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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Residential and Transport Energy Use in India: Past Trend and Future Outlook


The main contribution of this report is to characterize the underlying residential and transport sector end use energy consumption in India. Each sector was analyzed in detail. End-use sector-level information regarding adoption of particular technologies was used as a key input in a bottom-up modeling approach. The report looks at energy used over the period 1990 to 2005 and develops a baseline scenario to 2020. Moreover, the intent of this report is also to highlight available sources of data in India for the residential and transport sectors. The analysis as performed in this way reveals several interesting features of energy use in India. In the residential sector, an analysis of patterns of energy use and particular end uses shows that biomass (wood), which has traditionally been the main source of primary energy used in households, will stabilize in absolute terms. Meanwhile, due to the forces of urbanization and increased use of commercial fuels, the relative significance of biomass will be greatly diminished by 2020. At the same time, per household residential electricity consumption will likely quadruple in the 20 years between 2000 and 2020. In fact, primary electricity use will increase more rapidly than any other major fuel -- even more than oil, in spite of the fact that transport is the most rapidly growing sector. The growth in electricity demand implies that chronic outages are to be expected unless drastic improvements are made both to the efficiency of the power infrastructure and to electric end uses and industrial processes. In the transport sector, the rapid growth in personal vehicle sales indicates strong energy growth in that area. Energy use by cars is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 11percent, increasing demand for oil considerably. In addition, oil consumption used for freight transport will also continue to increase .

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