NEW DELHI: Energy efficiency programmes have saved costs worth more than Rs 50,000 crore and led to a reduction of about 11 crore tonnes of CO2 emission so far, suggests Economic Survey 2019.
It said India will need to increase energy consumption by at least 2.5 times to increase its real per capita GDP to $5,000. Countries with per capita GDP of $5000 or above comprised the upper middle-income group.
At present, Indias energy consumption stands at one-third of the global average, even though it is the second most populous country in the world. Economists noted that there is a positive relationship between Human Development Index (HDI) and per capita energy consumption.
At low levels of energy consumption, any rise in per capita energy consumption leads to considerable increase in human development.
The Economic Survey said India has to reach an HDI level of 0.8, which is deemed a high level of human development. To achieve that mark, India has to quadruple per capita energy consumption, the survey estimated. The country had a per capita energy consumption of 24 Gigajoules and HDI of 0.64 in 2017, pegging it at medium level human development.
The survey suggested a wide disparity between urban and rural areas in access to energy. “A large proportion of the population, especially in rural areas, relies on non-commercial biomass such as firewood and dung cakes for cooking/heating needs, thereby exacerbating health concerns due to poor indoor air quality,” it said.
That said, the government has been making conscious efforts to make clean cooking fuel available to households. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna was launched in 2016 with the aim to safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with clean cooking fuel.