Industry is the core of a clean economy. It is responsible for producing technologies like renewable electricity generation facilities, clean vehicles, and energy-efficient buildings. The decarbonisation of industry holds immense promise for India to fight climate change. The industry sector is the second highest contributor to GHG emissions after the energy sector. It accounts for around 20 per cent of India’s total GHG emissions and consumes a significant amount of electricity. It consists of both large industrial units as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Some MSME sub-sectors are highly energy and resource intensive and emit a high quantum of pollution and carbon emissions.
With rapid urbanisation and rising income levels, industry will continue to be an economic powerhouse as manufactured materials and goods are integral to our daily lives. India’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atma Nirbhar’ vision is set to boost domestic manufacturing and enhance self-reliance. Moreover, it is estimated that most of the demand for industrial products in the future will be met by as-yet commissioned industrial units.
All of these developments have significant implications for India’s energy trajectory and GHG emissions. India’s industrial sector must align future plans with the country’s climate and development goals. Inevitably, this will have tangible impacts on job and industrial competitiveness. It is important for India to plan and undertake practical actions to implement industrial decarbonisation and drive the transformational changes that are essential for net zero emissions.
Indian industry has made significant progress in decreasing energy emissions. But to achieve long-term sustainable development as well as net zero, more fundamental changes are needed. The pathway to the adoption of transformative techno-commercially technologies compatible to achieve zero industrial emissions is not fully clear. Many of these technologies have their own set of challenges such as high investment costs, unproven status and lack of access, which are major barriers for their scale up and replication, making them financially and commercially unviable at present.
Clear policy signals are needed for the ecosystem to support low-carbon transitions and eventual industry decarbonisation. For hard to abate sectors like steel and cement, decarbonisation can be a difficult, costly and slow process, with several technological barriers making this even more challenging. MSME stakeholders lack access to advanced energy and resource efficiency options. Further, low-carbon technologies are capital intensive and require large investment volumes.
Shakti’s industrial decarbonisation program works towards reducing GHG emission from the industry sector to align with India’s net zero goal. The program is structured around strategies pursued in coordination with industry, policy makers, and other key stakeholders: