Energy Transitions

Energy Transitions

SFC Perspectives Paper

Rethinking the configuration of technology, politics and institutions to build a 21st century energy system

India must build a 21st-century energy system while simultaneously grappling with 20th-century problems of energy access, leakages, and financially unviable electricity distribution companies. While a cleaner, greener, and job-creating energy future is possible, the path to it will be disruptive and will require a reconfiguration of current technological, political, and institutional systems.

Our work focuses on explaining the entrenched patterns in the Indian energy sector, identifying key bottlenecks to a clean energy transition, and finding solutions to ease its challenges. We collaborate with governments and the private sector to develop frameworks and plans for states to lead and manage the transition, ensure the viability of discoms and coal-dependent regions, and promote the productive use of electricity in rural communities for their socioeconomic development.

Our publications

This also includes publications by SFC team members in their past capacities.

Energy Transitions Preparedness Initiative: Buildings Sector

Deepak Tewari, Rushabh Soni et al.

ETPI | 28 May 2024

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SFC Perspectives on Adaptation and Resilience, Climate Policy, Energy Transitions, and Environmental Governance and Policy

SFC

SFC | 19 March 2024

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Enabling the Energy Transition: Technology, politics & institutions in India’s energy system

Ashwini K Swain, Sarada Prasanna Das, Suravee Nayak, Catherine Ayallore and Navroz K Dubash

SFC | 18 March 2024

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Books and book chapters

Energy Transitions

Uneven and Combined Development and the Politics of Labour in an Eastern Indian Coalfield: Shifts and Changes from Late Colonialism to Neoliberalism

Suravee Nayak

4 October 2023

Taking as an example the Talcher coalfields in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, the chapter shows how uneven and combined development has led to the fragmentation of the local labour forces along the way.

Opinions

Energy Transitions

Seeing India’s energy transition through its States

Ashwini K Swain, Ann Josey et al.

7 June 2023

States are critical actors in India’s energy transition as there is a multi-tier governance of energy production and usage.

Journal articles

Energy Transitions

Intergenerational Labour and Just Transition in Coalfields

Suravee Nayak

1 June 2023

In coal mining districts, the nature of labour dependence on working coal may change over time, but generations will continue to rely on the industry for their livelihoods. This leaves coal communities extremely vulnerable to an energy transition.

Journal articles

Energy Transitions

Solar Rooftop Systems and the Urban Transition: Shall the Twain Ever Meet? Interrogations from Rewari, India

Marie-Hélène Zérah and Sarada Prasanna Das

24 February 2023

This study examines Solar Rooftop Systems (SRS) on Delhi’s outskirts. It reveals how current policies miss the mark by not emphasizing the need for a more integrated approach to urban energy planning that transcends the rural-urban divide.

Opinions

Energy Transitions

India’s just energy transition is more than a coal story

Easwaran J Narassimhan, Ashwini K Swain et al.

6 February 2023

India’s G-20 presidency is an opportunity for New Delhi to negotiate a deal for itself while also shaping international cooperation on just energy transitions.

Journal articles

Energy Transitions

Coal extraction, dispossession and the ‘classes of labour’ in coalfields of eastern India

Suravee Nayak

8 December 2022

This paper delves into the coalfields of eastern India, highlighting the emergence of multiple, fragmented and hierarchical ‘classes of labour’ in the ‘new public sector’ coal mines of India.

Opinions

Energy Transitions

Why India’s Framework to Bank Renewable Energy Needs To Be Stronger

Catherine Ayallore

22 August 2022

A technological solution to renewable energy source’s intermittency is the physical storage of energy. Thus, storage technologies are critical to a transition to RE heavy energy systems.

Journal articles

Energy Transitions

Migrant Workers in the Coal Mines of India: Precarity, Resilience and the Pandemic

Suravee Nayak

3 June 2022

Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork undertaken in the Talcher coalfields of Odisha, the article argues that the labouring lives of migrant workers from marginalised communities have been invisiblised in a ‘shadow economy’ of coal extraction through subcontracting and labour recruitment by local contractors working with state-owned coal companies.

Opinions

Energy Transitions

Band-Aid Solutions Won’t Staunch India’s Power Crisis

Ashwini K Swain and Rohit Chandra

31 May 2022

Current short-term fixes for India’s power crisis neither address rising uncertainty in the electricity system nor are aligned to a transition towards a 21st century energy system.

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Team members

Ashwini K Swain

Fellow, Energy Transitions

Catherine Ayallore

Senior Research Associate, Energy Transitions

Sarada Prasanna Das

Associate Fellow, Energy Transitions