The Energy Demand and Supply Throughout India

Recent industry studies have highlighted that India is predicted to become one of the fastest-growing economies over the next decade. [1] Although this is excellent news from a purely fiscal perspective, such tremendous growth is not without its challenges. One key concern involves energy demand and supply; particularly what steps the nation will need to take in order to provide a reliable (and affordable) source of power to its populace.

How can such a challenging concept be addressed? Tackling this issue will involve evaluating several variables. First, why is the demand for energy throughout India increasing at a frenetic pace? How does the availability of sustainable energy sources come into play? Is India capable of capitalising upon the growing market for clean energy? Let's analyse these and similar issues in more detail.

An Overview of the Energy Demand and Supply Within India

Although the demand for energy throughout India is roughly one-third of that associated with Asia, consumption figures have nonetheless grown rapidly. For example, the demand for reliable power grew by no less than seven per cent in 2021 and 2022. One of the problems here is that the nation still relies heavily upon traditional fuel sources. These include [2]:

  • Coal (46 per cent)
  • Oil (24 per cent)
  • Biomass (20 per cent)
  • Natural gas (5 per cent)
  • Renewable resources such as wind, hydroelectric and solar power (4 per cent)

Simply stated, the Indian energy sector is still primarily associated with fossil fuel consumption. The government has yet to adopt regenerative energy alternatives on a large scale. This leads to real questions in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the ability to lower its carbon footprint.

Why is the Demand Increasing?

Energy demand and supply has always represented a fundamental ratio when determining the economic growth of any region. Similar to other developing nations, India is currently undergoing a massive amount of urbanisation as cities continue to expand their footprints. When coupled with a burgeoning industrial sector, it is clear to appreciate why alternative energy sources are already being considered.

Furthermore, increased globalisation dictates that India has received a fair amount of foreign investment. Businesses continue to choose this region for their headquarters and therefore, the demand for power should increase even further. To put these observations into perspective, consider two statistics [3]:

  • Approximately 270 million Indians are predicted to migrate into major cities over the next 20 years.
  • During this same time period, India's total fossil fuel consumption is set to triple.

It is clear that novel solutions are required in order to sustain such a massive economy.

The Problems with Traditional Energy Production

It is a well-known fact that fossil fuels have a detrimental effect upon the environment. Another important point to mention is that a imbalanced reliance upon resources such as coal and oil may present problems as these very same materials become scarcer in the future. Additional concerns such as high import tariffs could likewise make it difficult for the average Indian consumer to compete with rising energy costs.

Yet another facet of this equation involves outdated infrastructure. This is why emergency power cuts are not at all uncommon. As these systems continue to age, the ability to provide reliable sources of blackout power supplies is likely to become even more complicated. [4] A conversion to natural energy represents what some have called the only practical solution.

The Challenges Behind Regenerative Energy

India is well aware of the problems that it is currently facing. Having said this, transitioning from fossil fuels to alternatives such as converting solar energy to hydrogen power is far from straightforward. We are not only referring to logistics such as implementation in this case. Many domestic businesses may hesitant to embrace these methods if they are not proven to be economically viable.

Investment likewise plays an important role. The chances are high that India will rely upon importing the technology from abroad (regions such as Asia and Europe). This could further increase overall costs while simultaneously deterring consumers from switching to alternative sources.

A Question of Pragmatism as Opposed to Idealism

In a perfect world, India would simply be able to "flick a switch" and immediately transition to unique forms of power such as hydrogen fuel cell technology. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. The fact of the matter is that adoption and wide-scale implementation will take a significant amount of time. This is also the reason why India is likely to employ coal as its main source of power well into the foreseeable future.

Still, the practical advantages of sustainable energy cannot be overstated. Here are a handful of the most notable aspects [5]:

  • Reduced carbon emissions.
  • Renewable energy may be cheaper from a long-term perspective.
  • India can reduce its current level of energy dependence.
  • Renewable resources are inexhaustible.
  • Clean and green energy can create many jobs.

The associated political windfalls could very well be just as profound. India continues to exert its presence upon the world stage. Appearing as an international leader partially dictates that the government is aware of climate change and making efforts to avert the long-term consequences. There is little doubt that these very same observations have not been lost on regional and national leaders.

Time and Effort

Whether referring to hydrogen-powered public transportation or the use of DMFC fuel cells as backup sources of energy, this technology is not far beyond the horizon. India nonetheless must cope with several real-world challenges if it hopes to adopt a greener approach to domestic energy demand and supply. The good news is that third-party suppliers such as SFC with their EFOY Fuel Cells have already been used to offset the very same stumbling blocks highlighted above.

Are you curious to learn about how we are leading the way in regard to sustainable energy solutions? If so, please take a closer look at the products found throughout our website. Do not hesitate to speak with one of our representatives if you have additional questions.


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