Energy Innovation and System Transition in India: What Do Models Tell Us?

India stands at a critical juncture in its journey to meet its 2070 net zero ambition. Despite the country’s renewable energy capacity having quadrupled over the last decade, fossil fuels still comprise over 80% of India’s primary energy supply. Meeting India’s increasing energy demand while phasing down fossil fuels will mean more than just scaling up renewable energy. It will require deploying energy storage in the power system, exploring the potential of green hydrogen production, and considering the supplementary role of low-carbon technologies like nuclear and natural gas, all while accounting for associated technology lock-ins. A systematic assessment of risks and opportunities associated with policy choices is key for the effective utilisation of available financial and infrastructural resources.

This report aims (i) to provide the specific context of the energy transition in India, including previous successes and lessons learned, and the potential challenges it faces both in economic development and decarbonisation; (ii) to introduce the Risk Opportunity Analysis (ROA) approach to the policy context in India, which represents the flagship policy appraisal fundamental of the EEIST programme, and (iii) to present results from a modelling comparison exercise with both simulating and optimising models to explain the key differences and complementarities between existing and new modelling approaches through model-specific information and data.