The India Energy Hour
The India Energy Hour podcast features in-depth conversations with leading energy, development and climate experts from academia, civil society, and the government. Through these interviews, we explore Indian energy transitions’ most pressing hurdles and promising opportunities. We look at the role that government, financial markets, social movements, and science plays in transition. Over time, we will examine energy issues in other Global South countries as well. The podcast is co-hosted by Shreya Jai, a leading energy and climate change reporter, and Sandeep Pai, an energy transitions researcher, and author. The show is produced by Tejas Dayananda Sagar, a multimedia journalist with 101Reporters.
Episode 31 - Energy Storage: The Catalyst to India's Energy Transition
If India wants to achieve its net zero goal by 2070, energy storage technologies will have to play a crucial role. From battery to pump storage, several different technologies are now commercially available in 5 countries and several others are at the R&D stage. They would all need to be deployed at a scale several magnitudes higher than today as India embarks on the path of the energy transition. And this would require policy push, financial backing and reconciling with socio-economic issues. To understand the landscape of energy storage technologies and their future in India, we interviewed Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President and Managing Director of Customized Energy Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. Rahul is also the founder and Executive Director for India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA). Rahul is considered India’s foremost expert on energy storage, energy management, smart grid deployment and much more. Full transcript of the episode is available here Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube Rahul Walawalkar is on Twitter and Linkedin Our host, Shreya Jai on Twitter, Linkedin & Dr. Sandeep Pai on Twitter, Linkedin Podcast Producer, Tejas Dayananda Sagar on Twitter and Linkedin
September 23, 2022
Episode 30 - Is India walking the talk on its Climate Promises?
As COP27 inches closer, the promises and commitments made during the last global climate conference are under scrutiny. India which was the biggest surprise, thanks to its Net Zero target year announcement has been under the scanner for laying out its climate plans. The Union Cabinet recently approved India's Nationally Determined Contributions which though exhaustive, is still falling short on several fronts - major being climate adaptation. While mitigation measures are being given due importance, specific targets are yet to be drafted. In order for India, among other large economies, to step up its mitigation and adaptation efforts, it needs to raise ambition domestically, bringing policy coherence across the central and state governments, and ensuring access to finance from rich countries. To understand how India should prioritize its mitigation and adaptation efforts, we interviewed Harjeet Singh, Senior Adviser at Climate Action Network. Harjeet is a global expert on the issues of climate impacts, migration and adaptation and has spent two decades working in development sectors. Full transcript of the episode is available here Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube Harjeet Singh is on Twitter and Linkedin Our host, Shreya Jai on Twitter, Linkedin & Dr. Sandeep Pai on Twitter, Linkedin Podcast Producer, Tejas Dayananda Sagar on Twitter and Linkedin
August 26, 2022
Episode 29 - Communicating Climate: Demystifying vs Greenwashing
Talking about climate change, especially in the developing world, is no longer a topic of so-called "academic interest". There are now multitudes of issues involved, countless lobbies on both sides of the debate and largely uninformed public. Climate communication in such a scenario becomes pertinent and as important as the climate issues themselves. But climate comms, especially in the West have been long alleged for whitewashing facts and greenwashing any and every step that the Global North took to tackle climate change. In the middle of this, Aarti Khosla launched what can be said to be India's first dedicated climate communication platform Climate Trends. Khosla has been in the communication sector for her whole career and has been associated with leading NGOs, climate groups etc. Khosla is also Director, CarbonCopy, a dedicated platform for climate-related news. Timestamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 2:35 - About Aarti Khosla and her professional journey 5:00 - Some of the most successful climate comms campaigns led by Aarti. 7:39 - Driving force behind starting Climate Trends? 9:55 - Tips and tricks to simplify climate to layman and the role of climate comms in India 17:31 - Strategies for balancing the narrative of energy transition fossil fuel 26:23 - Some of the key issues/concepts that are difficult to communicate. 30:15 - Climate communication has been very specific to the global north. 39:57 - Modes of communication which have been most effective 45:10 - Engaging with policymakers 48:14 - Handling the criticism of whitewashing that Climate communication faces from the media. 51:49 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube Aarti Khosla is on Twitter and Linkedin Our host, Shreya Jai on Twitter, Linkedin & Dr. Sandeep Pai on Twitter, Linkedin Podcast Producer, Tejas Dayananda Sagar on Twitter and Linkedin
August 11, 2022
Episode 28 - Plastic Ban, Green Waste & Recycling 500 GW Renewable Energy
India recently enforced a ban on single-use plastic items across the country. This move will have a ripple effect across several industries, including FMCG. Experts, however, view this as a bold step towards waste management in the country. Of this, an impeding concern is over renewable energy waste. Solar wastes are generated by discarded solar panels. India is planning to meet its 500 GW target of renewable energy by 2030. Estimates reveal solar industry alone could generate over 34,600 tonnes of cumulative waste by 2030. Bharati Chaturvedi, Founder and Director of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, talks about how India is managing its waste currently, with a focus on solar waste. She goes on to share what can be done to tackle this growing quantum of energy and industrial waste. A cross-cutting environmental and public policy expert, Bharati works closely with government agencies to improve waste governance in India.
