Governing energy resources challenges and the way ahead for India

Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Place of publication
New Delhi
Date of Publication
December 2013
Number of Pages
Language of publication

The paper gives an overview of the energy resource governance in India. It illustrates the energy-poverty challenge and the emerging energy scenario in the country. The chapters also analyses the economic, social and environmental issues emerging out of rapid development in the energy sector and the challenge of sustainable energy access in view of climate change.

The analysis documents the resource governance challenges in India separately for Coal, Nuclear Energy and Renewable Energy, respectively. These three have been treated as stand-alone sections to illustrate how different are the challenges for different energy resources. The sections also deal with the issue of acquisition of energy resources by Indian companies abroad. Why the government is pushing for energy resources acquisition abroad? Does India have rules and laws to regulate the conduct of its companies abroad? This document tries to map some of these critical issues.

The engagement and the response of the academia, independent think tanks and NGOs to the emerging energy resource governance issues have been piecemeal and inadequate. There are opposition and critique to government policies and projects, but there is not enough work on ‘alternatives’. The paper concludes that energy resource governance in India is still evolving and the civil society needs a whole new proactive research and advocacy agenda to push for fair, transparent, participatory and sustainable energy resource governance in the country. India needs energy for economic development and to meet basic development needs of its growing population. The challenge it faces is how to build an inclusive, equitable and sustainable society without further overstepping the planet’s ecological limits or overusing the earth’s finite natural resources. The challenge is the work in progress.

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