Electricity demand in South Asia – data gaps and pathways for research and modeling

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South Asia is one of the fastest growing regions - economically and energy-wise in the world. However, there are significant uncertainties in how the energy demand would grow given the rapidly rising incomes, urbanization, industrialization, access to energy, warming climate and technological change. The transition to clean energy in the region is a priority and is critical to limiting emissions in the region and increasing regional energy security. The power sector will play an important role in decarbonization of energy systems, lowering emissions in other sectors through electrification. However, as existing end uses are scaled up more and new end uses are electrified, the temporal and spatial patterns of electricity consumption could change. These changes have implications for the magnitude, shape, and timing of peak demand, which in turn affects the power sector’s investments and operations, and ability to provide reliable power.
In this report, we outline key uncertainties in demand growth that South Asian countries would face in the near to medium term, along with summarizing insights from stakeholder consultations we held over the past 6 months.

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