July 18, 2022
Episode 27 - Green Energy & Ecology: Land, Farmers & an Endangered Bird
India's renewable energy sector is facing an unusual dilemma - on one side are the ambitious targets set out by the government and on the other are problems and issues that come with rampant growth and increase in size of the industry. One such issue is the GIB or Great Indian Bustard case in Rajasthan and Gujarat where 20 GW of solar and wind power projects face an uncertain future. Planned in the breeding areas of GIB, an endangered bird, green energy and ecology are in direct conflict. Subrahmanyam Pulipaka is leading the fight from the end of the industry. He is CEO of National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), a non profit, non government representative body of the solar sector in the country. Having dabbled both research and project development career paths, Subrahmanyam is looking at ways and means for both energy and ecology to co-exist. Timestamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 1:56 - About Subrahmanyam Pulipaka and what it is to be in policy advocacy. 14:19 - Land and ecology issues being faced by the renewable energy sector. 18:57 - Genesis of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) controversy and the repercussions. 28:19 - Importance of the GIB native land in Rajasthan and Gujarat. 34:44 - Cost implications due to the GIB matter. 36:58 - Need of Environmental Impact Assessment for green energy projects. 43:33 - Bearing the additional cost for saving the ecology - how receptive is the industry and locals? 48:34 - Where is the land then for 500 GW dream target? 57:30 - How do the investors look at these problems? 1:02:47 - Key policy changes required to change the face of this sector. 1:09:22 - Podcast outro
June 30, 2022
Episode 26 - India's annual summer affair with Coal/Power Crisis
As it has been happening for years now, coal and power crisis has gripped India yet again. Severe heatwaves caused due to climate crisis coupled with mismatch in coal demand and supply, led to a nationwide power crisis. Electricity distribution utilities are resorting to power cuts, Centre is pushing imported coal and ministries of coal and railways are at loggerheads. To guide us through this maze of crisis, our host Dr. Sandeep Pai spoke with two journalists with their ears on the ground. Sarita C Singh, a seasoned energy journalist and an expert on fossil fuels and energy policies...along with our co-host Shreya Jai, senior energy and climate journalist. Timestamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 2:42 - What is the genesis of the coal/power crisis? 8:15 - Why there is always a knee jerk reaction to this? 13:44 - Govt pushes states, gencos to import coal. How feasible it is? 17:24 - Did gas or renewables play a role in this crisis? 21:21 - Do you think there is a plan B for gas? 23:44 - How can renewable play a role in averting such crisis in the future? 26:47 - How can discoms find a way to make payments? 35:44 - How does coal crisis impact India's climate mitigation plan? Can coal be retired at all? 45:29 - Shouldn’t India be more aggressive on decentralised renewable system? 50:00 - How do we ensure that this crisis doesn’t happen again next year? 54:46 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
May 28, 2022
Episode 25 - Money, Scale, Intent: Path to Climate Mitigation
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) working group III recently released a report on climate change mitigation. It assessed methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and provided many policy solutions for how countries can contain the climate crisis. To understand what this new IPCC report says, we interviewed Professor Navroz Dubash of the Center for Policy Research and Professor Harald Winkler of the University of Cape Town. Both Navroz and Harald are contributing lead authors of the report and have decades of experience working on climate policy issues. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
May 07, 2022
Episode 24 - Climate Stories from the Corners of India
Increased heat, drought and wildfires are all linked to climate change. Climate change has altered the physical geography in rural areas by disappearing flora and fauna, and other natural habitats that constitute the livelihood of the local people. In order to understand the ground reality of climate impact in rural areas, we spoke with M Raghuram, Senior Journalist from Karnataka; Shuchita Jha, Journalist at Down To Earth, India; and Tazeen Qureshy, Independent Journalist based in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
April 18, 2022
Episode 23 - Climate change impacts & adaptation: Does India have a plan?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report recently that made global headlines. A fact from the report came out as a dire warning - over 40% of the world's population is "highly vulnerable" to climate change. However, there is much more in this report, which was authored by 270 researchers from 67 countries. The report explains the global and regional impacts of climate change, evaluates the adaptation efforts and explains the vulnerabilities faced by humans with rising temperatures. To understand what this new IPCC report says climate change could and is costing Indians, we interviewed Chandni Singh, Senior Researcher at Indian Institute for Human Settlements. Chandni is one of the co-authors of the IPCC report and has authored many other important reports on the topics ranging from climate change, adaptation, vulnerability, migration to livelihoods. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
March 18, 2022
Episode 22 - Towards a thriving power market in India
Since 2003 when the electricity market in India opened up to private investment, variety of market mechanisms also came up along with it. Long term power purchase agreements have been backbone of power supply in the country. But other short and medium terms contracts have helped meeting sudden demand surge, acted as bridge supply and lately given sale options for renewable energy. Similar contracts have now emerged in the Gas market as well. To understand how the Indian energy trading market works, how it can be made more efficient and real-time, we talked with Rajesh K Mediratta. Mediratta is a sector veteran and has worked with Load Despatch Centres, power system operator and has been instrumental in launching India's first electricity trading platform - Indian Electricity Exchange. He is currently MD and CEO, Indian Gas Exchange. Timestamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 0:50 - About RK Mediratta and his professional journey 17:50 - Journey of India’s Electricity trading market 30:25 - Typical contracts that the power exchanges offer in India and how the price discovery mechanism works 33:37 - Level of intervention by the platform in price discovery 36:46 - Convincing discoms to come on exchanges - Allegations of windfall gain during times of electricity supply shortage. 44:47 - How do other electricity markets in Europe function 50:50 - How does Gas exchange function in India? 57:15 - Will gas exchange act as a bridge fuel and help the Indian electricity market in any way? Can both exist in sync? 1:00:15 - Possibility of coal trading in India 1:04:33 - What kind of role can electricity exchange play in the energy transition in India? 1:08:16 - What is the next big thing that the Indian energy market will witness? 1:10:55 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
March 04, 2022
Episode 21 - Role of Mini Grids in Mega Challenge of Energy Access
In the last few years, India electrified nearly all its households by extending the national grid. Yet, reliability of available power is still a major concern. Some rural and remote areas still face power cuts of nearly 10-12 hours a day. Lack of reliable power prevents local economic development as factories and shops cannot function efficiently. Domestic expense also increases as households rely on expensive alternatives such as diesel run generators. While the centralised power grid will see improvements over time and might be able to provide more reliable power, decentralized renewable energy based mini-grids can also be an effective supplementary solution. To understand the role of distributed renewable energy in the future of India’s electricity systems, we interviewed Saugata Datta, India Country Director of Husk Power Systems, a company that operates 100s of mini-grids across India and Africa. Saugata has worked with several leading renewable energy companies in India for over two decades and has expertise in clean energy solutions and energy access projects. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
February 18, 2022
Episode 20 - InvIT: New-age Funding for Grand Old Power sector
The power transmission network is the backbone of any nation's electricity grid. India needs to rapidly expand and overhaul its electricity grid network to undertake a successful energy transition and ensure reliable power to all. While state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) has led the growth of power transmission in India, a handful of private companies entered the fray in the last decade. But the expansion of India's power transmission network for growing renewable energy capacity would need immense capital, more than what the traditional financing routes could offer. Alternative funding avenues are now emerging in India. IndiGrid, India’s first listed power transmission infrastructure investment trust or InvIT is aspiring to become one such innovative financial model. To understand how routes such as InvIT can facilitate global investment in the Indian power transmission and green energy sector while also creating value for investors, we interviewed Harsh Shah, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGrid. Harsh has extensive experience in the infrastructure sector across financing, operations, M&A and regulatory policy. This episode was recorded before Union Budget Suggested Readings: "Section 54EC states that if the profit made on sale of a long-term capital asset – whether an immovable property or shares and stocks – is invested by the taxpayer in 'long-term specified assets' within 6 months of the sale, then the capital gains are exempt from taxation." 