Culture of Energy Evaluation ‘Missing’ in India

    GovernanceAccountabilityCulture of Energy Evaluation ‘Missing’ in India
    - Advertisment -

    Culture of Energy Evaluation ‘Missing’ in India

    The Indian government is committed to electrifying 40 million homes in 2022, but experts say the country needs to develop a culture of energy evaluation to bring about a just energy transition. Evaluation agencies are not independent and so, ‘lack credibility’.

    By Ranjit Devraj

    India is committed to electrifying 40 million homes this year to attain the goal of delivering electric power to all of its 1.3 billion people. It also has plans to install 75 gigawatts of renewable energy as part of commitments made under the Paris Agreements.

    But there’s a missing link to these ambitious pledges that could help bring about a just energy transition. India, like many other developing countries in the Asia Pacific region, lacks an effective energy evaluation programme, say experts.

    At a recent webinar organised by Energy Evaluation Asia Pacific (EEAP) experts identified challenges to mainstreaming energy evaluation in this vast and diverse country and offered suggestions on how to overcome them.

    - Advertisement -

    Vibhuti Garg, India lead at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, pointed to how India’s much-vaunted plan to provide clean cooking fuels to households went awry due to poor targeting. Relatively richer sections of the population cornered the subsidies with the intended beneficiaries burning biomass along with cleaner fuels, according to studies, she said.

    India is not devoid of agencies that carry out energy evaluation and these include the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office, which audits government receipts and expenditure, said Aditya Chunekar, fellow at Prayas, the Pune-based energy group that promotes public awareness around energy projects. Customers and consumers need to understand how programmes and projects are doing and how different socioeconomic groups are impacted by them, he said.


    In 2001, India set up a Bureau of Energy Efficiency which was mandated to develop energy efficiency policies and strategies. But the Bureau has been criticised for being ineffective in such areas as remedying massive losses of electricity at the supply end, attributed to powerful players in the system.

    Chunkekar pointed to the practice of projects being evaluated by consultants on terms of reference which worked to limit their independence. Evaluations made are often filed away with no attempts made to refer to them when it comes to new projects, he said, adding that there were often no provisions for mid-term corrections.

    “For evaluation to be seen as credible, evaluators need to be independent of the agency implementing the energy programmes and policies,” said the webinar’s moderator Edward Vine, energy efficiency scientist and affiliate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, US.

    Similarly, said Vine, evaluators need to be involved in discussions with stakeholders — such as states, unions and industries — as part of a feedback loop to gain their trust and to inform “influencers” at the community level about the impacts of programmes and policies at different levels.

    According to Vine, EEAP could play a critical role in the evaluation of energy policies and programmes in India, including through webinars to help develop and promote a culture of evaluation. “EEAP could compile and distribute best practices on evaluation and help disseminate this information to all stakeholders,” he told SciDev.Net.

    “In summary, evaluators in India will need to work with government at all levels to accept evaluation outcomes and the lessons learned so that better programmes and policies can be adopted.”


    This piece has been sourced from SciDev.Net.

    Image:  Abbie Trayler-Smith / Panos Pictures

    - Advertisement -


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest news

    NDDB to Execute Upgradation of Biocontainment Facility

    NDDB has executed projects of several bio-containment labs and associated infrastructure in livestock health sector across the country in...

    UN’s Development Goals: Rich Nations Lead While World’s Poor Lag Far Behind

    According to the ninth edition of the Sustainable Development Report released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, none...

    UNICEF-Backed Report Says Pollution Killed 1.69 Lakh Children in India in 2021

    The State of Global Air report published in partnership with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns on Wednesday that...

    A New Way to Spot Life-threatening Infections in Cancer Patients

    Leuko, founded by a research team at MIT, is giving doctors a noninvasive way to monitor cancer patients’ health...
    - Advertisement -

    Water Shortages Feared as Hindu Kush Himalaya Sees Second-Lowest Snow Persistence on Record

    In the Ganges River Basin, there has been significant fluctuations in the past twenty-two years. Prior to 2024, the...

    PM Releases Seventeenth PM-KISAN Instalment of Rs. 20,000 Crores

    The prime minister lauded the use of technology in taking the benefits to the deserved beneficiaries and also credited...

    Must read

    NDDB to Execute Upgradation of Biocontainment Facility

    NDDB has executed projects of several bio-containment labs and...

    UN’s Development Goals: Rich Nations Lead While World’s Poor Lag Far Behind

    According to the ninth edition of the Sustainable Development...
    - Advertisement -

    More from the sectionRELATED
    Recommended to you