Significant progress has been made globally in adopting green energy. Technological advances, easier availability of capital and regulatory measures have helped. But progress is likely to slow due to the shocks caused by Covid-19 and the Ukraine crisis. How to continue the green transition whilst ensuring that lower-income countries have access to affordable energy? This Task Force offers recommendations for India’s G20 Presidency.
Renewable energy systems on their own will not be successful in achieving the net-zero targets. New technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) also need to be used, especially in hard-to-decarbonize industries like petroleum, steel and cement. India can use its upcoming G20 Presidency to initiate an informed discussion on CCUS technologies.
The global energy market has been disrupted since the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Energy security is now a core concern for most countries and offers the chance to fix the structural problems in the energy generation sector. The interaction between energy security and environmental policies must be reassessed so policies can be consistent for the long term. Gateway House’s Saeeduddin Faridi speaks to Robin Mills, energy expert and CEO of Qamar Energy, about the state of energy markets.
Russia, the founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), has been hit by Western sanctions on its energy exports and financial system. Still, Ivan Timofeev, Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council, sees new opportunities to be seized. Deepening India-Russia business engagement is one, and the SCO as a constructive and accommodating force is another. K.A. Dhananjay from Gateway House spoke to Timofeev who visited Mumbai recently.
Sanctions against Russian energy, high cost fuel, heat waves and droughts all at once have raised the price of daily energy use to unprecedented levels and plunged large parts of the world into darkness.
The supply of critical minerals, crucial for new and emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, electronics and renewable energy production, faces a significant disruption due to Covid and the Ukraine crisis. As the prices of these valuable resources surge, India can secure its supplies through the sagacious use of financial investments, efficient policies, and propriety technology. A collaboration with Japan can offer multifaceted benefits.
City-level climate action is gaining pace in India. This is crucial, given the country’s climate vulnerabilities and growing carbon footprint. Its success depends on mobilisation of climate finance, targeted devolution of central resources, inter-agency data-sharing and of course, public participation.
The warning signs were visible long before the Ukraine conflict. Years of insufficient investment into oil and gas production resulted in high price, and shortages. With investors keeping away from traditional fuels, the conflict in Ukraine precipitated the inevitable. Energy-dependent India must now insulate its supply chains.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has increased global oil prices and highlighted India's vulnerability to price shocks. Green hydrogen is a viable alternative for India to diversify its energy sources and maintain energy security. It will need a concerted effort by government, private companies and start-ups with venture funds focused on green hydrogen.
India and France have been actively working together to solve various sustainability issues from renewable energy generation to the blue economy and biodiversity conservation. There is so much more to do bilaterally with climate finance and urban sustainability, and multilaterally with the G20. All the ingredients are in place for a robust climate partnership.