1. Harsh Shah profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harsh-shah-8634bb6/ 2. IndiGrid website: https://www.indigrid.co.in/ 3. SEBI guidelines: https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/may-2016/guidelines-for-public-issue-of-units-of-invits_32500.html Timestamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 0:48 - About Harsh Shah and his professional journey 6:42 - Story of IndiGrid - how it started, key factors and people who shaped it. 14:12 - Status of power transmission infrastructure in India. How it could be enhanced to meet Climate targets and the role of InvIT in it? 20:38 - Functioning InvIT, key investors, regulations that make the market and type of assets. 28:02 - How are new assets acquired if 90% of the profits are returned back? What type of investors InvIT attracts in general and at IndiGrid? 34:57 - Reason for insurance companies and pension funds to show interest in InvIT. 39:21 - Global examples of such financing instruments such as InvIT. 42:06 -: Can InvIT build assets? How are renewable assets suitable to InvIT? 46:03 - Indian renewable assets are low in return. Why then it's compatible with InvIT like model? 49:24 - Is the competitive tariff wars happening in the renewable energy space bad news for investment companies? Should InvIT be used for refinancing rather? 54:46 - When renewables will become a game of financing in the longer run, do you think we should have more actions on financing instruments? 59:21 - How the financial markets have matured in the past decade vis-a-vis regulations and quality/confidence of investors and instruments. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
February 04, 2022
Episode 19 - Climate Resilience: Role of Water-Energy-Food Nexus
In the history of the global climate change conferences, it was in the recent COP26 that for the first time there was a separate Water pavilion. Water economy management has faced negligence on the climate discussion table till yet but it is time that water is given the centerstage. Water forms the key bridge in the energy-food supply chain. Water resource management will be crucial to the energy transition planning of India – where till two years back, there was no separate department to focus on water scarcity. In this episode, we are joined by Dr Aditi Mukherji, principal researcher, International Water Management Institute. We will discuss the water-energy-food nexus, how clean energy and water conservation go hand in hand and the role water will play in climate adaptation. Dr Mukherji has close to two decades of experience working in the water resource management space. She is considered an authority on groundwater governance, energy-irrigation nexus and community management of water resources. Suggested Links: 1. Profile of Aditi - https://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/about/staff-list/aditi-mukherji/ 2. Solar irrigation for agriculture resilience – ongoing project by IWMI https://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/about/staff-list/aditi-mukherji/show-projects?C=1084 3. Role of groundwater in agrarian change in West Bengal and Bangladesh: A comparative analysis - https://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/what-we-do/projects/show-projects/?C=1143 Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
January 19, 2022
Episode 18 - COP26: Key highlights & implications
CoP26 concluded on November 13 with the Glasgow Climate Pact, signed by leaders from nearly 200 countries. The pact aims to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Throughout the two weeks of the conference there were numerous pledges and declarations. Many experts have hailed the Glasgow Climate Pact and the various climate pledges as a success, while others are not satisfied with these agreements. To understand the nuances of what unfolded at CoP26, Sandeep interviewed Dr. Simon Evans, Deputy Editor of Carbon Brief, a UK-based website specializing in the science and policy of climate change. Simon is a leading climate and energy journalist who reported extensively on CoP26. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
November 19, 2021
Episode 17 - COP26: Negotiations, Targets and Realities (Part-II)
COP26, the world’s biggest climate change conference, is now only a week away. After traversing through the history and functioning of climate negotiations in the first part of our COP special series, in this second part, we delve into key negotiation points at COP26, India’s role in the current negotiations, and what could be the bottlenecks and common grounds between developed and developing world. For this episode, we interviewed RR Rashmi, Distinguished Fellow and Programme Director, Earth Science and Climate Change at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Mr. Rashmi was India’s former principal negotiator for climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Time stamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 1:20 - About RR Rashmi and his professional journey 11:52: How has India’s climate negotiation powers changed on the global stage? 28:09: Key issues that policymakers around the world are going to discuss and what will be India’s position? 38:36 - Will India benefit from climate finance? Is there a need to declare Net Zero 46:35: Are we not committing to phase out coal because we lack the data of how much would be our energy demand? 50:21: India's own plan to reduce coal usage keeps changing. Can we take aggressive steps on coal and gas like the USA and UK? 53:09: What would be the bare minimum that needs to happen to make this COP a success and the maximum? And ideal outcome for a country like India? 59:42 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
