Executive Summary | Abstract | Introduction | Topic in Context | Trend Analysis | Baseline Forecast | What the Future May Hold | Expected Future Scenario | Alternative Future Scenarios | Business Implications | References |
Over the last several decades India has slowly become one of the world’s leading nations. Fueled by globalization, India has experienced steady population growth, including a rising middle class, and rapid growth in its GDP. If these trends continue India could be the world’s largest economy by 2050 (U.S. Census Bureau). However, this rapid growth in population and business has come with a rapid growth in energy consumption, which, as is the case with developing countries, has been powered mostly by fossil fuels. This has led to increases in India’s carbon footprint and CO2 emissions, causing concern about the country’s impact on the global environment. While India has taken steps over the last decade to decrease its carbon footprint, there is still a lot of room to improve, as 70% of India’s energy is still produced by fossil fuels (Yep par. 4). This provides great opportunities for businesses to come into India and implement clean energy initiatives, as the market is currently wide open and demand is high. This paper is centered on the following question: “What is the future of clean energy in an India with a rapidly growing, increasingly affluent population?” To gain a greater understanding of the current state of clean energy in India, our team conducted a current assessment, analyzing demographic, economic, governmental, environmental, social, and technological forces. Drivers of change include India’s growing energy demand, the need for low cost energy, pressure from the global community, and the rising of the sustainability movement, while the main constraints of change are limited infrastructure, reluctance on the part of existing energy providers, and an overall lack of government determination. With these trends in hand, our team performed a baseline forecast, projecting the trends into the future to help develop an understanding of potential future outcomes and uncertainties. The primary demographic trend is India’s growing population, which is projected to continue increasing but at a decreasing rate. Economically speaking, India’s GDP has grown
exponentially over the last two decades and should continue to increase, but at a lesser rate. Another trend that should increase is government funding toward clean energy projects in India, which has increased over recent years, in part due to the increasing societal pressure for India, and all countries for that matter, to reduce its carbon footprint. Lastly, in terms of infrastructure, India’s energy shortage has decreased over the last several years and its installed renewable energy generating capacity has increased, which shows signs of improvement. With these trend projections our team created four possible future scenarios for clean energy in India. Our expected future scenario, “Slow and Steady,” predicts government investment in clean energy, gradual economic recovery from the 2008 recession, a growing middle class, and improved urban infrastructure. “Reluctant Progression” predicts government regulation of clean energy, less investment in renewables, slow economic recovery, a growing middle class, and large urban consumption of energy. “Green is the New Black” predicts high government investment in clean energy, great economic recovery, slowed population growth, improved urban infrastructure, and rural energy development. Lastly, “Things Fall Apart” predicts reduced government spending on clean energy, poor economic recovery, a decrease in population growth, and developments against renewable energy. With the possible future scenarios in mind, our team determined the business implications for each scenario. With “Slow and Steady” India would see a significant boost to the private sector through lower energy costs and job creation. “Reluctant Progression” opens the door for private companies to come into India and invest in clean energy and cater to the growing middle class. “Green is the New Black” would lead to unprecedented investment in clean energy in India and rural development, all while significantly lowering costs, leading to a cascading effect. Finally, “Things Fall Apart” would provide businesses the opportunity to help rebuild India and open up the door for development of more efficient fossil fuels.
The central question that will be explored in this paper is: â€œWhat is the future of clean energy in an India with a rapidly growing, increasingly affluent population?â€? Given the rapidly expanding, rapidly affluent population, and thus the rapidly growing demand for energy, businesses in the Indian energy industry must be able to produce more energy in a sustainable manner. Through a careful examination of current demographic, economic, governmental, environmental, social, and technological dimensions of India, projections were made to envision the future of India, its energy consumption, and the source of its energy. After the trends within the context of each of the previously mentioned dimensions were examined, four potential scenarios began to emerge from the data. While the baseline forecast represents the most likely outcome for the future of Indian energy, each of these four scenarios represents a potential future for India. These scenarios each have unique business implications for both businesses involved in the field of energy and those operating outside the field, as the success of a business is intricately intertwined with energy usage.
