Delhi could transition to almost 100% renewable energy by 2050: study

January 3, 2023

Renewable Energy
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A recently published article in the journalmakes a case forto transition away from fossil fuels by as early as 2050.In a first-of-its-kind research, the study speaks to the technical feasibility and economic viability of 100 per cent renewable energy systems for a global megacity like Delhi within the northern Indian grid region.According to the study, batteries, prosumers and utility scale solar meet most of the demand in Delhi by 2050 as fossil fuels are phased out by then. The energy system taken into consideration includes the power, heat, transport and desalination sectors.Given Delhi's limitations in terms of land availability, it continues to get its power from the northern region, which comprises eight states. It is expected that these states -- Jammu and Kashmir (including Ladakh), Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are interconnected with optimised transmission networks.Delhi's power demands shot up to over 7GW in July 2022. Further it is expected that the demand will go up from 2,000 TWh in 2030 to around 4.400 TWh by 2050. The adjoining states emerge as new exporters of low-cost renewable electricity which can economically boost the states and also create much needed jobs.A recent announcement by theindicated that starting January 1, no coal will be permitted for use in 2023 although this does not cover thermal power plants. This was mainly with the intention to curb air pollution.The Delhi government also recently announced its intention to become the rooftop capital for the country by 2030 and achieve 50 per cent solar rooftops towards this."While this is encouraging and in the right direction, our study shows that the government needs to be more ambitious given the potential and the co-benefits in terms of reduced costs, GHG emissions, reduced air pollution that the capital has been grappling with for over a decade and a higher number of jobs. This is the time for transformative change and Delhi has the opportunity to drive the energy transition across North India," said Manish Ram, one of the authors of the study.Previous studies have considered urban energy systems for megacities such as Beijing, Vancouver, Cape Town, and Helsinki but remain limited in the details.Urbanisation has been on the rise and it is expected that half the world's population will reside in cities by 2050.According to UN Habitat, cities consume 78 per cent of the world's energy and produce more than 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions."Cities are already facing the heat of locked-in climate impacts, faced with an increased urban growth and resource challenge, cities would need to be at the forefront of accelerated climate action. Data-driven climate action plans provide a strategic basis for cities to develop roadmaps to holistically mainstream climate action in long-term economic and urban planning," said Shruti Narayan, Regional Director, C40.

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

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