February 27, 2024

Decoding India’s Net Zero Roadmap: Dr. V K Saraswat’s Expert Perspectives

Decoding India's Net Zero Roadmap: Dr. V K Saraswat's Expert PerspectivesThe Lovraj Kumar Memorial Trust recently hosted a lecture in New Delhi on ‘Accelerating Net Zero Transition with Project Management.’ Dr. V K Saraswat, Member of Niti Ayog, delivered a compelling talk on the challenges and strategies involved in achieving Net Zero carbon emissions in India.

Mr. Shyam Bang, the Trust’s Secretary, welcomed delegates and highlighted the commitment of various nations, including India, to achieve Net Zero amidst economic growth. Former Cabinet Secretary, Mr. B K Chaturved, presided over the function, emphasizing the significance of this ambitious goal.

Dr. Saraswat addressed the consequences of increased carbon dioxide concentrations due to industrialization, leading to global warming and erratic climate conditions. The imperative to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by achieving Net Zero is a shared global commitment. Developed nations target Net Zero by 2050, while India has set its goal for 2070.

The primary culprit for carbon emissions is the use of fossil fuels, necessitating a shift towards alternative technologies. India aims to increase non-fossil fuel-based capacity to 50% of total power capacity by 2030, with commendable progress already achieved. This includes a focus on renewable energy sources like wind and solar, requiring advancements in energy storage.

To reduce dependence on imported Li-ion batteries, research is ongoing for alternative technologies like sodium and aluminium-based systems. Hydrogen and pumped water storage are also under consideration, with substantial investments required, especially for large-scale electrolyser production to lower hydrogen production costs.

Recognizing nuclear energy as a clean option, plans are underway to invest in small modular reactors (SMRs) requiring less land. Dr. Saraswat underscored the need for multiple initiatives, including technological enhancements in coal-based power plants, improved energy efficiency in industries, and the promotion of carbon capture and utilization.

The journey towards Net Zero by 2070 demands a multi-pronged approach, combining technological advancements, robust policy frameworks, and significant investments. Pilot projects are already in progress, and as clarity on technologies emerges in the coming years, a strong policy foundation remains pivotal for realizing the ambitious Net Zero target.

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