What started out as a grand experiment by the East India Company in 1757 has become a world leader in technology and an epicenter for business in 2012. The country of India has been the leading beneficiary of globalization over the past decade with unprecedented inflows of capital and a growing middle class. From 1991 until 2011, India enjoyed “nearly 20 years of almost unbroken rapid growth” (Burke par. 5). Its GDP has grown to $1.78 trillion and is projected to grow by another 6.28% in 2013, according to Morgan Stanley. Demographically, its population has soared to 1.21 billion people and maintains a growth rate of 1.4% annually (CIA). By some measurements, India will be the world's most populous country by the year 2025 and the world's largest economy by the year 2050 (U.S. Census Bureau). Although such growth is unarguably beneficial to both global and Indian societies, it has not come without serious negative consequences to the environment, raising questions on the sustainability and net positive measurement of economic advancement. Data from the Energy Information Administration shows that India's production of electricity from crude oil has grown from 4.2 billion kilowatt-hours in 1970, to 34 billion in 2011, resulting in an increase of emitted carbon dioxide from 200,000 kilo-tons to 1.6 million (Energy Information Administration). On a more macro scale, 70% of India's energy is now produced by fossil fuels, 40% of which is from coal and 24% of which is crude oil (Yep par. 4). On a global level, such a high dependency on fossil fuels has caused India to become the world's fourth largest contributor in CO2 emissions, adding 1.495 billion metric tons of the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere each year (“Each Country’s” fig. 1). For India, heightened
levels of carbon dioxide could mean the melting of the Himalayan Mountains, erratic patterns of seasonal rainfall, higher levels of atmospheric aerosols, and the flooding of the nation's lowlands (Energy Information Administration). Despite the risk, however, the move away from carbon-emitting fossil fuels has been slow. Significant social pressure to provide quick development to the poor, rural population has caused the country to continue to rely on oil and coal. For these people, fossil fuel means electricity, warmth, plumbing, and a higher standard of living; yet for the metropolis, it means smog, health concerns, and the knowledge of what CO2 is doing to the environment. This issue, the attempt to balance progress with sustainability, seemingly leaves the country with two different paths: continue to use fossil fuels so that the rural population may raise its standard of living, increasing the speed of climate change in the process, or wean the nation off of fossil fuels and make the transition to alternative energy sources, leaving India's masses in a nineteenth century lifestyle for another two decades. This paper argues, though, that the choice between progress and sustainability does not have to be mutually exclusive. A third option does exist for India, which will push the domestic economy forward without jeopardizing present and future environmental, economic, and social viability. With private sector support, backed by a strong commitment by the Indian government, alternative energy development can provide the carbon-reducing solution the country is looking for while maintaining economic growth in the process. Thus, in the face of a rapidly growing and increasingly affluent population, India can use clean energy to reduce its carbon footprint.1 An analysis of current conditions serves as a starting point for this argument and will provide a historical analysis supporting the renewable energy argument. Such data and trends can 1
Clean energy can be defined as energy which produces no carbon dioxide by-product. Sources of clean energy include wind-powered turbines, photovoltaic collection devices (e.g. solar panels), hydro-generated turbines, and nuclear power plants.
then be used to produce a baseline forecast leading to India's expected future, along with a list of potential alternative futures which can take place. From here, implications of the potential futures can be hypothesized and weighed against an in-depth analysis of business implications.
