India needs about $10 trillion to meet net zero target, says study

Most of this money will be needed to scale up generation from renewable energy: think tank

Updated - November 18, 2021 10:47 pm IST

Published - November 18, 2021 12:30 pm IST - New Delhi

Photo: Twitter/@CEEW_CEF

Photo: Twitter/@CEEW_CEF

To meet its goals of net zero, or being able to effectively eliminate carbon dioxide emissions by 2070, India will need close to $10 trillion (₹700 lakh crore), according to an analysis by climate and energy research firm, CEEW Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF). CEEW is the Council for Energy, Environment and Water Research, a think tank in New Dellhi.

Also Read: Experts hail India's announcement to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2070

Most of this money, around $8.4 trillion, would be needed to significantly scale up generation from renewable energy and bringing together the necessary integration, distribution and transmission infrastructure. Another $1.5 trillion would have to be invested in the industrial sector for setting up green hydrogen production capacity to advance the sector’s decarbonisation. Green hydrogen is hydrogen gas made from renewable energy and can be used for many things, from heating to powering batteries as well fuelling vehicles.

The study estimates that India would fall short by $3.5 trillion to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070 and hence, investment support of $1.4 trillion, in the form of concessional finance, would be required from developed economies to mobilise foreign capital that bridges the gap. Concessional finance refers to loans at below-market interest rates.

India’s goals

At the recently concluded summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s national goals to significantly improve the proportion of renewable energy in its installed capacity and be net zero by 2070. Reaching net zero by 2050 is earth’s best chance, scientists say, to keep the globe’s average temperature from exceeding 1.5C by the end of the century.

Also read: Comment | Why India shouldn’t sign on to net zero

Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW, said: “At COP26, India announced bold near-term and long-term climate targets. Our analysis finds that a transition to net zero emissions would require mammoth investment support from developed countries. Developed countries must ramp up hard targets for climate finance over the coming years. Also, on the domestic front, financial regulators such as the RBI and SEBI need to create an enabling ecosystem for financing India’s transition to a green economy. Finally, given the size of the investments required, private capital, from both domestic and international institutions, should form the bulk of investment, while public funds should play a catalytic role by de-risking investments in existing and emerging clean technologies.”

Also read: Explained | What are India’s expectations from COP26?

The CEEW-CEF study underlined that India’s $1.4 trillion concessional finance requirement would not be uniformly spread across the five decades till 2070. The average annual concessional finance requirement would vary from $8 billion in the first decade to $42 billion in the fifth decade.

Solar power

Last month, the CEEW in another study had computed that for achieving net zero by 2070, India’s total installed solar power capacity would need to increase to 5,630 gigawatts by 2070. The usage of coal, especially for power generation, would need to peak by 2040 and drop by 99% between 2040 and 2060.

Further, crude oil consumption across sectors would need to peak by 2050 and fall substantially by 90% between 2050 and 2070. Green hydrogen could contribute 19% of the total energy needs of the industrial sector.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.