October 26, 2021
Episode 16 - COP26: Negotiations, Targets and Realities (Part-I)
COP26, which is the world’s biggest climate change conference, is only two weeks away. Policymakers from over 200 countries will gather at Glasgow to discuss how to move forward with a more ambitious climate agenda. We at the India Energy Hour are really excited to publish two episodes focusing on COP26. We have interviewed two eminent guests who know the ins and outs of COP meetings. This is the first of two episodes. As we look ahead to COP26, we need to look back at the past climate conferences to understand how climate negotiations work, how they have changed over the years and how India's position evolved over time. The upcoming climate conference or COP26 in Glasgow, could turn out to be like nothing before or just as same as earlier COPs. There are expectations that developing countries will take center stage and seek more climate finance. India has made its stance stronger around its ambitious green energy plans along with fossil fuel growth, while it asks the developed world to fund its climate action. In the first of two special episodes on COP26, we interviewed senior journalist Nitin Sethi who has attended and closely followed climate negotiations and COP conferences for close to two decades. Nitin is a member of reporters collective and a partner at Land Conflict Watch. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
October 19, 2021
Special Episode - Digging into the Coal Crisis: What, How & Why?
As India goes into the festive season with a rebound in the economy post Covid second wave, the country is facing a power crisis with over 80% of thermal power plants in the country facing a coal shortage. Many states have warned their customers of power shortage and there is considerable panic anticipating these power cuts. But how did the crisis start, who is responsible for it but more importantly, how should the countries’ planners resolve the issue and avoid a repeat? To understand these issues, we are publishing a special episode exclusively focusing on the power and coal crisis in India. In this episode, Sandeep is interviewing Anupam Chatterjee, energy journalist at Financial Express newspaper along with India Energy Hour co-host Shreya Jai, energy journalist with Business Standard. Both Anupam and Shreya have been reporting on this power and coal crisis, and are considered experienced writers on the subject/energy sector. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
October 15, 2021
Episode 15 - Financing India’s Green Leap
There is a sudden upsurge of green sector financing in the world - from direct climate financing, ESG goals, to green bonds. India, one of the fastest growing energy markets with ambitious renewable energy plans is looking at these modes to fuel its green targets. How successful though we have been? And as the country and key investors in the green energy space look outward, does India have a robust domestic financing model or agencies to support its green dreams? In this episode, we interviewed Kanika Chawla to understand how climate and green energy financing works. We also explored whether the latest green financing trends are sustainable. Kanika is the program manager for the United Nations Inter-agency Mechanism on Energy where she is working on Sustainable energy for all. She has earlier worked with Centre for Energy Environment & Water in India. Time stamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 1:22 - Intro of guest 2:17 - Kanika’s journey, key projects by her 9:54 - Challenge or Reward of being a woman professional in a male-dominated energy sector 13:59 - Prevalent financing models in the clean energy sector 22:28 - Financing options for a renewable company who wants to start projects in India 27:56 - Has financing fallen behind the growth of solar and wind in India? 33:11 - Is renewable manufacturing the stepson of financing? 37:43 - Lack and need of proper financing ecosystem for the renewable sector in India 44:04 - Financing support to state owned power distribution companies 51:17 - Are ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) funds a fad or are sustainable? 56:41 - Role and importance of this COP26 in accelerating green energy transition 01:05:43 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
October 06, 2021
Episode 14 - Making India's coal power efficient: What's the right path?