There are many forces, or drivers of change, that are contributing to the momentum surrounding clean energy development in India. These forces include growing energy demand, the need for low cost energy, pressure from the global community, and the rising of the sustainability movement. The first of these is the growing demand for energy in India. A growing population automatically indicates an increase in energy consumption, simply by virtue of the fact that all people consume energy. There are a couple additional reasons for an increase as well. Mrinal K. Ghose, a former member of the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering in the Indian School of Mines University in Dhanbad, discusses this very topic in his journal article for Environmental Quality Management. He states, “India’s incremental energy demand is projected to be among the highest in the world over the next decades, spurred by sustained economic growth, rises in income levels, and increased availability of goods and services” (“Coal Resources” 64). While a large portion of the Indian population still does not have access to a sufficient energy supply, annual per capita electricity consumption and annual per capita energy demand are expected to grow to 1,895 kWh and 0.53 to 0.89 tons of oil equivalent from 2007 to 2030, which are huge increases (“Coal Resources”). Of course, as energy use increases, so does greenhouse gas, which is what makes this increasing demand relevant to the project. All energy comes at a price. As demand and consumption increase dramatically over the next couple decades, the need to constrain costs pertaining to energy power becomes paramount. “The economic and political leaders of India clearly consider poverty alleviation and availability of low-cost energy as overriding priorities for the nation” (“Growth Planning” 76). Ghose goes
on to explain that all developing nations should invest in research that aims to further reduce the cost of energy, especially as new clean energy sources become available. This highlights not only the need for governmental action, but that investments in R&D should be directed toward developing new technological innovations that increase the efficiency of current energy systems while also creating new, cleaner energy networks across the country. For example, nine Indian States developed a source of grid-connected renewable energy power between 2001 and 2009 (Schmid 319). Beyond India’s borders, there have been international meetings regarding protection of the environment including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kytoto Protocol. India feels as if the demands made by these groups, forcing countries to reduce their carbon footprint, are made in an attempt to shift the responsibility of the climate problem to those countries that have not significantly contributed to it (“Coal Resources” 63). They believe (as does the United States) that reductions in greenhouses gases should be left up to the discretion of the country on a voluntary basis. Essentially, India would like to decide for itself how to deal with pollution. The last driver of change has to do with the citizens of India themselves. From a strict numbers perspective, between 1960 and 2010, India’s population increased from 448 million to 1.21 billion, an enormous growth by any standards. India’s population is currently growing at a rate of 1.4% per year, far surpassing China’s rate of 0.7% (Bloom 2). One of the primary results of this growth is an environmentally-conscious middle class with much more power and influence than the poor, lower classes. Also, as rural areas become increasingly urbanized, power
among the middle class will become centralized, providing even more ways to effect policy changes. Just as there are many factors that are driving momentum toward clean, sustainable energy in India, there are just as many constraints on that change. These include limited infrastructure, reluctance on the part of existing energy providers, and an overall lack of government determination. India’s lack of adequate infrastructure is holding back development, especially in the energy sector. The massive blackouts in the summer of 2012 indicate just how deficient the current system has become. According to The Economist, “The impact on India’s economy goes far beyond lost output. The blackout will badly damage the country’s reputation, and highlights the rotten infrastructure that is hobbling its efforts to catch up with China” (“Blackout nation”). A major source of the problems with energy sources are existing energy providers, such as the state-owned coal industry. Coal companies currently have a monopoly on energy, which is hindering growth. For real progress to be made, these coal conglomerates need to be broken up and privatized (“Blackout nation”). This leads to the role that the government has played in creating clean energy. While there have been successes, most politicians “fear offending powerful lobbies, such as the farmers who receive subsidized electricity” (“Blackout nation”). This need to get reelected rather than support the common good of the country is definitely a constraint on sound clean energy policy.
Clean energy initiatives in India influence a tremendous amount of stakeholders, from international companies to poor Indian citizens. An illustration of key stakeholders is shown in Figure 1.
