The guiding principle of the India Energy Security Scenarios, 2047 (IESS, 2047) is energy security, viewed as reduced import dependency for India in the years between now and 2047. The IESS, 2047 generates information as to what percentage of the total primary energy supply (as per the pathway chosen by the user), will be met by imports. Hence, while the tool segregates the demand for energy by sectors, and the supply numbers by sources, it also generates energy import numbers by source, and aggregates the same to offer total energy imports under different scenarios. As the scenarios generated for different sectors are linear (either rising or falling, as the case may be), the graphic representation of the data sets is simple and easily understandable even by non-energy experts. A detailed examination of the tool will reveal how changes in choices of energy demand and supply, yielding different levels of energy import, can help a planner to decide the sector(s), in which interventions can be more effective to meet the desired policy objectives.
HOW TO GENERATE IMPORT DEPENDENCY DATA ?
Once the user chooses his pathway , he/she can witness the effect of the same on the percentage import dependence of the country in the third graph on the homepage of the webtool, both in terms of total import dependence and segregation by fuel imports.
The user can also go to the energy security section of the webtool to delve deeper into the energy security implications of his chosen pathway. The IESS, 2047, enables the user to see the impact his choices make on the percentage of fossil fuel imported in the country, the subsequent impact on India’s import bill and a comparison in terms of absolute numbers between India’s domestic and imported fuel proportion.
HOW TO USE THE IMPORT DEPENDENCY FUNCTION ?
Having seen how the IESS, 2047 works in providing import related information, we need to understand the algorithm in the Calculator. Once the user has created the demand for energy (specified fuels and electricity) by opting different choices in the demand sectors, he is then required to choose the supply pathways. Here, the role of energy balancing comes in (see the write-up on Balancing). The volume of fossil fuel imports is dependent on the levels of production of domestic sources of energy and electricity, compared to demand. The algorithm in the IESS, 2047 automatically does the gap filling by imports. Hence, the user has to calibrate either the demand (by lowering the demand of the sector dependent on imported fuel – through technology/behaviour change), or ramp up doemstic production. He could also shift the supply mix – produce more electricity from RE rather than fossil fuels. Hence, the dynamic results/impact of user choices, depicted on the import dependency graphs are very handy in guiding the user to influence his energy pathway to improve import dependency scenario.
‘POP UP’ ON OVER GENERATION/EXPORTS
If the user has inadvertantly/consciously opted for higher levels of energy supply (as compared to the demand), the Calculator will generate the surplus energy volume and indicate the same on the screen in the webtool. In this case, there might be a situation of India importing fuel, and also exporting it either as primary energy (coal or gas etc) or electricity at the same time. The calculator does not predict the user preference and adjust the export of energy with imports on its own. It will, however, let the user know of this anomalous situation, and expect a calibration of the energy pathway choices to minimise generation of electricty, or change the fuel mix in favour of domestic sources (ramp up domestic production of fossil fuels/RE). He could also reduce demand in those sectors which are dependent on imported fuels. The Sankeye is the best place to view the above situation, as it also gives the exact numbers both on the demand and supply sides, for easy calibration. Hence, in the energy security fearure of the IESS, 2047 the user may have to interpret the import dependence graph in the light of the export situation which may have developed simultaneously. It may, however, be added that as the south Asian electricity grid matures, there may be a situation of India having a large electricity export market, or even using inter-connectors to balance the grid, as is seen in Europe.
WHAT VALUE DOES THIS FEATURE ADD ?
As mentioned earlier, the Tool provides energy consumption data by fuel and electricity. The user gets to choose how is the electricity supplied – which source. Therefore, the IESS, 2047 is unique in providing information on energy security in the overall context of all supply sources. In India, while we do get individual fuel wise import dependence data, but seldom on an overall basis. This Tool informs the user of the likely contribution of different fuels in the overall imports – one can see the role of coal, petroleum and gas individually, as well as on the overall basis. Secondly, the future scenarios of energy import bill is another value – add of this Tool, which is derived using IEA estimates of future prices (until 2035 and extrapolated thereafter). This graphic representation of individual fuel import bill as well as the total bill, also helps one to compare the price trade-off of different fuels (crude has larger share of import bill than its primary energy supply). The varying prices of fuels in the long term as per the estimates, (gas is expected by some to get cheaper as compared to oil) helps the user to see which fuel is likely to be more onerous on the country’s FE bill. Thirdly, the Tool can also inform the user of the impact of demand choices on the energy security. Hence, for the first time for India, we can evaluate the impact of shifts in passenger/freight transport pattern or in cooking sectors, on energy import bill. Finally, this feature juxtaposes energy efficiency and renewable energy on one framework, for the user to evaluate the impact of policies on the former (the demand side choices are more around technology), vis-à-vis RE (on the Supply side) on import dependency.
Finally, it may be added that the IESS, 2047 is an integrated exercise between energy demand and supply sectors on one hand, and energy security, balancing, energy flows, emissions, land etc on the other. The Calcualtor has been developed to offer user-friendly interface on all the above accounts by generating graphs, which change dynamically as the user changes his choices. As India has large import dependence in the energy sector, it calls for concerted action not merely on supply side, but equally on demand side. The Example Pathways feature better informs the user of the standalone impact of interventions on the demand or supply side.
Since the tool also offers fuel-wise data (some consuming sectors use specific fuels), it is also possible to see which demand sectors should be influenced through suitable policy measures, to curb consumption of the imported fuels. Hence, it is a handy tool to use for those interested in understanding the energy security dimensions of the country.