Prolonged Pandemic could slow down India’s energy demand growth : IEA

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Biznextindia : With India is yet to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that a prolonged pandemic could impact India’s energy demand growth and could even force lower-income households back on using polluting sources of energy.

While, prior to the pandemic, India’s energy demand growth was estimated to grow by 50%, it could half in the delayed recovery scenario, IEA said.

“Prior to the global pandemic, India’s energy demand was projected to increase by almost 50% between 2019 and 2030, but growth over this period is now closer to 35% in the STEPS (assessment based on current policy scenario and the pandemic is contained in 2021) and 25% in the Delayed Recovery Scenario” said IEA in its India Energy Outlook report 2021.

The Agency has also warned that if the recovery is further delayed (in the event that the pandemic is more prolonged), it could push lower-income households back to more polluting and inefficient sources of energy.
“The latter would put some of India’s hard‐won gains in the fight against energy poverty at risk, as lower‐income households are forced to fall back on more polluting and inefficient sources of energy. It would also extend the slump in energy investment, which we estimate to have fallen by some 15% in India in 2020. Even though the pandemic and its aftermath could temporarily suppress emissions, as coal and oil bear the brunt of the reduction in demand, it does not move India any closer to its long‐term sustainable development goal” the report read.

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