As India’s government continues to take steps in the right direction towards clean energy initiatives, powerful investors are beginning to take advantage of the enormous potential of clean energy in India’s current market. Investment in clean energy projects was estimated at 7.2 billion dollars for the first three quarters of 2011, an increase of 3.1 billion dollars from 2010 (“India”). The amount of investment is not just increasing yearly, but it is increasing at a higher rate every year. Venture capital firms were among the first investors in Indian clean energy. Some firms invested directly in existing clean energy-focused Indian companies, while others partnered with large foreign energy companies to set up clean energy systems. For example, the Shell Foundation partnered with the U.S. venture fund First Light Ventures to help introduce newly developed clean energy efforts (“India”). Although these investors are taking advantage of an enormous opportunity for sustainable profits, they are focused on long-term profitability due to the fact that the Indian government has the power to ensure the affordability of clean energy solutions by intervening in the marketplace with legislation and regulations. The majority of Indian citizens do not currently have much influence on clean energy solutions, mostly because of the large disparity between the rich and the poor. McKinsey Global
Institute released a report in 2011 stating that about 800 million Indian citizens live on less than four dollars a day. However, these low income families spend 11.8% of their income on energy, which is their highest expense other than food (â€œIndiaâ€?). Household renewable energy sources for the growing middle class, as well as for families living in poverty, have enormous profitability potential for companies that can develop a practical and cost-effective source of clean energy. However, many Indian citizens who live in rural areas not only have low income, but also have limited education. Powerful NGOs can use their influence to inform these uneducated citizens about new energy technologies. One final relevant stakeholder is the United Nations, which has a global development program called the United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP. The UNDP supported the government of India on a project that achieved global environmental benefits through the development of methods for clean energy production (Reddy). A main objective of this program is protecting the environment in developing nations by strengthening their ability to address the challenges of accessing clean energy. As the UNDP continues to help developing nations with sustainability, more opportunities for clean energy will emerge in India.
For a successful analysis of India's carbon reduction prospects, a summary of the past (flow parameters) and a snapshot of the present (stock parameters) must be carefully looked at so that an accurate and uncertainty-encompassing forecast can be made. Remaining in-line with a DEGEST-based framework proves to be an optimal method in determining how the country uses renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint. By tackling the governmental, demographic, economic, technological, and societal elements individually, a deep-dive level of data can be amassed and analyzed. From here, each element can be used to paint an aggregate baseline forecast and a subsequent expected future through the use of the Institute for the Future's scenario development process.
Indiaâ€™s massive population growth is one of the main factors contributing toward the increasing need for renewable energy solutions. A growing populous means greater energy consumption across the board, so forecasting the approximate size and type of population growth is critical to creating energy policies that can handle the burgeoning population. As such, the indicators of population change to monitor and extrapolate are the projected population size and growth rate, along with fertility and mortality rates. Other considerations include the growth of the middle class and the overall urbanization of the flourishing population.
In recent years, an economic slowdown that began in the United States developed into one with worldwide consequences, including a slowdown in growth in India. Given the highly intertwined nature of energy usage and economic growth, it is important to be mindful of the rate
of economic growth or contractions in India. In a sense, the economy serves as a leash to energy spending, thus the economy, with a lack of growth, serves as a constraint to energy development.
Cognizant of the potential costs associated with pursuing carbon footprint reduction, the Indian government has created institutional incentives for the private sector transition towards utilizing renewable energy. Through the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), an arm of the nation’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, carbon generationbased incentives (GBIs), subsidies, subsidized credits, and reduced import duties are given to the nation’s domestic and international private sectors to encourage absorption of transitional costs. Such institutional support is crucial, as total government expenditures account for 17.5% of the nation’s real GDP (CIA). In 2010, India’s government released the Indian Renewable Energy Status Report (IRESR), which, at the time, was seen as the most comprehensive and thorough carbon footprint reduction plan in the world (Arora et al. xiii). This government-created report serves as the prime source for historical data on where the Indian government has been, where they are now, and where they plan to be in the next 20 years.
One of the biggest social issues of the last four decades has been the state of the environment. With concerns over emissions, greenhouse gases, and energy sources, countries all over the world have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint and develop clean energy initiatives. From the United States Environmental Protection Agency to the United Nations Environment Programme to the Kyoto Protocol, there have been many significant programs put into place that have helped to combat environmental issues.
This international commitment to improving the environment will serve as a driver of change in India, but not just because they will feel pressure from their citizens and the rest of the world. India will have to continually improve to keep up with stricter regulations, which will be made easier due to benefits granted by organizations like the UN to countries that improve their environmental standards.
