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Low carbon and clean energy scenarios for India: Analysis of targets approach


  • Shukla, Priyadarshi R.
  • Chaturvedi, Vaibhav


Low carbon energy technologies are of increasing importance to India for reducing emissions and diversifying its energy supply mix. Using GCAM, an integrated assessment model, this paper analyzes a targets approach for pushing solar, wind, and nuclear technologies in the Indian electricity generation sector from 2005 to 2095. Targets for these technologies have been constructed on the basis of Indian government documents, policy announcements, and expert opinions. Different targets have been set for the reference scenario and the carbon price scenario. In the reference scenario, wind and nuclear technologies exceed respective targets in the long run without any subsidy push, while solar energy requires subsidy push throughout the century in order to meet its high targets. In the short run, nuclear energy also requires significant subsidy, including a much higher initial subsidy relative to solar power, which is a result of its higher targets. Under a carbon price scenario, the carbon price drives the penetration of these technologies. Still, subsidy is required — especially in the short run when the carbon price is low. We also found that pushing solar, wind, and nuclear technologies leads to a decrease in share of CCS under the carbon price scenario and biomass under both the reference and carbon price scenarios. This is because low carbon technologies compete among themselves and substitute each other, thereby enhancing the need for subsidy or carbon price, highlighting that proposed targets are not set at efficient levels. In light of contemporary debate on external costs of nuclear energy, we also assess the sensitivity of the results to nuclear technology cost. We find that higher cost significantly decreases the share of nuclear power under both the reference and carbon price scenarios.

Suggested Citation

  • Shukla, Priyadarshi R. & Chaturvedi, Vaibhav, 2012. "Low carbon and clean energy scenarios for India: Analysis of targets approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S3), pages 487-495.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:s3:p:s487-s495
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2012.05.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. P. R. Shukla & Subash Dhar & Diptiranjan Mahapatra, 2008. "Low-carbon society scenarios for India," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(sup1), pages 156-176, December.
    2. Clarke, John F. & Edmonds, J. A., 1993. "Modelling energy technologies in a competitive market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 123-129, April.
    3. Ahearne, John F., 2011. "Prospects for nuclear energy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 572-580, July.
    4. Edmonds, Jae & Reilly, John, 1983. "A long-term global energy- economic model of carbon dioxide release from fossil fuel use," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 74-88, April.
    5. Nair Rajesh & P.R. Shukla & Manmohan Kapshe & Amit Garg & Ashish Rana, 2003. "Analysis of Long-term Energy and Carbon Emission Scenarios for India," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 53-69, March.
    6. Kolhe, Mohanlal & Kolhe, Sunita & Joshi, J. C., 2002. "Economic viability of stand-alone solar photovoltaic system in comparison with diesel-powered system for India," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 155-165, March.
    7. P. Shukla & Ashish Rana & Amit Garg & Manmohan Kapshe & Rajesh Nair, 2006. "Global climate change stabilization regimes and Indian emission scenarios: Lessons for modeling of developing country transitions," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 7(3), pages 205-231, September.
    8. Uwe Remme & Nathalie Trudeau & Dagmar Graczyk & Peter Taylor, 2011. "Technology Development Prospects for the Indian Power Sector," IEA Energy Papers 2011/4, OECD Publishing.
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    More about this item


    Low carbon energy; Electricity generation targets; National policies; Emission mitigation; Scenario modeling;

    JEL classification:

    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy


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