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

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Development Challenge around Multiple Objectives

Rethinking India’s Energy Policy

An energy supply approach is inadequate to India’s energy requirements at a time when multiple objectives need to be addressed. The state of play in energy supply and demand is examined, and the recovery of an older tradition of attention to energy demand patterns in addition to energy supply is argued for. The gains from an explicit attention to the fact that India has to address multiple and simultaneous objectives in shaping energy policymaking are laid out, and emerging methodologies to serve this goal are discussed. Shifts in governance patterns are a necessary part of transitioning to a broader, and more development-focused approach to energy policy.

The provision of energy has long been central to India’s development. However, India’s energy strategy and planning has largely been constructed in supply-oriented terms, which can and has been limiting, given the complex and interconnected set of energy issues facing India. This is especially relevant to the current context in which India is undergoing multiple large-scale transitions in its demography, job creation, urbanisation, provision of energy access and built environment, all of which have implications for energy needs and consumption patterns. While energy policy in response to these transitions is often reduced to simply ensuring sufficient fuel growth, in reality, the challenge is more complex and includes ensuring energy security, providing equitable energy access, and protecting both the local and global environment. In this article, we argue that India’s long-standing supply focus needs to give way to a more explicit strategic approach based on addressing multiple objectives simultaneously. We then describe emerging methodologies in the literature which provide examples for ways to operationalise an integrated approach and discuss their corresponding institutional features, to help shape the still fluid future energy supply and demand patterns.

India’s Energy Strategy

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Updated On : 17th Aug, 2020

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