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Equitable Energy and India

L to R: Jamshyd Godrej, Suman Bery, Arunabha Ghosh and Jessica Seddon
by Antaraa Vasudev
8 November 2016

MUMBAI, , 7 November 2016 -- Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce, Suman Bery, Former Chief Economist, Shell International, Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Asia 21 Young Leader, and Jessica Seddon, Managing Director, Okapi, came together to discuss India's energy scenario that was centered around the book, 'Energizing India: Toward a Resilient and Equitable Energy System'.

The conversation started with the Chair, Jamshyd Godrej stressing on the importance of sound policy to solve the climate situation in the country. The policy intervention will determine if the climate situation will get better or worse. The industry needs to do its part by taking up initiatives like green business centers.

Suman Bery, speaking of the book said, 'Energizing India: Toward a Resilient and Equitable Energy System' deals with energy as a situation and spells out techniques to deal with India's energy problem. India has not made any mistakes in the energy space but there is a need for more action and the appropriate time to start is now. Of the usable energy, 18% is electricity and there is a need to focus on renewables as a source of energy, said Bery.

Energy sources will have to be shifted from traditional to modern as there is a change in patterns of demand and consumption. Arunabha Ghosh mentioned India's incapability of climbing the energy ladder even though the per capita income is rising. The Indian middle class has done well on its adoption of traditional fuels. There is a need for Innovation in areas like Energy Access, energy efficiency, renewables energy and energy partnerships.

The future energy market will be shaped by industry to a large extent since they contribute towards energy tariffs. It will be a mixture of industry and policy that shapes India's future energy markets. The future will also put some pressure on the prices of fossil fuels. Ghosh stressed on the need for lowering the cost of capital in energy in order to mitigate risks, while Seddon shed light on the importance of having catalysts that encourage policy changes in the energy sector.

Reported by Karishma Talwar, Programme Officer, Asia Society India Centre.

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