India is one of the most compelling and complex stories in the world when it comes to energy and the environment. With an economy that has doubled in size since 2010 and a population on track to overtake China’s in the next 10 years, India is challenged to meet its growing demand for energy, and to do so in a sustainable way.
On a new episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, host Bill Loveless sits down with Ajay Mathur, the director general of The Energy & Resources Institute, a New Delhi-based think tank, and a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. Ajay served as director general of India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and head of the climate change team at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. He has been a key climate change negotiator for India, and was the nation’s spokesperson at the climate negotiations in Paris in 2015.
Ajay and Bill caught up outside the Center on Global Energy Policy’s recent 2018 summit in New York to talk about the outlook for energy supply and demand in India, including the critical role that a combination of solar power and storage could play in his country in the coming years.
They also touched on some of the striking energy contrasts in India, a country where many go without access to affordable electricity despite the nation’s abundant installed electric capacity. Among other topics, they discussed India’s ongoing heavy dependence on coal for electricity, the outlook for nuclear energy, and India’s goals for reducing emissions under the Paris agreement.