Opportunities at Prayas (Energy Group)

Prayas (Energy Group) or PEG is a leading energy policy research organisation based in Pune. We actively engage in regulatory and policy spaces in the energy sector with the objective of promoting public interest goals such as:

  • Making energy available and accessible to all.
  • Making governance institutions democratic and accountable to their mandates.
  • Making the energy system socially and environmentally sustainable.
  • Ensuring viability of the energy sector.

Our contributions and publications are highly regarded in policy, industry, academic as well as civil society circles. We engage with central and state ministries, regulatory commissions, international agencies, civil society groups and other institutions to participate in committees and other deliberations, towards achieving our objectives.

PEG works on various program themes across the energy sector, such as electricity generation and supply, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy resources and development. The work in all themes involves research, analysis, policy innovation, outreach and capacity building at state and national levels.

To join the PEG team, you should:

  • Be a Post Graduate with good academic record and expertise in Energy Systems, Engineering, Economics, Public Policy, Law, Political Science or Sociology. Graduates with exceptional records may also be considered.
  • Have strong analytical skills and preferably some work experience, with research or social organisations.
  • Be keen to work on challenging social and developmental issues with a flair for using multidisciplinary approaches.
  • Be able to work independently as well as with a team.
  • Be willing to relocate to Pune subject to COVID related constraints.

PEG is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from all candidates. We encourage an open and democratic work culture and have a cycle- friendly work-place. Prayas has a zero tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment in the workplace or any organisation-related activity.

We are looking for motivated individuals for the position of Research Associate in the following areas:

Energy Sector Policy and Regulation

The candidate would help the team with:

  • Research to track state and national preparedness to managing aspects of the transition in electricity and allied energy sectors.
  • Analysis of important developments in the Indian power sector in various states and at the national level from a public interest and equity perspective.
  • Development of innovative ideas to address critical challenges before the power sector.
  • Engagement in regulatory and policy processes at the central or state level, to further public interest.

The role would involve understanding state and national level developments in the energy sector, analysis of regulatory and policy documents as well as data collection from statutory filings and other secondary sources.

For this role, previous experience or interest in energy policy, regulatory practice, governance studies or programme evaluation is desirable. Given the nature of engagements and sustained efforts required in this area of work, it is preferable that the candidate is willing to work full-time for at least two years.

Along with research and analysis, a typical day would involve debates on governance challenges facing the power sector, brainstorming ideas to address crucial issues in varied contexts within the country and finding delight in discovering some new and many recurring insights into India’s power sector. 

An understanding of policy and governance processes, interest in creative problem solving under constrained circumstances, appreciation for irony, propensity towards patience and persistence, good number sense and the ability to find joy in small things would be of great help in this role. 

Power Sector Modelling

The candidate would help the team with:

  • Collection, processing and analysis of data relevant to energy modelling
  • Setting up, running, debugging and analysing scenarios in power sector models
  • Formulating topical questions that can be analysed using power sector models
  • Reviewing literature related to various power system modelling exercises and summarising
  • Engaging in regulatory and policy processes relevant to power sector modelling

The candidate would be working with a team of experienced modellers on GridPath - an open-source platform for production cost, capacity expansion, asset valuation and reliability modelling. As part of the team, the candidate will be involved in all aspects of power system modelling. This includes data collection, scenario building, and using analysis insights to contribute to critical issues before policy makers and regulators at the central and state levels.

The ability to process data using scripts in Python/R etc., an understanding of the Indian power system as well as prevailing policies and realities, willingness to explore creative solutions and the ability to see the story behind the numbers will benefit the candidate in this role.

Energy-economy modelling

The candidate would help the team with:

  • Exploring interlinkages between economic activity, energy production and use, and ecological sustainability
  • Modelling interlinkages between different sectors of the economy through input-output tables etc.
  • Linking a bottom up energy systems model with a macroeconomic model
  • Formulating questions that can be analysed using energy-economy models

The candidate would be working with the team that developed Rumi - an open-source energy systems modelling platform developed at Prayas. As part of the team, the candidate will be involved in aspects related to energy-economy-environment modelling, focusing largely on the macroeconomic aspects related to the energy sector.

A strong theoretical foundation in economic theory, macro-economic and monetary policy, an aptitude for econometric methods, and the ability to work independently as well as with a team is desirable.

Energy end use and efficiency

The role would require the candidate to:

  • Do research, literature review and gather data on electricity access and demand
  • Design and supervise surveys
  • Possess working knowledge of statistics and the ability to use R/Stata/Python for data analysis
  • Independently and collaboratively write research reports

The role would involve analysis and assessment of primary and secondary survey data to better understand appliance usage and consumption patterns in rural, urban and peri-urban geographies to aid policy making, programme design and investment planning. The candidate would have to build on existing analysis and draw policy relevant observations from a pro-poor, public interest perspective. The candidate would also have to engage with policy makers and regulators to share insights and analysis- backed ideas to address crucial issues related to energy demand growth.

Candidates with experience or aptitude in working with large data-sets, statistical analysis and a keen interest in the intersection of economic growth, energy demand trends and pro-poor planning are welcome to apply. It is preferable that the candidate is willing to work fulltime for at least two to three years.

Along with research and analysis, a typical day would involve discussions on crucial questions both practical and philosophical, development of innovative methodologies to address research constraints and engagement with professionals from industry, policy makers to better understand fast-changing developments in this space.

If you are interested in becoming a part of such a team of socially committed professionals, please write with your resume and related writings (any writing samples related to energy, policy or governance) to energy-recruitment@prayaspune.org. Please mention “RA” followed by the Focus area and your name in the subject line.

Since we typically process a number of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be informed.

We had organized a webinar to give a broad overview of Prayas' activities and a sense of what working with us is like. The webinar includes a brief introduction on various aspects of our work in the energy policy space; experience sharing by Prayas researchers and a question and answer session. The webinar’s recording can be seen below.