India’s electricity sector is facing two major challenges - low electricity demand and massive overcapacity. On one hand, renewable energy installations are on the rise in the country but it is often curtailed. While 100 GW of solar and wind power have already been installed, 50 GW is under installation and 27 GW is under tendering. On the other hand, India is not cutting down its coal-based power generation but their viability remains under cloud as new efficiency standards kick in. Can India optimize its power sector such that renewables thrive, and efficient coal power plants get preference as India reduces its carbon and environmental footprint? In this episode, we spoke to Dr. R Srikanth, Professor & Dean, School of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the National Institute of Advanced Studies who proposes that India can shut down its old inefficient coal power plants to achieve these optimization goals. This proposal emerged from a large study Dr. Srikanth and his colleagues undertook focusing on the transition plan for thermal power plants in India. Time stamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 1:19 - Intro of guest 2:49 - Srikanth’s professional journey from corporate to academia 12:16 - New report by Srikanth & his team at NIAS on retirement of old coal power plants 26:02 - Rationals and methodology used in the study 43:16 - Does India need to build more coal power plants? 57:37 - Who benefits from running old & inefficient coal power plants and who loses when they shut down? 01:03:43 - Can India decide on reducing the use of coal and plan for a phase out? 01:16:02 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
September 21, 2021
Episode 13 - Climate Change: Impact on India's most vulnerable
Farming communities, forest dwellers, tribals with their rivers, mountains and other natural bounties are in the first line of impact from climate change. The worst part is that the most vulnerable are also the least privileged to save themselves from such havoc. The Indian government has put a strong voice on the global stage of climate discourse but are the climate policies covering the most remotely located climate change affected population? To understand the impact of climate change on the ground and what policy support it will need, we talked with journalist and author Hridayesh Joshi. Hridayesh is a freelance journalist and also contributes to CarbonCopy Hindi - a dedicated news website for environment and climate change reporting. A journalist for close to two decades, Hridayesh has written a definitive account of the Kedarnath flood tragedy in his book The Rage of the River. Hridayesh is considered one of the foremost environment reporters in the country with his ears always on the ground. Time stamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 1:19 - Intro of guest 2:18 - Hridayesh's journalism journey 8:27 - Evolution of climate reporting in India. 11:36 - Understanding of climate change in rural areas? 14:07 - Impact that rural communities face across India, due to climate change 20:21 - Contradictory phenomenon of rural migration linked with lack of infra development but too much infra leads to ecological damage 29:35 - Climate reporting being devoid of stories of the affected 33:48 - Failure in understanding climate change among policy makers as well as local communities 37:24 - Educating people about climate change & identifying its impact 46:40 - Policy support needed from government to disseminate knowledge about climate change 53:28 - Sensitising policy making to the hazards of climate change, making eco-friendly policies 01:02:25 - Adaptation strategies used by rural communities for tackling climate related impact 01:08:26 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
September 02, 2021
Episode 12 - Has the sunrise moment of Indian solar manufacturing arrived?
India's solar manufacturing industry has seen only lows in the past decade when solar energy came to the fore in the country. On one side there were cheap Chinese imports eating into the domestic market, and then there were multiple policy flip flops. It is now that the sector is having its moment in the sun with big names venturing into it - from Adani to Reliance Industries. Even the government seems to be offering a steady policy environment and several sops. To talk about the journey of the sector and what awaits in the future, we talked with Gyanesh Chaudhary, founder and managing director, Vikram Solar. Vikram Solar based in Kolkata was one of the foremost manufacturers in the Indian solar industry and now claims to be the largest. Gyanesh who founded the company comes from manufacturing lineage and started Vikram Solar 15 years ago. The company opened a new unit in Chennai recently. Timestamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 1:19 - Introduction of Gyanesh Chaudhary 2:12 - About Gyanesh & journey of solar manufacturing 10:43 - Places, people & events that shaped Vikram Solar 16:40 - About China's manufacturing might in solar & their ultra low cost 21:18 - India's push to renewable power generation without manufacturing ecosystem 23:04 - Business plan of Vikram Solar sans policy support 27:14 - WTO regulations & its impact on Indian manufacturing 29:24 - Comparison between China & India vis a vis financing, government support, sops etc. 33:05 - Is focus now on manufacturing because it makes business sense or there is a policy environment in the country? 35:42 - Ever thought of entering wind manufacturing? 37:24 - Did India miss the bus on solar manufacturing due to initial missteps, pre-2014? 39:49 - Tariff wars in solar and wind and how it impacts manufacturers 43:53 - Future plans of Vikram Solar 45:15 - Entry of conglomerates into solar manufacturing and how it changes the sector's dynamics? 48:18 - Land, Finance, Protection from Imports and Govt Sops. How would you rate these in priority? 51:31 - Weak financing instruments in India for solar manufacturing 56:39 - Contribution of manufacturing to meet 450Gw renewable capacity by 2030. What share of the market is Vikram Solar looking at? 01:02:42 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
