The coal sector in India is about to undergo some significant changes. Prayas (Energy Group) organized a round-table discussion in New Delhi on December 1, 2014 on the possible future options for the Indian coal sector by bringing in various stakeholders such as representatives from the coal and power sectors, researchers on socio-environmental issues, trade union leaders and energy policy analysts. The event was attended by over 25 people and featured rich discussions on the various issues faced by the coal sector.
Prayas organized a lecture by Prof. Kirk R. Smith (University of California, Berkeley) on the issue of cooking energy access and related health impacts at Pune, India.
Prof. Smith reviewed the latest evidence on the health effects of cooking with solid fuels and discuss ideas for a new framing of this energy access problem to supplement past approaches to clean cooking by not only trying to make the "available (biomass) clean", but also doing much better to make the "clean (gas/electricity) available". Both approaches can benefit greatly from the actions of community groups and NGOs, although in somewhat different roles. Advances in clean cooking fuels and an understanding of their full benefits make them more attractive than in the past. There are some difficulties, such as cost, and policy options can be explored to overcome these.
Prayas (Energy Group) organised a round table on “Gender and Electricity” on the 26th of September 2014 at New Delhi. The objective was to explore how a specific focus on gender in grid and grid interactive systems can improve electricity supply and end-use. There were 23 participants representing grid and off-grid electricity, water and livelihood sectors and gender studies. Discussions were on developing a gender perspective in electricity service delivery,experiences in other sectors and lessons from other countries towards arriving at implementable ideas for the Indian electricity sector.
Prayas (Energy Group) organised a round table on ‘RTI and Electricity Sector” at Mumbai on February 25, 2014. The objective was to realise the full potential of RTI in the electricity sector so as to improve service delivery and democratise governance. This was to be achieved through sharing experiences and discussing action plans for the better use of RTI in the electricity sector. The event had 19 participants, mostly from Maharashtra and Rajasthan. They were from a mix of RTI activists/trainers, electricity sector officials and civil society organisations working in electricity sector.
Prayas (Energy Group) organised a structured dialogue on “Renewable Purchase Obligations and Renewable Energy Certificates” on 10th June, 2013 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The objective of the meeting was to increase our collecting understanding of the challenges and issues involved and seek ways to overcome them in a coordinated manner and ensure effective implementation of renewable energy policies/regulations, with particular focus on Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). While most states have RPO and REC regulations in place, questions have been raised off late over the actual functioning of these two instruments in practice. Against this background and to deliberate on the policy-regulatory measures/changes for an effective RPO/REC implementation, Prayas had organized this event. Mr Ashwin Gambhir, Senior Research Associate, made the background presentation, titled, ‘RPO-REC Framework: Emerging Challenges and way forward’. After the formal presentation, the panel members made opening remarks which were followed by an extensive discussion among all participants. The closing remarks were made by Shri Anil Jain, Advisor, Energy, Planning Commission. This meeting was attended over 50 senior participants from the MNRE, State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (ERCs), Renewable Energy Industry, State Nodal Agencies (SNAs), Utilities, Academia, Consultants and Media. Shri Anil Jain, Advisor (Energy), Planning Commission, chaired the session.