Assessing India’s underground CO2 storage potential: a critical analysis of what lies beyond the theoretical potential

This study estimates the theoretical CO₂ sequestration potential in different geological formations in India, considering above-ground constraints such as no-go zones and population density. It provides policy recommendations to accelerate the exploration and development of such formations to imminently start Carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in the country. India emitted 2.95 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO₂ in 2018, which is expected to rise with continued growth. CCS is vital for India, since renewable power and clean fuel transitions alone cannot lead to net-zero emissions. CCS technologies allow any residual CO₂ emissions to be captured and permanently stored in underground reservoirs. However, India is still in the nascent stages of CCS development, with few studies evaluating suitable CO₂ reservoirs and their storage potentials. Therefore, it is essential to hasten research and development of CO₂ sequestration sites to support India’s 2070 net-zero goal.