The future success of renewable energy in India is reliant on the country’s infrastructure, especially its sources of energy and electrical grids. India is currently facing the daunting challenge of building up its energy infrastructure fast enough to respond to radical growth in its economy and population. However, India’s current infrastructure is massively inconsistent and struggling to meet the current energy demands of its citizens. Indicators of the impact that India’s infrastructure will have on the future of renewable energy include electrical losses, energy supply and demand, energy efficiency, and off-grid energy solutions. Figure 2 shows India’s annual energy generation, which has been rising at increasingly greater rates since 2001. In fact, the rise in electricity generation from 2011 to 2012 was an 8.1% increase, the largest rate of growth in the past decade, and is likely to continue to increase.
1200 1000 800 600 400 200
Source: Central Electricity Authority
Energy Generation (BU)
After thoroughly examining the demographic, economic, governmental, environmental, social, and technological factors in order to fully understand those factors that propel or constrain the growth of clean energy in India, a baseline forecast may be developed. The baseline forecast offers a view of the world in the future if all of the drivers and constraints remain relatively the same, without significant change. Certain signposts, or evidence of significant change among the drivers and constraints, can indicate a future bound for one of the alternate futures, rather than one following the trajectory of the baseline forecast. While it is unlikely that no changes will occur, especially in the real world, the baseline forecast provides a basic guide, perhaps even a measuring stick, upon which other forecasts may be based.
India’s population growth is expected to be quite strong in the next 40 years. Within an “optimistic” scenario, meaning that both mortality and fertility rates fall sharply, Indian population estimates are 1,229 million people by 2015, 1,305 million by 2020, and 1,380 million by 2025. Under a “realistic” scenario, meaning mortality and fertility rates both decline slowly, projections are lower with 1256 million people living in India by 2015, 1,331 million by 2020, and 1,403 million by 2025 (Bhat 5-7). Data from the International Database of the US Census Bureau, displayed in Figure 3, indicate that India’s population could increase to as much as 1.8 billion by 2050.
1,800,000,000 1,600,000,000 1,400,000,000
1,200,000,000 1,000,000,000 800,000,000 600,000,000 400,000,000 200,000,000 -
Source: US Census Bureau
While the population will continue to increase in absolute terms, the rate at which it grows will steadily decrease. From an annual rate of 1.33% for 2011-2012, population growth rates should decline by an average of .023% each year for a projected rate of 0.45% for 20492050 (US Census Bureau). Mortality and fertility rates are key variables when it comes to population growth. The total fertility rate, which is the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given set of age-specific fertility rates, is expected to fall from 2.3 in 2011-2015 to 2.0 in 2021-2050 (Census of India 152). Mortality is best measured by life expectancy, which is set to increase from 67 in 2012 by 10 whole years to 77 in 2050 (US Census Bureau). An important aspect of this population growth is not just its sheer size, but rather where most of this growth is coming from. In this case, it is the middle class thatâ€™s driving growth. While overall population growth is expected to increase by 30% between the years of 2005-
2050, the middle class will increase over 10 times that amount or 1000% in the same period (Deutsche Bank Research 2). Where this growth is taking place is another important determinant when considering population growth. Seen in Figure 4, the McKinsey Institute estimates that Indiaâ€™s urban population will grow from the estimated 340 million in 2008 to as much as 590 million by 2030 (McKinsey 15).
Source: India Urbanization Econometric Model; McKinsey Global Institute analysis
One cannot simply measure the entire economy with one number; thankfully one statistic, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), approaches a reasonably accurate picture of the entire economy. The economy in India has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, but if growth were to come to a standstill it could spell disaster for the Indian economy. In the first quarter of 2012, Indiaâ€™s annualized growth rate slid to 5.3 percent, which was a nine-year low (Ghosh par. 9).
GDP (Billions of Current US$)
4,500 4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000
Source: World Bank
Thankfully, GDP data is relatively easy to obtain, especially from the World Bank, unlike some economic data which is difficult to obtain or even difficult to measure. This results in relatively few issues with the data; however, many non-economists find GDP to be a blunt instrument, missing many of the subtleties of a society. These subtleties include the fact that black market activities are not calculated into GDP figures (which is especially troubling in the developing world as many activities occur outside the scope of the national accounting data monitors), and the fact that work performed in the home by members of the household is also not included in the calculation.
