Policy Briefs & Reports

Informing India’s Energy and Climate Debate: Policy Lessons from Modelling Studies

Navroz K Dubash, Radhika Khosla
Narasimha D Rao, K Rahul Sharma

Centre for Policy Research & Indian Development Cooperation Research

April 30, 2015

What should India put forward as the mitigation component of its climate contribution (or ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ (INDC))? Since energy accounts for 77% of India’s greenhouse gas emissions, this question can only be answered as one part of a larger discussion about India’s energy future.

This study conducts a comparative review of seven recent India-focused modelling studies that explore Indian energy and emissions futures, with the explicit intention of informing several policy salient questions.

Some key results that emerge include:

India is projected to double or triple carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 under reference cases, but per capita emissions will still be less than today’s global average;
Coal use under reference cases could rise as much as 2.5-3 times current levels;
Fossil-fuel free share of electricity in reference cases could also rise as high as 31% of the electricity mix, but could also fall from current levels;
Current studies provide an insufficiently robust basis for determining an economy-wide INDC for India, nor do they adequately address sustainable development outcomes;
Future energy and climate planning would be enhanced by a long-term, structured process involving policy-makers and modellers.

Navroz K Dubash, Radhika Khosla, Narasimha D Rao, and K Rahul Sharma “Informing India’s Energy and Climate Debate: Policy Lessons from Modelling Studies.” Research Report (New Delhi: Centre for Policy Research and Laxenburg: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, April 2015).