Energy modeling efforts are essential toward providing a comprehensive vision of an economy’s future energy pathways as well as guiding through the construction of alternative sustainable development scenarios. While several very valuable energy modeling efforts already exist for India, most of them are integrated assessment models which use a top-down approach based on aggregate economic variables. In the India DREAM model, we propose to use a bottom-up approach that assesses energy consumption based on technological penetration and usage patterns.
Building on Berkeley Lab's long-term experience working with India collaborators and collecting end-use data for many sectors and sub-sectors, Berkeley Lab is developing a detailed bottom-up Energy End-Use Model for India to evaluate potential future low-emission pathways according to assumptions on technology improvements, lifestyle behavior changes, and policy implementations. The effort will also benefit from the experience of Berkeley Lab's China DREAM model, which has been used to inform and evaluate policy development in China in collaboration with Chinese partners.
The tool will use the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) modeling platform, which is a widely-used software developed at the Stockholm Environment Institute. LEAP has been adopted by thousands of organizations in more than 190 countries.
Background and Pathway Challenges
In its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), India announced a voluntary goal of reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 35% by 2030 from 2005 levels. Achieving this goal will require substantial investments in support of low-carbon technologies and policies that create favorable conditions for low-carbon development. The Paris Agreement further invited countries to develop by 2020 “mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies.” The India DREAM model use data from international emerging technologies and best practices to identify the combination of detailed end-use targets needed to achieve low-carbon strategy and assess the current investment gap to achieve these targets.
A recent paper describes the methodology of developing a bottom up DREAM model for India and shows that India will achieve its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) while achieving substantial economic growth by using its currently planned policies. The study describes in detail the underlying assumptions that are needed by policy makers to inform targeted policy interventions and provide a baseline scenario in the case of no major new technology breakthroughs and no new adopted policies.
Figure showing projected direct and indirect CO2 emissions in India in the baseline scenario, 2015–2050 from fuel combustion
Figure showing CO2 emissions per capita and CO2 emissions per GDP in India in the Baseline Scenario, 2005–2050