Two low-carbon scenarios are considered in this study – the first with no specific technology limitations, and the second with a number of restrictions, the most important being that no carbon capture and storage (CCS) is allowed to be deployed, gas imports are limited, and biomass usage in the power sector is also restricted. These adjustments reflect the views of a number of reviewers of the first low-carbon scenario on India’s possible technology and energy preferences.
In spite of the restrictions placed on the second low-carbon scenario, both scenarios are constrained to achieve an emissions level of about 2.4 GtCO2 per year in India by 2050 (equivalent to 1.3 tCO2 per capita, which is also the level achieved in other world regions in the model runs), as compared to a reference scenario which reaches almost 8 GtCO2 by 2050. Both do this through significantly decarbonising the Indian electricity sector through the use of renewable, nuclear and where permitted CCS, including with biomass to result in negative emissions levels (i.e. net capture of emissions from the atmosphere). With no CCS allowed, the second low-carbon scenario does not decarbonise the power sector to the same degree as the first, and as a result further decarbonisation options such as electric vehicles in the transport sector and increased biomass usage in the industry sector are taken up in this scenario.
The scenarios achieve this decarbonisation at a cost of around $200-400 billion (US 2005 dollars) per year by 2050, which is equivalent to about 1.2-2.4% of India’s projected 2050 GDP in this study.