Embracing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in sectors like transport, buildings, and power can help India tackle climate change by saving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of up to 450 million tonnes per annum in 2030, says a study.
Titled “ICT’s Contribution to India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change”, the study says the usage of ICT solutions has the maximum saving potential to the tune of 42 per cent in energy-intensive sector commercial buildings, while in road transport and power it is 30 and 16 per cent respectively.
“Identified ICT solutions can potentially lead to GHG emission savings of up to 450 million tonnes CO2 per annum in 2030, which is approximately 10 per cent of estimated GHG emissions in 2030 for the sectors covered in the study,” it adds.
The report, which is a first-of-its-kind on usage of ICT solutions in industries as a measure to combat climate change, was released by the Digital Energy Solutions Consortium India (DESC India) and CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development here.
It said the ICT solutions can potentially lead to energy cost savings of around Rs. 1,37,000 crore per annum in 2030 — approximately 2.5 per cent of India’s current GDP.
The study notes that the implementation of ICT-enabled mobility management systems in road transport sector in 2030 can offset emissions created by 12 million cars, travelling an average of 18,000 km every year.
“This is equivalent to 16,500 million litres of diesel or 17,200 million litres of petrol saved,” it says.
Road transport is expected to be the biggest emitter accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the total GHGs emission in the country in 2030.
In the railways alone, the study noted, “Over 1.1 billion litres of diesel equivalent can be saved annually by ICT measures in 2030.”
“Going by the current subsidy rates (in the Railways), the reduction in diesel consumption will result in the reduction of subsidy burden to the tune of Rs. 198 crore annually in 2030. The Railways, through the reduction in diesel consumption, will save Rs. 3,850 crore annually in the year 2030,” the study says.
The report further said that electricity saved by ICT implementation in the power sector in 2030 can aid in the rural electrification of more than 14,000 villages, with an average population of 2,000-3,000 people.
“Of the 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission reduction target of the energy efficiency mission by 2015, ICT adoption has the potential of contributing approximately 6 million tonnes, i.e., 6 per cent of the 2015 target.
“In terms of monetary savings, this amounts to Rs. 2,600 crore or 0.06 per cent of the FY 2009-10 GDP of India, on account of lesser consumption of energy,” it says.
Rahul Bedi, Chairman of the DESC India said, “The one-time high implementation costs in adopting ICT-based solutions will be amortised over a period of time, leading to win-win solution for users as well as the nation.”