A Policy Dialogue on ‘Energy Transition in Eastern India’ was jointly organised by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India; National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar; NCAER; and the Ministry of Power, Government of Odisha. The event was held at NISER during 23-24 January 2024.
The Policy Dialogue brought together all stakeholders on a single platform to discuss advances in the research on clean energy sources and developments of clean technologies in India and worldwide. The policy-makers shared the challenges they have faced in increasing clean energy production in eastern India and the policy measures they have taken to address these challenges. Industry captains shared views on the cooperation required from research institutions and governments to scale up the production and use of clean energy.
Just Transition and Challenges
As a signatory of the Paris Agreement and CoP-26, India aims to increase electricity generation with minimum carbon emissions. India’s Long-term Low-Emissions Development Strategies aim to: (i) meet 50 per cent of India’s cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030; and (ii) Reduce the emission intensity of GDP by 45 per cent below 2005-levels by 2030. The country needs to find an optimal energy mix, including both non-fossil and fossil fuel sources.
Challenges Before Eastern India
Global pressure is mounting to phase down thermal energy generation and coal production. The resource-rich eastern Indian States will be immensely affected by this process. Reducing coal production will have negative implications for the revenue positions of the States, and the employment and livelihood of the workers engaged in the coal and thermal sectors. What will be the just energy transition path for eastern Indian States, namely Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh?
The policy dialogue focused on the following issues: optimal energy mix for eastern India; future of thermal energy and coal industry in eastern India; feasibility of solar, wind, hydrogen, and nuclear energy; policy options available for just energy transition; industry and energy role of State and non-State actors in energy transition; and energy financing.
The stakeholders in the policy dialogue included policy-makers, industry leaders; economists; social scientists; energy scientists; and practitioners in the field of energy.