[Report] The Potential for Change in India: How to Achieve Deep Savings in Energy Consumption from Buildings and CO2 Mitigation

A stark challenge faces India. The enormity of the country and pace of the current construction boom mean that India could experience a 700% increase in CO2 emissions and energy consumption in buildings by 2050 (compared to 2005 levels). These levels are unsustainable and threaten India’s energy security. GBPN’s new report “Mitigation Potential from India’s Buildings” offers a rigorous examination of the current political settings relating to energy efficiency in India. The report recommends policy options that are available to the Indian government and all stakeholders to prevent the enormity of the predicted energy growth in India’s building sector from becoming a reality.

India is in the midst of an unprecedented construction boom, with the total floor area expected to increase four-fold by 2050, particularly in urban residential buildings. This will affect overall energy consumption and CO2 emissions and have a considerable impact on energy and climate change policies at national as well as global levels due to the size of India.As this report details, there are a range of actions being taken by the government and practitioners to address these issues yet they are not stringent enough. Rate of urbanization, lack of performance data, and India’s cultural and economic complexity presents a unique set of challenges.

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This new report examines India’s potential for mitigation based on three scenarios developed for GBPN’s examination of global mitigation potential by the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP) of the Central European University as part of a May 2012 study commissioned by the GBPN (link). The analysis shows that by adopting an ambitious approach, the increase of building energy use in India could be limited to 200% and the savings potential is more than 5 times greater than the energy used by buildings in India today.

The GBPN calls for ambitious efforts to introduce state-of-the-art policies and technology to India so that the potential energy savings will not be missed. It underlines that India’s building sector must be supported by programs and packages suited to its climate that include multiple facets of development and up scaling of energy efficiency in both new and existing buildings. Successful implementation of optimum energy codes can provide India with comfort levels, energy security and C02 savings. Financial incentives should back up codes and labelling systems as part of an energy-efficiency package. A large-scale market uptake of best practice, state-of-the-art policies and supporting packages are essential if India wants to secure its future energy needs, concludes the report.

Mitigation Potential from India’s Buildings
Technical Report, GBPN, February 2013.

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