India is poised to play an important role in the 21st century global energy system. The third largest energy consumer is projected to account for the largest increase in energy demand of any country worldwide over the next two decades. Simultaneously, by setting ambitious renewable energy (RE) targets – 175 GW by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030 – the country has placed itself at the forefront of the global energy transition. Meeting this energy demand and achieving the renewable energy targets will require a fundamental transition in India’s electricity, in the ways electricity is generated, transmitted and distributed.
India’s ambitious RE target is an important signal of its intent to undertake multiple profound transitions. RE offers the promise of low-cost power, which, if realised, would bring gains for the financial viability of the sector and for meeting its welfare obligations. Simultaneously, the new RE technologies provide various other co-benefits including better environmental quality, a lower trade deficit and others. But the transition to RE is not straightforward. It has technical, economic, and political dimensions that will need to be addressed adequately before one can imagine a massive substitution of the conventional technologies with the new ones. It will require unwinding the lock-in to conventional energy technologies, managing the transaction costs, and addressing the techno-economic challenges. This will, in turn, require multiple complementary pathways and reshape the configuration of technology, institutions and politics in India’s energy sector.
In this backdrop, the Centre for Policy Research is convening a series of dialogues to explore different but complementary paths to meet India’s 21st century energy goals. India Energy Transition Dialogues, a series of curated bi-weekly webinars, will discuss different pathways proposed by think tanks/research groups working on specific pieces of India’s energy transition puzzle. The questions we seek to explore include:
Will integration of distributed energy resources enable India to accelerate the transition?
What do we learn from the progress on solar agricultural feeders in states?
What innovations, technologies and reforms enabled by RE can create opportunities to make India’s struggling utilities viable?
Why the existing data gap is an impediment in planning for India’s energy transition and how do we mitigate this challenge?
What insights can we draw for state-owned GENCOs from Karnataka’s experience on large scale RE integration?
What role will be played by new and emerging clean energy technologies in meeting India’s 450 GW RE target?
What would be the likely institutional pathways and political economy of 21st century energy system in India?
The Dialogues, by drawing on practical experiences and exploring the costs and opportunities associated with these approaches, seek to facilitate constructive engagement with government policies and interventions at the national and state levels.
Schedule of Events:
1. Integrating Distributed Energy Resources for a Smooth Energy Transition
Proposed by: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis
April 13, 2021 | Tuesday | 3:00 – 4:00 PM IST
2. Solar Feeders: A Farmer-Centric, Rapidly Scalable, Fiscally Prudent Component of the Power Sector Transition
Proposed by: Prayas (Energy Group)
April 27, 2021 | Tuesday | 3:00 – 4:00 PM IST
3. Innovation, Technology and Reforms for Viable Utilities
Proposed by: Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation
May 11, 2021 | Tuesday | 3:00 – 4:00 PM IST
4. Understanding Data Gaps for India’s Energy Transition
Proposed by: Vasudha Foundation
May 25, 2021 | Tuesday | 3:00 – 4:00 PM IST
5. Long-term RE Transition for State-owned Utilities/GENCOs
Proposed by: Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy
June 8, 2021 | Tuesday | 3:00 – 4:00 PM IST
6. The Role of New and Emerging Clean Energy Technologies in Meeting India’s 450 GW RE Target
Proposed by: World Resources Institute, India
June 22, 2021 | Tuesday | 3:00 – 4:00 PM IST
7. Institutional Pathways and Political Economies of 21st Century Energy in India
Proposed by: Centre for Policy Research
July 6, 2021 | Tuesday | 3:00 – 4:00 PM IST
The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.