As one of the critical components of infrastructure, energy is essential for economic growth. India has a diverse power sector ranging from conventional sources like coal, natural gas, oil, hydro and nuclear energy, to unconventional sources including wind, solar, and bio-waste. The demand for electricity has increased significantly through the years and is only expected to grow. With the promise to bring electricity to every home in the country, the government continues to accelerate capacity addition in the country. India is third in the world for primary energy consumption after China and the United States, consuming about six percent of the global primary energy.
Coal is India's primary energy source
While India is still highly dependent on coal, in the nuclear segment, the country currently has 23 power reactors, with plans of almost doubling by 2030. It is the fifth largest source of power in the country, as Indians working in the field continue making advances to fulfill the three-stage nuclear power program to secure India’s long-term energy dependence.
Apart from coal and crude oil as main sources of energy, Indians use LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gas domestically for cooking. Most of this is imported and subsidized to reach the poorest households. Dry dung, dry manure or dung cakes made from animal feces is another common source of fuel across rural parts of the country. One dung cake or Chulha averages a little over 2,000 kJ of energy. These are hand-molded by village women and traditionally used in earthen ovens. Its wide usage is attributed to easily availability, low cost, safe disposal of animal dung and is locally sourced. Another method of using animal waste for fuel is via biogas or gobar gas plants. Maharashtra had the highest number of biogas plants, followed by Karnataka.
India's efforts towards clean energy
With the climate agreements of Copenhagen and Paris, Indians are on the road to increased investments and clean energy installations. With a target of 100GW of solar capacity by 2022, the country has seen a significant ramp up over the last decade, with central and state governments auctioning tenders to build large-scale solar projects. Rooftop solar capacities have not warmed the market as quickly because of the high purchase cost.
Although India ranked first on BloombergNEF’s Climatescope list in 2021, the country needs a radical change in transportation policy to reduce its dependency on oil. The constant tug-of-war with crude oil prices in addition to traffic gridlocks being the bane of the average Indian commuter begs for replacement of the conventional vehicles to electric ones. While the Indian energy sector is predominantly dependent on coal, with the country’s current ambitious targets for renewable energy, its dependence could see a shift.
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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "Energy sector in India".