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  • Author: Shefali Khanna, Kevin Rowe
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In September 2017, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) required that the city’s regulated electricity distribution utilities pay compensation to customers experiencing power outages of three hours or longer. The measure was intended to incentivize the utilities to invest in the infrastructure and management practices needed to deliver higher levels of service quality. In 2019, India’s central government announced that it was considering rolling out a similar policy for utilities across the country. Can outage compensation policies help India’s power system achieve better reliability for all customers? This policy brief describes the persistent challenge of poor electricity reliability in India and how it interacts with key regulatory policies, analyzes Delhi’s experience with outage compensation since 2017, and highlights areas for additional economic and policy research on this topic.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Economic Policy, Electricity
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Amit Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The energy sectors of India and Canada complement each other: India is a large and growing oil importer, while Canada is a large and growing exporter of oil and gas. However, as they invested in oil fields across the world, Indian oil companies have missed out on the Canada story. Investing in Canada’s oil sector can help India guard against the risk of spikes in oil prices and provide Canada with long-term demand security. In this paper, first presented as a backgrounder at Track 1.5 meetings in Mumbai, India, in November 2019, Gateway House outlines its findings on the feasibility of Indian investment in Canada’s petroleum sector, suggesting a path forward and best prospects for investment.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Gas, Investment
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • Author: Olaf Weber, Vasundhara Saravade
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Emerging economies, such as India, will need significant international investment in climate action in order to transition toward a future that is low-carbon and climate-resilient. India needs fossil fuels at an affordable price and needs to protect itself against price fluctuations. It can meet these needs by investing in Canadian oil companies, given the country’s political stability and rule of law. As an emerging economy, India could attract greater foreign direct investment into its economy through green bonds, a climate finance debt instrument that addresses environmental and climate-related challenges. Not only are green bond issuances linearly increasing over the years, but they also seem to be driven by institutional pressure, provided in part by the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s regulation, as well as by the informal advocacy efforts of market stakeholders. These findings are consistent with institutional theory and contribute to it by introducing the regulatory perspective of the green bond market.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Green Technology, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Amit Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: Canada has been one of the biggest success stories in oil over the past few years. India should consider financial investments in Canadian energy assets as a means to secure its energy supplies. This paper studies the feasibility and prospects for Indian investment in Canada's petroleum sector.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Oil, Investment
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Canada, India, North America
  • Author: Olaf Weber, Vasundhara Saravade
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: India’s energy future needs to be low-carbon, climate-resilient and protected against price fluctuation. It can meet these needs by investing in Canadian oil companies, given the country’s political stability and rule of law. India can also attract greater foreign direct investment at home through the issuance of green bonds, a climate finance debt instrument that addresses environmental and climate-related challenges. This paper explores the regulatory perspective of the green bond market.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Foreign Direct Investment, Rule of Law, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Canada, India, North America
  • Author: Ashwini K. Swain, Parth Bhatia, Ira Sharma, Prasanna Sarada Das, Navroz K. Dubash
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, released on April 17, 2020, is an improvement from its predecessors. It has dropped some significant proposals that were resisted and has added new provisions. Are these reform proposals adequate and appropriate to address India’s long-standing electricity challenges? Are these prescriptions based on a proper diagnosis of current trends and future challenges? How will these reforms proposals affect India’s ongoing transition to 21st century electricity? While we appreciate the endeavours and intent, in our comments we focus on some serious concerns the draft raises, vital gaps and issues that need serious consideration.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Governance, Legislation, Electricity, Public Service, Utilities
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Deepak Sanan, Sanjay Mitra
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Reforms designed to address core issues and their sequencing and timing would be critical to ensure the eventual success of the latest initiatives in the power sector. Lessons from the experience of earlier sectoral reform programmes and recommendations regarding the general architecture of central interventions, would need to be taken on board. Through a simple scenario building exercise, this paper concludes that the parlous financial position of the distribution utilities after lockdown requires that “reforms” follow “recovery”. The concurrent roll out of stringent reform measures on several fronts during a period of severe financial stress could seriously impair the prospects of a viable power sector in the near future. This, in turn, will not only hamper our planned promotion of renewables-based electricity but act as a brake on the entire process of economic recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Stephen Naimoli, Kartikeya Singh
