India – an Energy Snapshot

India faces a significant challenge to transition to a low carbon energy future. The world’s second most populous country and sixth largest economy is still dependent on fossil fuels for more than 88% of its primary energy needs. India is projected to become the world’s most populous country in 2023 and its energy consumption is forecast to nearly double by 2040.  The steep growth curve reflects a continued rise in energy needs per capita as wealth grows with development. Currently, India’s per capita energy needs are less than one third of the global average.

The country has the world’s fifth largest reserves of coal which continues to dominate the country’s primary energy mix (51%), mainly used for power generation. Oil provides about 30% of the mix, mostly imported and used principally for transport and industry. Natural gas at nearly 8% is primarily used for power generation and by industry. Half the gas volumes come from rapidly growing imports of LNG and the rest from domestic production. Biomass is used for residential heating and cooking in villages.


India used the occasion of COP 26 in 2021 to publicly step up its climate ambition, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing a Five Point Action Plan that went beyond the country’s existing National Energy Plan (NEP). He announced India would achieve net zero emissions by 2070 and set four goals to be met by 2030:

  • Half its energy requirements would be met by renewable energy – subsequently clarified by an updated National Determined Contribution (NDC) published in August 2022 that outlined a goal for “about 50 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.”
  • Cut carbon intensity to less than 45% of 2005. Previous commitments from 2015 under the Paris Agreement were for a 33-35% reduction over the same period.
  • Cut another 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions from the current total projected emissions by 2030. This was not contained in the updated NDC.
  • Increase its non-fossil capacity to 500 GW by 2030, a 50GW increase on the previous target of 450GW. Likewise, this was not contained in the updated NDC.

The new NDC did, however, state an ambition to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

“Similar to China, India faces a significant task to reach net zero by its planned timeframe of 2070. If India is to achieve this, natural gas will have a critical part to play in energy transition. It’s encouraging to see the role of gas identified in documents published by the Indian government over the past year.”

Paul Everingham – ANGEA CEO

India’s energy, in brief

  • Net zero target by 2070
  • Fossil fuels provide 88% of energy
  • Gradual coal phaseout planned
  • Gas a key to energy transition

India’s Long-term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS) document – published as part of COP 27 – provides further insights into the country’s future energy mix and decarbonisation plans. It points towards a gradual reduction in use of coal, a three-fold increase in nuclear power by 2032 and the potential of green hydrogen as a long-term alternative, while emphasising the value of natural gas as a transition fuel and referencing co-firing opportunities for both ammonia and hydrogen in Indian power generation.

The LT-LEDS document also reinforced India’s ambition to increase the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix to 15% by 2030 at it moves towards a lower-carbon future. That transition will involve a critical role for gas in powering industry and continued progress in the Indian Government’s aim to have piped gas in 75% of households over the next few years.

India’s existing National Energy Policy announced in 2017 had been regarded as thorough, although critics suggested it did not adequately acknowledge implementation challenges and other risk and had overly optimistic objectives without a clear roadmap for delivery. It will require updating in light of the myriad of energy and climate-related policy announcements in the five years since it was published.

ANGEA is an industry association representing LNG and natural gas producers, energy buyers, suppliers and companies in APAC. Based in Singapore, it works in partnership with governments and societies across the region to deliver reliable and secure energy solutions that achieve national economic, energy security, social and environmental objectives and meet global climate goals.

Main phot by Sergio Capuzzimati on Unsplash