Holistic view on India's energy transition—Reactions to GSI’s new report
On April 17, we released Mapping India’s Energy Subsidies 2020: Fossil Fuels, Renewables, Electric Vehicles, the latest report in the India's Energy Transition series.
This wide-ranging study, along with an interactive database, dives into the use of subsidies by the Government of India to support different energy types, examining multi-year trends and looking at the opportunities that changes to subsidy policies present for achieving India’s desired energy future.
Media and experts have already begun to comment on the significance of the report, particularly in light of the very real health impacts these subsidies are having.
“This study shows the real, social, cost of coal in India. By subsidizing polluting fossil fuels, the country is suffering from another health crisis: air pollution. Financial relief packages need to take into account the long-term health effects of the energy choices we make today,” said Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health.
The researchers have been recognized for providing a comprehensive look at energy subsidies in India and for proposing practical, forward-looking solutions.
"The report has brought out a holistic view on India's energy transition pathway and different kinds of subsidies support provided to the Indian energy sector and their trends. The recommendations made in the report are extremely progressive and provide impetus to promoting clean energy and better utilization of subsidies. The report will greatly facilitate policy-making in the energy sector," said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.
The report also brought media attention highlighting the need to keep support for renewables on track as we deal with the consequences of today’s health and economic crisis due to COVID-19.
“Though it is yet uncertain how long the pandemic will last, the report anticipates an increased focus on economic recovery once it is under control, which includes addressing concerns of the energy sector,” wrote Mayank Aggarwal in Mongabay.
“Ambitious policy and regulatory frameworks are critical to creating favourable and competitive conditions, allowing renewable energy to grow and displace more expensive and carbon-emitting fuels; fossil fuel subsidies must be cut,” said Rana Adib, Executive Director Secretary at REN21.
This report reflects on a key aspect of India’s energy transition outlook and has been acknowledged for answering important questions while raising others.
“So, how far has India come in the past five years in this delicate balancing act of lifting millions out of poverty while moving towards a carbon-neutral economy? This new study presents some interesting insights through the prism of government energy subsidies,” wrote Bibek Bhattacharya in Mint.