Decarbonizing India’s Building Construction through Cement Demand Optimization: Technology and Policy Roadmap

Decarbonizing India's Building Construction through Cement Demand Optimization: Technology and Policy Roadmap

India targets economic, infrastructural, and energy growth to meet the demands of its urban population, growing at the rate of 31.14%. The Indian construction market has anticipated adding 24.8 billion sq. m to its residential and 1.6 billion sq. m to its commercial building stock by 2027. The local construction market predominantly relies on cement as the most commonly used construction material. The Indian cement industry is the second-largest producer of cement, after China with 75% of the total production being used by the building sector. The production of cement is emission intensive in nature and despite the noteworthy progress in enhancing energy efficiency of its production the GHG emissions are still significantly high and increasing. Therefore, there is an urgent need to explore other methods beyond energy efficiency to limit cement related emissions. This paper estimates the demand for the new building stock in India and the associated demand for cement by 2047. It explores the potential of various alternate low carbon cement materials, and demand optimization techniques to reduce cement consumption for meeting future building construction demand in India. It evaluates existing policies to assess their intent to support building decarbonization. The analyses show that existing low carbon strategies would reduce the embodied carbon but are not sufficient enough to fully decarbonize the future building stock. It provides recommendations to accelerate deployment of market ready low carbon solutions and encourage for innovation and research on carbon neutral materials to achieve building construction decarbonization.

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