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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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India Will Drive Energy Demand For The Next 20 Years

India will be the biggest driver of global energy demand over the next 20 years as its population continues to increase fast and affluence spreads, the International Energy Agency said in a new report.

This growth in energy consumption will provide opportunities for renewable energy developers as the country needs “to add a power system the size of the European Union to what it has now,” while reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and solid biomass, the IEA said.

“On a per capita basis, India’s energy use and emissions are less than half the world average, as are other key indicators such as vehicle ownership, steel and cement output,” the report said. “As India recovers from a Covid-induced slump in 2020, it is re-entering a very dynamic period in its energy development.”

This development will see the country’s energy demand by 2030 rise by between 25 percent, under what the IEA calls its Delayed Recovery Scenario, and 35 percent under the IEA’s Stated Policy Scenario.

“This is underpinned by a rate of GDP growth that adds the equivalent of another Japan to the world economy by 2040,” the IEA said, adding that India’s GDP could hit $8.6 trillion by 2040.

As a result, the country could see a solar boom, with solar coming to account for as much of the power mix as coal within 20 years. Currently, solar accounts for just 4 percent of the energy mix while coal reigns supreme with 70 percent. By 2040, these could both account for about 30 percent of the country’s energy mix. This could happen even sooner under the Sustainable Development Scenario the IEA devised for the country.

India has set itself a target of 450 GW in renewable energy capacity, to be built by 2030. A lot of this could be solar because of its inexpensive nature, even when paired with storage, the agency noted.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 09 2021 said:
    The International Energy Agency (IEA) is absolutely wrong. China will continue to be the driver of both the global economy and the global oil demand well into the future.

    How could India with an economy of $9.6 trillion based on purchasing power parity (PPP) or 27% of China’s economy at $24.2 trillion and population of 1.366 bn compared with China’s 1.398 bn drive the global energy demand. China will continue to lead the world including in crude oil imports, gas demand and renewable energy for the forseeable future.

    It isn’t the first time the IEA got its scenarios and conclusions wrong. Just remember the time in 2018 when the IEA made the ludicrous projection that by 2025 US oil production will be bigger than the combined production of both Russia and Saudi Arabia. Just look at the state of US shale oil production now.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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