SEMINAR: India’s energy future and the role of clean energy
Electricity consumption in in India, on a per capita basis, is extremely low, and will need to quadruple in order for Indians to achieve a good quality of life. Currently, the favored paradigm to move towards this goal is through the enhancement of coal-based electricity generation capacity, mainly because it is the least expensive form of electricity in a country where electricity consumption is extremely sensitive to price. In recent years, this paradigm is being questioned, since coal-based electricity generation capacity now exceeds the economic demand for electricity; air quality concerns have led to enhanced stringency in the emissions standards for coal power stations; and the share of renewables in the electricity mix is steadily rising. Renewables could form the core of electricity growth, especially as they also lower air pollution, energy imports, and greenhouse gas emissions. Solar electricity plants are also replicable and upscalable, which could enable their installation at a scale large enough to meet the “ultimate” electricity demand in India. Dr. Mathur will discuss the issue of electrification in India, its needs, goals, and realities.
General Director, The Energy Resources Institute (India)
Dr. Ajay Mathur is Director General of TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute) and a member of the Indian Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change. He was Director General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the Government of India from 2006 until February 2016, and responsible for bringing energy efficiency into homes, offices, and factories, through initiatives such as the Star labelling programme for appliances, the Energy Conservation Building Code, and the Perform, Achieve and Trade programme for energy-intensive industries. Dr. Mathur was earlier with TERI from 1986 to 2000, and then headed the Climate Change Team of World Bank in Washington DC. He was President of Suzlon Energy Limited, as well as lead the interim Secretariat of the Green Climate Fund.
He has been a key Indian climate-change negotiator, and was the Indian spokesperson at the 2015 climate negotiations at Paris. He is a global leader on technological approaches to address climate change; recently, he joined the global group of industrial, financial and think-tank leaders to co-chair an Energy Transitions Commission which will suggest ways for companies and countries to move towards climate-friendly energy futures.