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In 2019, India completed its program to provide electricity connections to every village and every home in the country. However, even though millions more are now connected, problems remain, including unreliable supply of power and a lack of workforce capacity for utilities to serve an expanded customer base. While India’s central government sets national policy, India’s powerful states have jurisdiction over the power sector and are responsible for implementation of central government programs and policies. For foreign stakeholders interested in supporting India’s electrification agenda, this presents an opportunity for them to engage with states to help meet their energy access priorities. To identify key areas for international engagement, CSIS conducted a survey of government, civil society groups, and energy access practitioners in the Indian states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan on their energy access priorities. Opportunities for collaboration include metering and bill collection, operations and maintenance, quality and reliability of supply, and off-grid technologies, including solar-powered pumps and other appliances.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Infrastructure, Electricity, Renewable Energy
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Naimoli, Kartikeya Singh
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Assam is the most populous and economically active of the northeastern states and thus acts as the nexus between the mainland and the northeast. Due to insurgencies and armed conflict spanning several decades, Assam struggled to deliver many basic services to its citizens, including electricity, and failed to attract major industries. Coupled with the state’s unique topography of Himalayan foothills, forests, and a massive floodplain dominated by the mighty Brahmaputra River, infrastructure development in the state has not been easy. However, with the settling of several conflicts, the state is poised to be the economic engine of India’s northeast and take its place as India’s gateway to southeast Asia. To do so, it is focusing on agriculture, led by a thriving tea industry and energy resources—the state accounts for 15 percent of India’s total crude oil and 50 percent of onshore natural gas output. On the power sector side, Assam has increased the share of its population with electricity access from 44.57 percent in 2015 to 100 percent in 2019. An important measure of the health of the state’s electric power sector is aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C), which measure line losses from transmission and distribution equipment, power theft, billing and collection inefficiencies, and customers’ inability to pay. Assam’s AT&C losses in 2015 were 24.2 percent. Under the state’s Power for All plan formed with the central government, the state’s utility Assam Power Distribution Corporation Limited (APDCL) would target AT&C losses of 18.15 percent in 2019. As of August 2019, this goal has virtually been met—APDCL’s AT&C losses are currently 18.2 percent. Under the central government’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, which aims to improve the financial health of the country’s utilities, Assam has a target of 150,000 smart meters for customers with monthly consumption between 200-500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) by December 2019. As of August 2019, the state has deployed 15,567 smart meters for these customers, 10 percent of its goal. The state also had a target to deploy 31,000 smart meters for customers with monthly consumption of over 500 kWh per month by December 2017, but to date has only deployed 11,881 smart meters, 38 percent of its goal. Assam has a target to install 663 megawatts (MW) of solar power in the state to contribute to the central government’s target of 100 gigawatts by 2022. As of May 2019, data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy indicate it has installed 22.4 MW, 3.38 percent of its goal.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Electricity
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Naimoli, Kartikeya Singh
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Chhattisgarh is a mineral-rich state with abundant coal and iron ore resources and whose coal production gives it an energy surplus, but it is also one of India’s poorest states, with a poverty rate of 40 percent and low human development indicators. Long plagued by left-wing violence, with which it still struggles, Chhattisgarh’s government is trying to diversify the state’s economy by making it an attractive destination for non-extractive industries. Dense forests which house scattered communities coupled with the conflicts have made setting up infrastructure to support household electrification through a centralized grid a challenge for the state government. Absent such infrastructure, the state has been a ripe market for decentralized renewable electrification efforts. Chhattisgarh has increased the amount of its population with electricity access from 84.5 percent in 2015 to 99.67 percent in 2019. An important measure of the health of the state’s electric power sector is aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C), which measure line losses from transmission and distribution equipment, power theft, billing and collection inefficiencies, and customers’ inability to pay. Chhattisgarh’s AT&C losses in 2015 were 20.5 percent. Under the state’s 24x7 Power for All plan formed with the central government, Chhattisgarh’s utility Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Corporation Limited (CSPDCL) would target AT&C losses of 16 percent in 2019. Unfortunately, losses have grown—as of August 2019, they are at 23.28 percent. Under the central government’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, which aims to improve the financial health of the country’s utilities, Chhattisgarh has a target of 652,146 smart meters for customers with monthly consumption between 200-500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) by December 2019. As of August 2019, the state has not deployed any smart meters for these customers. The state also had a target to deploy 488,307 smart meters for customers with monthly consumption of over 500 kWh by December 2017 but has not deployed any smart meters for those customers either.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Infrastructure, Electricity, Safe Energy
  • Political Geography: India, Asia