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Renewable energy and land use in India by mid-century

September 03, 2021
Charles Worringham

Key Findings

Whether or not India commits to a formal mid-century net-zero emissions goal this year, it will continue adding very substantial solar and wind generation capacity over the next three decades.

Part of this capacity will replace thermal generation, but some will be required to meet population and economic growth.

Executive Summary

This report considers the land-use implications of India’s unfolding energy transition and the important choices about where these resources should be located. It reviews current land-use studies and then outlines likely future requirements based on the mid-century scenarios presented in recent reports, including those published by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Shell, and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Analysis of these reports shows that some have exaggerated land-use requirements while other projections under-estimate them. Uncertainties in future electricity demand accounts for most of the variation in estimated land use.

Charles Worringham

Researcher Dr Charles Worringham is closely tracking India's energy transition and is a guest contributor with IEEFA. Formerly an academic at QUT in Brisbane and the University of Michigan working on movement disorders and movement neuroscience, Dr Worringham taught multiple courses including research methods and statistics, and supervised several PhD students.

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