Rahul Tongia, Fellow, Brookings India

Rahul Tongia

Rahul Tongia is a nonresident senior fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Initiative, and is currently a senior fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress.

His work focuses on technology and policy, especially for sustainable development. He leads the energy and sustainability group at Brookings India, and also is active in broader issues of technology. Tongia’s work spans the entire gamut of electricity, with focuses on supply options including renewable energy (covering finance, grid integration, etc.); smart grids, which use innovative information and communications technology to improve management of the electric utility grid; issues of access and quality; and broader issues of reforms and regulations, including electricity pricing. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and was the founding Technical Advisor for the Government of India’s Smart Grid Task Force.

Representative Publications

Future of Coal in India: Smooth Transition or Bumpy Road Ahead?
Edited by Rahul Tongia and Anurag Sehgal, with Puneet Kamboj

Future of Coal in India

Power System Management

Renewable Energy


Electricity Access and Supply

IT and sustainable development, including Smart Grids

  1. R. Tongia, “Improving India’s mobile phone service” in Mint, April 17, 2018.
  2. R. Tongia, Contributor, Smart Grid Handbook for Regulators and Policy Makers, by India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), December 2017.
  3. R. Tongia, “Making a smart energy grid work for India”, in Mint (Technology Special), June 29, 2017.
  4. R. Tongia, “Updating Aadhaar for better Privacy”, Opinion in The Hindu, March 28, 2016.
  5. R. Tongia, “A Developing Country’s Perspective of the Smart Grid” in IEEE Newsletter, March 2016.
  • Areas of Expertise

    • Electricity and smart grids
    • Energy and renewables
    • Political economy
    • Telecommunications
    • Information technology (IT)
    • Digital divide
    • Technology transfer
  • Current Positions

    • Senior Fellow, Centre for Social and Economic Progress
    • Adjunct Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
    • Technical Advisor, Smart Grid Task Force, Government of India
    • Advisor, India Smart Grid Forum
    • Advisory Board Member, TechBridgeWorld, Carnegie Mellon University
    • International Advisory Council, World Computer Exchange
    • Council of Reference, OPLAN Foundation
    • Advisory Committee, VaasaETT
    • Executive Committee, IEEE Power and Energy Society, Bangalore
  • Past Positions

    • Fellow, Brookings India
    • Member, World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council on Advanced Energy Technology
    • Smart Grid Task Force, Government of India, Technical Advisor
    • Board Member, Global Smart Grid Federation
    • Senior Systems Scientist and Associate Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
    • Program Director and Principal Research Scientist, Center for Study of Science, Technology, and Policy (CSTEP)
    • Chair and Co-Chair, Digital Energy Solutions Consortium (DESC), India
    • Board of Governors and Treasurer, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT)
    • TechBridgeWorld, Carnegie Mellon University, member, Advisory Board
    • Technology Advisory Board, Southern California Edison, SmartConnect
    • Associate Editor, Information Technology and International Development (ITID) journal
    • Editorial Board, I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society
    • Vice Chairman, U.N. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Task Force Working Group on Enabling Environment
    • IEEE Power and Energy Society, Bangalore, executive committee
  • Education

    • Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University (1998)
    • B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Brown University (1995)
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