Sunday, January 9

Current thinking on India’s energy security

Besides the personal links to India, I also have a significant chunk of investments in India. So the question of India’s energy security is rather high on my list of questions to be answered. If India can navigate its energy path properly, it will emerge as a great country, screw it up (as it keeps on doing), then it will constantly have issues with its economic, political and foreign policy.

This was one partial answer in an article written by sMalavika Jain Bambawale and Benjamin K. Sovacool, in Energy Policy. I quote the abstract:


This article explores the concept of energy security perceived and understood by a sample of government, business, civil society, and university stakeholders in India. Based on a literature review, the authors hypothesize what energy experts suggest energy security is for India. The article then tests these hypotheses through the use of a survey completed by 172 Indian respondents. The article begins by describing its methodology before summarizing the results of the literature review to distill seven working hypotheses related to energy security in India. These hypotheses relate to (1) security of energy supply, (2) equitable access to energy services, (3) research and development of new energy technologies, (4) energy efficiency and conservation, (5) self-sufficiency and trade in energy fuels, (6) nuclear power, and (7) the energy-water nexus. It then tests these hypotheses with our survey instrument before concluding with implications for energy policy in India and beyond.

Research highlights

► We measured the concept of energy security for India through a survey that tested the importance of 16 dimensions. ► For our sample of respondents from India, as hypothesized, security of fossil fuel supply, R&D in new technologies, centralized energy systems, and the availability of clean water emerged as important dimensions. ► Equitable access to energy and low energy intensity did not emerge as important dimensions of energy security for our sample even though we hypothesized them to be so.

Quite an interesting set of responses. The current thinking is quite progressive across the board with the exception of couple of points. The current thinking is still the static centrist centrally planned socialist model of huge investments in huge plants rather the small scale decentralised energy systems that India needs. This can really help in improving our energy grid. Second, they dont seem to care about a good pricing policy. No wonder, they are still sucking on the subsidy tit. And finally, they dont think that equitable access to energy is good. Which is storing up trouble.

But by and large, happy about the thinking that’s going into energy policy.

No comments: