Total primary energy use in India is heavily dependent on fossil fuels. In 2018, coal accounted for 45%, mostly used in the power sector and industry, followed by oil (25%) mostly used in transport, building and the agricultural sector. The majority of India’s coal use comes from domestic reserves, though oil is mostly imported. Refined petroleum is India’s largest export product. Share of biofuel in total primary energy use is 20%.
The country has prioritised the use of coal over gas in the past years. This includes (consumption) subsidies of around 10 billion USD over the period 2019-2020, which hamper the transition to renewable energy. India has a total of 200 GW of coal power plants installed today and is planning to increase this by another ~100 GW in coming years.
India has given a sustained effort through various policy response to increase the capacity of renewable energy generation, and as a result, installed capacity of renewables has increased to 94 GW in March 2021 from 39 GW in 2015, – but its share in primary energy supply is only 1%. In its National Electricity Plan, India has the goal to increase its renewable energy to 175 GW in 2022 and 450 GW in 2030.
On the demand side, India has an efficiency programme for industry, which resulted in a modest cumulative 0.1 GtCO₂e saving between 2012 and 2019.
India downscaled its earlier vision of a fully electric car market to a 30% share of sales of electric vehicles by 2030. If the share is not increased to 100% by 2035 in line with international benchmarks, this would lock in a significant share of the estimated half a gigatonne of carbon dioxide emissions from transport until at least 2050.
The Government of India has advanced different targets and policy frameworks to introduce alternative fuel in transport sector to reduce emissions. These include the Roadmap for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-25, which allows for blending of 20% ethanol in petrol. The government is also embarking on the production of hydrogen from renewable sources, with the Ministry of Finance launching the Hydrogen Energy Mission in February 2021., Indian rail transport, which accounts for less than 10% of India’s transport emissions, is planned to be net zero by 2030, achieved through full electrification.