[Answered] “Climate change is a serious threat to India’s energy ambitions and requirements.” Comment.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Impact of Climate Change on energy security in the India and solutions.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Global climate change is expected to have severe effects on world energy production and consumption. These effects will impact energy security, as well as economic and social security within India. Adaptation and mitigation measures are required to address some of the challenges on energy systems presented by climate change. The challenge before India is how to meet its energy requirements without compromising the ecology of the country.

Impact of Climate Change on energy security in the India:

  1. Rise in Energy Demand: Climate change has already started influencing energy demand in most sectors.
    • Air conditioning, urbanisation, increased demand for goods etc are among daily life processes that have increased energy demand to cope with increasingly extreme temperature variations. Energy supply will be affected as the global climate is altered.
    • Also, countries are forced to rely more on energy-intensive methods of providing sufficient water supplies. This effect of climate change drives increasing energy demand and elevates costs.
    • Agricultural practices are affected by temperature changes as farmers become more dependent on more energy-intensive methods in order to maintain productivity levels.
    • Higher temperatures decrease the ability of laborers to work healthily in open-air conditions. Hours of operation for some businesses are therefore changing, for example to earlier or later hours in the day. This change in productivity hours may lead to growing overall energy consumption.
  2. Decrease in Energy Supply: Energy supply has been negatively affected by changing weather patterns.
    • As water reservoirs decreases due to lower precipitation and increased evaporation, capacity for electricity production from hydropower and other water-intensive generation technologies may decline. Decreasing water availability can also negatively affect cooling and cleaning systems required for Solar Power, nuclear power, and various other thermal generation technologies.
  3. Impact on energy Infrastructure: The existing energy infrastructure in India is not designed to cope with the effects of climate change and as a result risks of system failures are manifesting themselves through increasing numbers of energy outages.
  4. Impact on the Transportation sector: The existing transportation infrastructure is currently not designed to address the challenges of climate change and is not adequate for meeting the expected increasing needs of its societies. Any future incentives for mitigating climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon pricing, electric vehicles will require major changes in the region’s energy sector.
  5. Impact on the construction sector: Climate change is also resulting in important changes in the housing sector as increasing temperatures, particularly in summer months, are also increasing the demand for air conditioning. In the phase of expanding urbanization, with large numbers of new construction projects, it is tough to meet energy demands.

Some measures to tackle energy challenge:

  1. At the national/state level, it will be important for countries to shift to renewable energy sources in their energy mix in order to reduce demand competition for non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels.
  2. Governments should pay special attention to improving energy infrastructure management and improving planning to cope with the impacts of climate change.
  3. This will also require appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks that incentivise energy efficiency and behavioural change.
  4. Governments will need to encourage small businesses’ activities in the energy sector, for example by enacting policies that support local-level development of renewable energy sources.
  5. Incorporating likely climate change effects into energy forecasts and planning will be critical for all countries and international institutions.
  6. Strengthening cooperation among the public sector, the private sector, and academia would be critical.
  7. Planning and budgeting for the immediate and long-term impacts of climate change should become a priority for the energy sector.

Implementing the above measures and accounting for climate change impacts on the energy sector will continue to be challenging. This transition will take some time. There are various mitigation and adaptation measures that will have to start immediately. The longer the wait, the more pressing the challenges will become for the region, especially for the poorest who have the least ability to adapt.

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