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Steam rises from the stakes of the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant supplied by the neighboring Jim Bridger mine that is owned by energy firm PacifiCorp and the Idaho Power Company, outside Point of the Rocks, Wyoming  March 14, 2014. West Virginia mined 120 million tons (109 metric tons) of coal in 2012, second to Wyoming, or about 12 percent of total U.S. production. Kentucky was third with about 9 percent of output, according to the National Mining Association.  REUTERS/Jim Urquhart  (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS) - RTR3H5NS
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Transitioning Towards a Sustainable Energy Future: Challenges and Opportunities for India

Editor's Note:

This paper is an adaptation of the keynote address delivered at the ISAS-ESI Conference on “Towards a Low Carbon Asia: The Challenges of Ensuring Efficient and Sustainable Energy”, on 28 November 2017. This was first published as an ISAS Working Paper.

Author

India sits at the nub of the crisis of the current high carbon model of development. It is not responsible for this crisis and it can legitimately argue that it must not bear the costs of adapting and mitigating its consequences. However, it cannot escape the reality that it is amongst the most vulnerable nations to global warming. This paper identifies five factors that define the reality of India’s energy sector and argues that these factors should be regarded as predetermined trends that will influence the shape of India’s future energy profile, at least for the foreseeable future, irrespective of the specifics of policy.

It underlines that the Indian government recognises the severity of the problem and has embarked on an ambitious programme to tackle the crisis on its own. However, it requires better alignment of the political, institutional and financial framework for implementation in a given time-frame. Further, the paper lays out five propositions that are necessary first steps towards a low carbon future.

To read the Working Paper, please click here

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