Shantanu Dixit, Group Coordinator, (Prayas Energy Group)
Mahua Acharya, CEO, Convergence Energy Services Ltd.
Harish Hande, Founder and Chairman, SELCO India
Ashwini K. Swain, Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
Navroz K. Dubash, Professor, Centre for Policy Research
In this session, we will discuss the political economy of 21st century electricity in India, with an emphasis on emerging opportunities to unwind the vicious cycle of electricity-centric redistribution and welfarism. India’s ambitious renewable energy (RE) target to install 450 GW capacity by 2030 is an important step towards a 21st century electricity system. The penetration of RE at such a scale is likely to shake the economic foundations of the system, lead to disruptive politics, and thus, create winners and losers. Simultaneously, it opens opportunities to address long-persisting electricity problems. Will the benefits of low-cost RE be appropriated by industry and large commercial users to free themselves from the redistributive pressures, but at the cost of imperilling the quality of service to the poorest? Or can the benefits be channelled directly to farmers and low-income consumers, thereby freeing the sector from a long and debilitating subsidy burden? The answer lies in the institutional arrangements through which RE spreads. The webinar aims to discuss an institutional approach to include the poor as change agents of the energy transition.