ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Electricity Reforms in India

The success of electricity reforms in India will depend critically upon the existence of some sort of restraining or disciplining mechanism in the sector, in the absence of which current efforts will likely result in a transition from inefficient public ownership to profit-gouging monopolies or oligarchies. In principle, such a mechanism could be strong, independent and effective regulatory oversight over public or private monopolies or significant competition among a large number of public and private entities. But it is important to examine without bias, and as thoroughly as possible, the feasibility and effectivness of both these sector-disciplining mechanisms before making any claims regarding the desirability of privatisation. The authors also argue that issues related to protecting the environment, extending access to the poor and other off-grid populations and strategic concerns related to import dependence and foreign private ownership need to be addressed upfront in order for the reforms to be in the broader public interest. [This paper is dedicated to the memory of Stephen R Bernow, 1942-2003.]

Questionable Economics of LNG-based Power Generation

In recent years, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has become the preferred option for power generation. This paper unravels the process of this shift away from coal-based power generation and makes an economic comparison of LNG-based generation with its competing options. As a sensitivity analysis based on cost variations of components revealed, in most cases, coal-based generation turned out to be a cheaper option. Though experts have spoken up for LNG's environmental friendly nature, questions still remain even as India's extensive coal reserves remain poorly exploited.
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