August 16, 2021
Episode 11 - Urbanizing India: Impact on energy demand and climate
The International Energy Agency estimates that over the period to 2040, an estimated 270 million people are likely to be added to India’s urban population. How fast India urbanises and industrialises over the coming decades, and the policies that governs these processes will be of crucial significance for countries’ energy future and global climate mitigation efforts. To understand the implications of India’s current and future urbanization, we interviewed Siddharth Singh, co-lead author of India Energy Outlook 2021, published by the International Energy Agency. Siddharth has researched and written extensively about global and indian energy sector policies. Suggested Reading: https://www.iea.org/reports/india-energy-outlook-2021 Timestamp: 0:00 - Podcast intro 1:19 - Introduction of Siddharth Singh 2:06 - About Siddharth: Life & career 10:34 - Syriana: Do movie scenes replay in real life? 15:00 - IEA Energy Outlook - How urbanisation is linked to energy use? 24:59 - What urbanisation means in India 30:32 - Impact of construction activities on energy & commodities demand 35:55 - Balancing rising energy need with climate mitigation plans 44:14 - Heat pumps as an alternative to ACs in India 47:50 - Incentivising Energy Efficiency for residential segment 51:05 - Contribution of urban transport to Green Economy 58:18 - Urbanisation & carbon emissions 01:10:40 - What urbanisation scenario India is likely to follow 01:13:32 - Imagining future urban landscape of India 01:18:07 - Transition towards greener mobility options 01:22:20 - Role of public spaces in energy efficiency & urban infra 01:26:13 - Podcast outro Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
August 03, 2021
Episode 10 - Fossil fuels to Renewables: Are countries planning a Just Transition?
The 10th episode is hosted by Mayank Aggarwal, Contributing Editor, Mongabay India. Mayank is one of the best writers on environment and climate change in India, whose work has been a trailblazer. Mayank will interview co-host & co-founder of The India Energy Hour, Sandeep Pai on his recently published dissertation on Just Transition and talk about the unique datasets that Sandeep used, and the ground work he did to underline the challenges of jumping from fossil fuel to clean energy in developing economies. Suggested Readings: https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/ubctheses/24/items/1.0398719 https://india.mongabay.com/by/mayank-aggarwal/ https://india.mongabay.com/series/just-transitions/ Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
July 18, 2021
Episode 9 - G7 Fossil Finance Ban: Bold Climate Action or Hypocrisy?
G7 nations or group of world's most advanced economies of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States are reportedly planning to ban all fossil fuel finance globally. In fact, G7 has already declared its intention to stop international funding for coal projects. This fossil fuel finance ban could have an adverse impact on countries in the Global South who are trying to balance their growing energy needs while taking action on climate change. To understand this decision of G7 and its far-reaching repercussions, we spoke with Vijaya Ramachandran, Director for Energy and Development at the Breakthrough Institute in the US. Vijaya is a renowned economist with over three decades of experience working in public policy and academia. She has served on the faculty of Duke University and Georgetown University as well as worked at the World Bank, the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the Center for Global Development. Suggested readings: 1. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01020-z 2. https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/541554-economic-growth-in-africa-will-not-be-achieved-by-a Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
July 06, 2021
Episode 8 - Indian Renewables post Covid: Sunset or Silver lining?
Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a crushing impact on economies around the world including India. Facing an economic crisis never seen since Independence, the central and state governments are realigning their focus towards welfare and developmental sectors. Renewable energy which is the newest infrastructure sector in India could take a backseat. To understand the impact of Covid on the renewable energy in India, we spoke with Sunil Jain, former CEO, Hero Future Energies and a renewable sector veteran. Sunil has led two clean energy companies in India. He has also been vital in pushing the government to adopt policy changes that shaped the renewable energy sector in the country. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
June 16, 2021
Episode 7 - The Grand Energy Access Challenge: India's Journey & Path Ahead
Globally, nearly 2.8 billion people depend on solid fuels such as firewood and biomass for their cooking needs and nearly 1 billion people live without electricity connection. Majority of such people lacking basic energy access reside in African and Asian countries including India. In the last two decades, India has made substantial progress in enhancing energy access through policies that support greater use of LPG cylinders and by expanding the electric grid. However, several issues still remain. To understand the Indian and global energy access challenge and the required interventions, we interviewed two renowned energy access experts - Shalu Agrawal, Program lead at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water and Dr Hisham Zerriffi, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. Over the years, both Shalu and Hisham have independently led numerous studies on energy access in India and in other countries. This is our first episode with two guests. An important disclaimer - Hisham is Sandeep’s PhD supervisor at the University of British Columbia. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
June 02, 2021
Episode 6 - Should India Join the Global Net Zero Chorus?
