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Reproduced from India Energy Outlook 2021, IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

India is projected to see the biggest increase in energy demand of any country over the next 20 years, a new International Energy Agency report finds.

Why it matters: It's already the third-largest energy-consuming nation, even as per-capita energy use, car ownership and other metrics are far below the global average.

  • There's a "tremendous opportunity for India to successfully meet the aspirations of its citizens without following the high-carbon pathway that other economies have pursued in the past," said IEA head Fatih Birol.

Yes, but: While renewables have been growing, right now coal, oil and solid biomass meet 80% of the country's energy demand, IEA said.

Speeding the transformation of its energy sector is key as new infrastructure is built and huge numbers of people buy new appliances, air conditioners and cars.

The big picture: A couple of snapshots capture the scale of India's expected energy growth.

  • “To meet growth in electricity demand over the next twenty years, India will need to add a power system the size of Europe’s to what it has now.”
  • Under their projections of what happens under existing and announced policies, another 25 million trucks will be on India's roads by 2040, and 300 million vehicles of all types are added.

What we're watching: Future policies and investment. On just the power side, India already has a target of reaching 450 gigawatts of renewables capacity by 2030.

  • But under IEA's climate-friendly "sustainable development scenario," between now and 2040 an additional $1.4 trillion for clean energy tech overall is needed beyond expected investments under current plans.
  • The SDS models expansion of energy access with a mix and policies consistent with the Paris Agreement's goals.

Go deeper

Feb 8, 2021 - World

Interview: Former NSC director Lisa Curtis on America's Indo-Pacific strategy

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals

In her first interview since leaving the National Security Council, where she served from 2017 to 2021 as senior director for South and Central Asia, Lisa Curtis tells Axios that the Biden administration should put democracy promotion high on its agenda in the Indo-Pacific.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has made the Indo-Pacific a top focus of its newly formed National Security Council. That's a continuation from the Trump administration in terms of emphasis, if not necessarily in terms of strategy.

14 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

15 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."