Carbon dioxide emissions
Image for representational purpose only. Courtesy: Fortune

World Experiencing Colossal Shift In Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The largest source for the increase in demand for electricity in India is from air conditioners. We have 50 per cent more efficient air conditioners than those available in 2007

September 16, 2020

The world is experiencing a colossal shift in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions indicated two global reports.

"The global CO2 emissions may have already peaked in 2019," indicated the BP Energy Outlook 2020 released on September 14.

"It is, however, likely to decline from here on. However, it depends on how countries build back after COVID-19," the report added.

The report further stated that there has been a declining role of fossil fuels, offset ?by an increasing share of renewable energy.

Another report was released on September 16 by the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC)- a coalition of energy-producing companies, environmental NGOs, banks, et cetera.

Titled Making Mission Possible, the report stated that developed countries could reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and developing countries like India could do so by 2060 with large scale changes in energy use.

Interacting with news agency Hindustan Times, Director-General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Ajay Mathur said, "It is possible that the global carbon dioxide emissions have already peaked in 2019."

On being asked as to from where will the money come from for the transition to net-zero emission economy, Mathur said, " The developing countries are growing and they are going to invest in new capital because of growing demand and also to replace existing capital stock as it finishes its life."

"Invested in renewable energy in India right now, investments will happen because investors see money coming back with a profit," he added.

On being asked if the pandemic contributed to an earlier peaking, he said, "We saw a peak for energy demand in February or March this year which was less than energy demand last year."

"How the recovery now occurs is anybody’s guess. It’s too early to say," he said.

"There are many people who think the way I do who are investing in renewable energy but it’s very difficult to forecast," he added.

Speaking further and explaining about achieving net-zero emissions by 2060, the TERI Director-General said that buying the most energy-efficient air conditioner by a common man is the first step towards achieving it.

"The largest source for the increase in demand for electricity in India is from air conditioners. We have 50 per cent more efficient air conditioners than those available in 2007," he said.

He further asked people to opt for rooftop solar, if they have the option to do so.

"It makes economic sense," he said.

"Use electric two-wheelers, they make sense in urban areas. Even electric cars and taxis make sense but this will depend on the building of charging stations," Mathur added.

He further said that industries should opt for electricity or hydrogen rather than coal while speaking about ways and things to do for achieving net-zero emissions by 2060.

Speaking further he said, "Steel is looking at tripling capacity in the next 15 years in India."

"We mix coke and iron ore to make steel. Can we use something else instead? Our report talks about using hydrogen," he added.

"A company in Sweden is trying hydrogen technology. We need scale to grow and prices to decline," the TERI director-general further said.

"This is the kind of picture we see till 2060 which will help the world to move toward zero-carbon dioxide emission," he added.

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