More than 100 countries have pledged to get to net-zero emissions in the next 30 years. There is increasing international pressure on India to join the bandwagon of countries that have declared net zero. Within India, this has sparked a deeper debate. While some groups contend that India can leapfrog and declare a net zero target by 2050, others warn that such a target will impede India’s developmental needs. In our sixth episode, we asked Dr. Navroz K. Dubash whether India should declare a net zero target? Dr. Dubash is India's leading climate expert and has been a scholar, policy adviser and an activist for over three decades. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
April 14, 2021
Episode 5 - Electric Vehicles in India: Smooth Drive or Bumpy Road
Last month, leading car manufacturer General Motors said that by 2035, it will sell only Zero-Emission Vehicles. Many countries around the world are banning the sale of internal combustion engine cars and embracing electric vehicles. In India, the government and leading car manufacturers are also planning to go big on electric vehicles. While these efforts may help make electric vehicles the future of mobility in India, there are several roadblocks that need to be resolved to unleash the true potential of electric vehicles. In our fifth episode, we spoke to Sumant Banerji, Senior Journalist and Associate Editor of the Business Today magazine, about the current and future prospects of electric vehicles in the country. Sumant has researched and written about the Indian auto sector for well over a decade and is considered a leading expert in this area. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
March 31, 2021
Episode 4 - Balancing the Complexity of Energy Policies
India’s energy sector policies are complex. Federal government ministries promote different energy policies that are sometimes at odds with one another. Adding to this complexity, state governments actually have to implement these policies but may have different priorities. In our fourth episode, we spoke to Anil Swarup about the complexity of energy policymaking in India and how India can balance its energy sector policies. Anil is the former federal coal secretary of India and one of India’s most well-known bureaucrats. Anil’s three decades working at various levels of government have given him a ringside view of policymaking. In this episode, he provides a 360-degree view of energy policies in India. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
March 15, 2021
Episode 3 - Gas as a bridge fuel: a dream too far-fetched?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently announced that rapid expansion of the natural gas-based economy is a must for the country to become an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India). However, in the past, the natural gas sector in India has seen very limited growth and is marred with both supply and demand side issues. In our third episode, we spoke to Swati D'Souza, about the prospects of a gas based economy. Swati is one of the top experts on oil and gas in India and is currently working as the Research Lead on climate change at the National Foundation for India. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
March 02, 2021
Episode 2 - King Coal: Its Journey & the Endgame
Coal provides nearly two-thirds of India's electricity but its long-term future is uncertain due to the rise of renewables. Understanding coal's future requires understanding its past. In our second episode, we spoke to Dr. Rohit Chandra, who is an Assistant professor at IIT Delhi and a visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy and Research. Rohit is an expert on India’s coal sector and public sector enterprises. In 2018, he defended his dissertation at Harvard University that focused on the economic and political history of coal in India. Rohit is one of the most balanced voices on the subject of fossil fuels and energy transition. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
February 16, 2021
Episode 1 - Renewable Energy in India: Blip, Boom or Bust?
The last decade has seen a phenomenal growth of renewable energy in India, but many challenges remain even today. In the inaugural episode of the India Energy Hour, Vinay Rustagi, co-founder & managing director, Bridge to India (BTI), joins us to look back at the journey of renewable energy in India and discuss the current challenges and future opportunities. As the head of the foremost consultancy in the renewable energy space, Vinay is renowned for offering analytically critical views on the energy sector and its policies. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
January 28, 2021
Trailer - The India Energy Hour Podcast
A biweekly podcast documenting India's energy transitions. Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.
January 19, 2021