The Economic Survey 2018-19 that was presented in the Parliament on Wednesday has made a case for significantly increasing India's per capita energy consumption calling it more pervasive than the country's income poverty. At the same time, it has called for further accelerating energy efficiency efforts highlighting the emphasis towards electric mobility as an example.
India uses only 6 per cent of the world's primary energy even as it accounts for 18 per cent of the world's population and the Survey says this disparity needs to be plugged. An increase of per capita energy consumption by 2.5 times is required for India to increase its real per capita GDP by $5000 (in 2010 prices) while per capita energy consumption needs to go up by four times if the country has to reach the human development index (HDI) level of 0.8. HDI is a statistic used to measure life expectancy, education and per capita income indicators. In 2017, India had an HDI of 0.640 that was lower than the average score for the world of 0.728.
"Energy poverty has been more pervasive in India than income poverty: 53 per cent of our population could not access clean cooking in 2017 when compared to 30 per cent for China, four per cent for Brazil and less than one per cent for Malaysia," the survey says. "Energy efficiency programmes have generated cost savings worth more than Rs 50,000 crore and a reduction of about 110 million tons of CO2 emission in 2017-18. While the share of renewables in total generation has increased from 6 per cent in 2014-15 to 10 per cent in 2018-19, India still needs investment in renewable energy of more than $250 billion over the next decade."
The Survey singles out transportation as a major industry where the fruits of cleaner energy consumption can be realised through electric vehicles. In India, transport sector is the second largest contributor to CO2 emissions after the industrial sector. Road transport accounts for around 90 per cent of the total emissions in the transport sector in India.Union Budget 2019
"As electric vehicles represent the next generation in sustainable mobility, India must emphasise on them. Currently, the market share of electric cars is only 0.06 per cent when compared to 2 per cent in China and 39 per cent in Norway. Access to fast charging facilities must be fostered to increase the market share of electric vehicles," it says.