Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

Can India Become a Green Superpower?

The Stakes of the World’s Most Important Energy Transition

Arunabha Ghosh
June 2023 | Energy Transitions

Suggested citation: Ghosh, Arunabha. 2023. Can India Become a Green Superpower?: The Stakes of the World’s Most Important Energy Transition. Foreign Affairs.



To meet its net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 targets, India will have to grow in a way no major economy has done before – developing fast without spewing more carbon into the atmosphere. But if New Delhi can succeed, argues this piece in Foreign Affairs Magazine, India will not only reduce its own carbon emissions, but also become a global energy player in its own right— one that carves out a low-carbon, sustainable pathway for high levels of economic development that the rest of the Global South can follow. The country's path to becoming a superpower goes through making itself into an indispensable and reliable node in the global marketplace for clean energy products and services.

Key Highlights

  • Provide access to energy, but make it clean: To achieve net zero, India must dramatically up its clean energy sources. But it is doable. In 2010, the country had less than 20 megawatts of solar power capacity, now it has 67,078 megawatts.
  • Grow in a green manner – from LED bulbs to steel: India has incorporated green energy and energy efficiency significantly in its economic development charter. Whether it be through the Saubhagya scheme (household electrification), Ujjwala scheme (to provide LPG cylinders), or its ambitious green hydrogen mission.
  • International investors ought to be swarming around India’s energy sector: Given India's size, it isn't just investors who should pay attention. Policymakers everywhere will need to make sure that the world's energy security architecture responds to India's needs—and then meets them with the fuels of the future.
​"India has set out to do the near impossible: simultaneously provide energy access to hundreds of millions of people, clean up one of the world’s largest energy systems, and become a green industrial powerhouse."

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