India, Stories

Data: India’s Net Import Dependency of Various Energy Commodities Marginally Increases in The Last 10 Years


The latest Energy Statistics 2024 report talks about trends in energy, including the sustainable energy efficiency indicators. While there has been improvement in parameters like energy intensity, supply efficiency, share of electricity generation from renewable sources, India’s import dependency of energy commodities shows marginal increase in the last decade.

Energy is essential for India’s development, enabling access to electricity for those lacking it and improving infrastructure across the nation. India has an energy sector that aligns with global efforts toward cleaner, sustainable energy sources. Ensuring energy security is crucial for sustainable development, and economic indicators help in monitoring this aspect. These indicators focus on patterns of energy use and production, as well as security measures such as imports and strategic fuel stocks. By keeping a close eye on these Sustainable Energy Indicators, policymakers can identify vulnerabilities, evaluate risks, and create strategies to strengthen energy security.

With this context, we look at the trends in energy, including the sustainable energy efficiency indicators, using the latest released Energy Statistics 2024 report.

India on a path of energy efficiency.

Energy plays a pivotal role in driving economic and social progress, yet its consumption profoundly impacts resource availability and environmental well-being. Enhancing energy efficiency and disconnecting economic growth from escalating energy demands emerge as crucial goals for sustainable development.

The ratio of energy use to GDP measures the total energy required to support economic and social activities. It encompasses energy consumption resulting from various production and consumption processes across different sectors of the economy. A decrease in energy intensity relative to GDP suggests improvements in energy efficiency, while an increase may indicate growing energy demands outpacing economic growth.

The data on energy intensity show that there is a decline in the energy consumption per thousand rupees of GDP. The Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) per thousand rupees of GDP declined from 251.4 Mega Joule to 221.5 Mega Joule between 2013-14 and 2022-23, while the Total Final Consumption (TFC) per thousand rupees of GDP fell from 176.8 Mega Joule to 143.7 Mega Joule during the same period. Further, the electricity consumption per thousand rupees of GDP declined from 8.9 kWh to 8.7 kWh. All these indicators point to an improvement in energy efficiency.

Supply efficiency improved over the last decade.

The effectiveness of electricity distribution networks is key for assessing the performance of electricity transmission systems and optimizing energy distribution networks to minimize losses and enhance overall efficiency.  The supply efficiency indicator provides insights into the efficiency of energy infrastructure and processes involved in delivering electricity from power plants to end-users.  However, due to data limitations, the focus is primarily on losses occurring specifically during the transmission of electricity.

While some level of transmission loss is inevitable in any electricity transmission system, minimizing these losses is essential for promoting energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, environmental sustainability, and the reliability of the power supply. The supply efficiency indicator data show that electricity transmission losses show an almost consistent decline. The share of transmission losses concerning production was 21.68% in 2013-14, which further decreased to 17.28% in 2022-23. 

Transport sector becoming more electricity intensive.

Sectoral electricity intensity of major energy-consuming sectors aims to measure how efficiently the technologies are being used in different sectors to improve the efficiency of electricity consumed. The indicator is computed as the ratio of the amount of electricity consumed against a sector to the Gross Value Added of that sector.

The data indicates that the electricity intensity of the industrial and agricultural sectors is almost stagnant with no improvement, while the transport sector saw a rise in the electricity intensity. That is, more electricity is consumed in transport sector without adding any significant gross value of output.

Share of electricity generation from renewable sources almost doubled in last decade.

India’s energy sector stands out as one of the most diverse, boasting a wide array of power generation sources ranging from traditional to innovative non-conventional methods. At the Paris Convention, India pledged to bolster its cumulative installed capacity for non-fossil-fuel-based electricity generation in the national power generation portfolio (PGP) to 40% by 2030. Additionally, it declared to slash emissions intensity by 35% compared to 2005 levels. With ambitious goals in mind, India aims to ramp up its renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022 and further to 275 GW by 2027, signalling a commitment to a sustainable and environmentally conscious future.

The data on this also show a positive growth in renewable energy generation, whose share almost doubled in the last decade. Out of the total electricity generated, the share of thermal fuels stood at 79.8%, while Renewable sources excluding Hydro were at 5.7% during 2013-14. However, there has been a consistent increment in renewable energy generation (excluding hydro), reaching to a decadal high of 11.5% as of 2022-23. Generation from thermal also recorded a decadal low, reaching 77.2% during the same period.

Cumulatively (RE and Hydro included), the share of non-renewable energy resources fell from 85.8% to 79.7%, while renewable energy share grew from 14.2% to 20.3% between 2015-16 and 2022-23.

Import dependency of energy commodities show marginal increase in the last decade.

Energy security, which pertains to the reliable availability of energy to meet demand at affordable prices, is essential for both economic and social sustainability. Interruptions in the energy supply pose systematic risks. There are two types of risks: a quantity risk and a price risk. Both risks are related to the level of a country’s reliance on imported energy commodities. To lower the chance of energy shortages, countries should work on depending less on imports. 

Import dependency is calculated as the ratio between net imports of energy commodities to the total supply of energy commodities. In India, the import dependency situation is unusual. There has been a marginal increase in the import dependency of major energy commodities during the last ten years. The crude oil import dependency grew from 83.3% to 88.9%, while the coal import dependency rose from 24.5% to 25% between 2013-14 and 2022-23. The import dependency on natural gas also rose from 33.5% to 43.3% during the same period.

Such a significant import dependency on energy commodities exposes India to energy supply disruptions.


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