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

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Equity in Global Climate Policy and Implications for India’s Energy Future

The remaining carbon budget available to the world to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius or to “well below 2°C” very small and is being rapidly depleted. The year 2021 has witnessed a flurry of pledges by countries to achieve net-zero emissions around the second half of this century. But the analysis shows the pledges of Annex-I parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be highly inadequate to limit the temperature rise to below 1.5°C. In this context, this paper reviews India’s climate change mitigation efforts and policies over the last decade and assesses the recently declared net-zero emissions pledge against a range of illustrative emissions pathways and the implied cumulative emissions of these pathways. The ambition of India’s pledge is assessed, with a discussion of the challenges that lie ahead for India’s energy sector.

Narratives of Natural Resource Corruption and Environmental Regulatory Reforms in India

The shifting discourses on the purposes, objectives, and forms of India’s environment regulations are discussed within the broader domestic, political, and economic contexts. The environmental law reforms are being designed to legalise and protect financial investments in projects, irrespective of their environmental performance, and to monetise their impacts and damages.

Karnataka’s ‘Surya Raitha’ Experiment

Solar-powered irrigation has expanded in India at an unprecedented pace—the number of solar irrigation pumps—from less than 4,000 in 2012 to more than 2,50,000 by 2019. It has been argued that besides giving farmers an additional and reliable source of income, grid-connected SIPs also incentivise efficient energy and water use—critical for sustaining groundwater irrigation. The Surya Raitha scheme was the country’s first, state-driven initiative for solarisation of agriculture feeders by replacing subsidy-guzzling, inefficient electric pumps with energy-efficient, net-metered SIPs. An early appraisal of Surya Raitha lauded the scheme as a smart initiative and argued that it could set an example for promoting solar power as a remunerative crop. However, the scheme was eventually executed as a single feeder pilot with some design changes in Nalahalli panchayat from 2015–18. The authors visited the pilot in 2017–18 and 2018–19 to assess if it had delivered the promises of Surya Raitha scheme. The results are a mixed bag and offer important lessons for implementation and scaling out of component C of the Government of India’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan policy.

India’s Energy Policy

Historically, India has been an importer of its energy needs. Only the United States (us) and China consume more energy than India. In addition, it is the consumer with the quickest growth in the world, consuming 813 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2019 (MOPNG 2021). India’s energy needs are...

Managing Transition to a Low-carbon Electricity Mix in India

Demand for electricity in India is growing due to the increase in GDP and quality of life along with structural changes in the energy sector leading to the increase in the percentage share of electricity in the total final consumption of energy. Decarbonisation of the energy sector is a necessity, and it should be achieved without negatively affecting economic growth of the country. It can be best managed by having a diverse portfolio of technologies as diversity provides supply security, resilience, and hedging against price fluctuations. Therefore, all low-carbon technologies—hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind—should be exploited and provided with a level playing field.

Environmental Accounting in India

Does the present income accounting system represent the real value of the wealth of the economy? If not, how do we evaluate the performance economy? How can the present evaluation method accommodate different aspects of the economy, society, and the environment? If these aspects are not considered in the evaluation process, can it be justified socially or environmentally? In this paper, we discuss the limitations of conventional income accounting, recent developments in environmental accounting at the international level, the progress and challenges of environmental accounting in India, and the way forward.

Seven Kinds of Deprivation That Women Face Everyday

Patriarchal structures have ensured that women’s access to resources, health, education, and political representation among other things, have remained heavily unequal.

Challenges in Shale Gas Production Cannot Be Resolved by Generic Environment Clearance Processes

India is venturing into shale gas fracking with a pursuit to cut down its natural gas export bill significantly. This process poses several challenges concerning “energy-water nexus,” such as mixing of shale fluid with the groundwater, rationing of water in a water-scarce country, and lack of technical know-how of waste-water treatment. These challenges may result in significant problems if not regulated at the exploration stage of the gas. This article highlights legal and policy gaps concerning shale gas exploration process and water usage.

The Emerging Energy Industry Is Much More Revolutionary Than What Arvind Subramanian Imagines

Arvind Subramanian’s Darbari Seth Memorial Lecture last year was a status-quo view of a traditional industry with merely the arithmetical addition of renewables as a variable.

How Over-Invoicing of Imported Coal has Increased Power Tariffs

Forty of India's biggest energy companies are being investigated by a wing of the Union Ministry of Finance for over-invoicing of imported coal. The artificially higher prices of coal have been passed on to electricity consumers across the country. The scam is conservatively estimated by government officials at no less than Rs 29,000 crore, a third of which is in the form of higher power tariffs. Big names from the corporate sector, notably the Adani group and ADAG, are being probed for their alleged involvement in the scandal. An exclusive report.

Price Controls as Incentive Mechanisms

Price controls are necessary and they work. But under what circumstances do they work?

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