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

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Indian Climate Change Policy

There is a growing body of climate-related policy in India; at the same time, there is no clear and consistent approach or framework that directs and guides these efforts. In this paper, we propose and develop a methodology for operationalising a co-benefits approach to climate policy formulation. We use the technique of multi-criteria analysis, which requires making choices between and examining trade-offs across multiple objectives of policy, such as growth, inclusion and environment. In addition, we develop a framework for consideration of implementation issues. We focus on policies related to energy; but we believe the approach can also be modified to address adaptation concerns. The structured tool of the sort proposed here would hopefully contribute to more informed and deliberative decision-making on climate-related issues.

India's Solar Mission: Procurement and Auctions

Competitive bidding adopted under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is an appropriate process for megawatt-scale solar power procurement, given the changing prices of solar power and the limited paying capacity of India's consumers and taxpayers. MW-scale plants may be useful to kick-start the solar photovoltaic industry in India. However, promoting such plants while photovoltaic costs are relatively higher than other renewable energy sources may not be financially and strategically prudent. India's focus needs to be on the development of decentralised solar-installed capacity in rural areas where it will have the most social impact

Need to Realign India's National Solar Mission

While solar energy has great potential as a renewable energy source for India, in terms of resource availability, flexibility in scale and applications, it is one of the most expensive of such options today. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, with an ambitious target of 22 GW of solar power capacity by 2022, is a departure from the past, as India has started to mainstream climate considerations in energy planning, and has allocated a large public subsidy for promotion of solar energy. But the mission objectives are unclear and actions are not aligned with India's development needs. Solar lanterns should be distributed using innovative mechanisms and a public process should be initiated to quickly develop a comprehensive plan for implementation of solar home lighting systems and off-grid solutions.

A Response

 Unsubstantiated Criticism of Natural Gas Regulator Ratan P Watal A point by point rebuttal of the article

Shortcomings in Governance of the Natural Gas Sector

There has been a consistent lack of transparency and several governance lapses in the natural gas sector which have led to various kinds of concerns in important areas such as investment levels in blocks, availability of information regarding gas finds, content and process of arriving at pricing and utilisation policy, regulatory weaknesses and emerging market concentration. The objective of this article is to look behind the media glare and highlight the governance shortcomings that need urgent attention. Interestingly, a number of these issues were highlighted about two years ago on these very pages.

Climate Change: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

This article compares the future trajectory of carbon emissions of the Annex I countries under the Kyoto Protocol with the emission reduction targets being discussed in the US and the European Union. If the Annex I countries follow these trajectories, they would meet the Kyoto Protocol commitment in terms of the stock of emissions since 2008, only in 2021 or 2024. The financial support from these countries for the developing world is a tiny fraction of what is needed. The Annex I countries need to adopt a much more aggressive target for emission reduction by 2020 and offer much stronger support for mitigation and adaptation if they are serious about climate protection.

Unravelling Myths about Subsidies in Urban Transport

Is urban public transport subsidised more than its private counterpart? Through a case study of urban transport in Pune, this article demonstrates that car and two-wheeler users receive larger subsidies than bus users when all costs imposed by transport modes are considered.

Emerging Issues in the Indian Gas Sector: A Critical Review

India's gas sector is in the midst of a major controversy with potential consumers exercised about what they see as an arbitrary and non-transparent pricing policy on production from recent discoveries. This article explores all the relevant issues arising from discovery, production and pricing of gas from contracts awarded in the New Exploration and Licensing Policy regime. It calls for policies to be drafted in a transparent and inclusive manner, giving due consideration to issues such as the most efficient use of gas, the subsidy burden, the market structure and the country's energy security.

Tribute: Amulya K N Reddy

Cricketer, electrochemist, energy analyst, rural energy practitioner, appropriate technology pioneer, spokesman for sustainable development, campaigner against nuclear energy and weapons, respected teacher and more than anything, a person who has tried to live up to Gandhiji's talisman. A homage to Amulya K N Reddy, who died on May 7.

WB-Orissa Model of Power Sector Reform-Cure Worse Than Disease

Girish Sant Subodh Wagle An analysis of the regulatory aspects of the much-vaunted Orissa model of power sector reform shows serious lacunae in the whole design. The Regulatory Commission (RC), which is the supreme decision-making authority, has complete autonomy and its decisions cannot be challenged in the courts or in any other appellate body. But the provisions for the RC's accountability are too weak and can be easily by-passed. Thus the structure is highly 'sabotage-prone' andean lead the power sector to a more serious and long-term crisis, making the cure worse than the disease. Yet many other states are jumping on the bandwagon of the World Bank-conceived Orissa model.

SEB Privatisation Transcending the Issue of Ownership

SEB Privatisation: Transcending the Issue of Ownership Subodh Wagle Girish Sant Shantanu Dixit WE are glad that EPW is continuing the debate on the important issue of power sector privatisation. Arun Ghosh, in his article (EPW, July 19) argues that APSEB has been working most efficiently and, with limited tariff hike, not just APSEB but all SEBs can raise the required resources for expansion. Hence, for him, privatisation of SEBs and their unbundling are not needed and are unnecessarily promoted by the World Bank and other pro-privatisation lobbies. To support his arguments, he cites data regarding plant availability, auxiliary consumption and the tariff hike required to achieve 3 per cent ROR. His opposition to privatisation arises mainly from fears of rent seeking by politicians and officials, expropriation of assets and excessive profiteering by the private sector and failure to arrive at sector-level optimality due to the proposed unbundling. He predicts that the proposed privatisation of APSEB will lead to high cost of power resulting in loss of access for rural consumers (including farmers) with adverse impacts on food security and development of rural areas.

How Reliable Are Agricultural Power Use Data

Power Use Data? Shantanu Dixit Girish Sant Agricultural power use data available with the state agencies is shockingly unreliable and inadequate. Groundwater and power planning on the basis of this data is bound to be unrealistic.

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