding non-motorised transport infrastructure, reducing vehicle kilometres travelled through work-from-home where possible, supporting national strategies to adopt electric vehicles in the freight and passenger segments, and making India an automotive export hub.

In the power sector, opportunities include improving the electricity distribution business and its operations, enabling renewables and distributed energy resources, and promoting energy resilience and local manufacturing of renewable energy and energy storage technologies.

“The principles and opportunities in the report can provide guidance to India’s public and private sector leaders on how to evaluate and prioritise stimulus and recovery options that continue to invest in a long-term clean energy future for India,” said Akshima Ghate, Director, RMI India.

Published on June 30, 2020
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