Between 1987 and 2009, the IREDA disbursed 1.41 billion dollars in institutional incentives to the private sector, resulting in the installation of 4.38 GW of power capacity for the nation. In 2008, IREDA commitments totaled around 300 million dollars for 47 projects,
resulting in 403 MW of power generation for the nation’s grid; loan disbursements for that year were 154 million dollars. As of December 31, 2009, this trend continued, with the IREDA financing 1,921 projects with loan commitments totaling 2.4 billion dollars. After the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in 2009, India committed to “reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP 20-25% by 2020” ("Natural resources defense" 2005). In order to accomplish this lofty goal, India’s federal government has committed itself to finance 70 percent of any renewable energy project at a low interest rate. Because fiscal-year budgets are not completed until a year prior, long-term figures are not available. However, an explanation by the IRESR of the national government’s current commitment can be seen in Figure 6.
Although the generation of electricity in India is growing at a large rate, the demand for energy is still not being met. An overview of India’s energy demand compared to the amount of energy being provided in the last decade is illustrated in Figure 7.
100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Peak Demand (MW)
Peak Met (MW)
Peak Shortage (%)
Source: Central Electricity Authority (Singh 54)
Until 2007, Indiaâ€™s energy demand was increasing at a larger rate than the amount of energy being provided, leading to an increase in their energy shortage. However, since 2007 this trend has changed completely as the energy shortage has decreased overall and is now at its lowest point in the last 15 years, 9.8%. The reduction of this energy shortage shows an increase in Indiaâ€™s energy efficiency as they continue to more effectively supply the amount of energy that Indian citizens need. However, India is still struggling to provide an adequate amount of electricity to its citizens despite the improvement in the energy shortage. In 2009, more than 400 million Indians did not have access to electricity, with electrification rates of 94% in urban areas and 57% in rural areas (Khandker 12). In addition, Indiaâ€™s current electricity supply is low quality and has
some significant fundamental flaws that lead to voltage fluctuation, spikes, and blackouts. India’s current electricity losses, which refers to the discrepancy between how much power is produced and how much power is received by the final consumers, are among the highest in the world. An acceptable national average amount of electricity losses worldwide is below 10%, and India had a national average of 40%, 30%, and 27% in the years 2000, 2005, and 2009, respectively (Arora 15). This inefficiency shows the depleted nature of India’s current energy infrastructure that could be fixed by introducing efficient sources of clean energy. However, the amount of losses is continually decreasing and can reach generally accepted levels within the next decade if this trend continues. To be able to provide adequate electricity to its growing population, India needs to perform serious restructuring of its energy infrastructure. Moving forward with renewable energy sources is a viable option due to India’s abundant natural resources and the opportunities for offgrid renewable energy to meet the demands of rural areas that currently lack electricity. According to NREL’s report on renewable energy in India, the country has abundant renewable energy resources such as a large landmass that receives among the highest solar irradiation in the world, a long coastline and high wind speeds, and numerous rivers and waterways (Arora vii). These resources open the door for opportunities to utilize solar power, wind farms, and hydropower not only for rural areas, but for the country as a whole. Renewable energy sources are currently on the rise in India. India’s installed capacity of renewable energy sources has been growing steadily in recent years, rising from 18 MW in 1990 to 24,503 MW in 2012 and showing an increase every year in between. Renewable energy sources initially grew very slowly, but from since 2008 the annual renewable energy capacity addition has been growing substantially. While renewable energies accounted for a miniscule 0.03% of India’s installed capacity in 1990, they now account for 12.26%, and are projected to
rise to 17.12% of all installed energy capacity in India by 2017. Figure 8 shows the recent increase in installed renewable energy generating capacity in India as a percentage of total
Generating Capacity (MW)
350,000 300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000
Total Installed Generating Capacity in India (MW)
Total Installed RES Generating Capacity (MW)
% of Total Capacity
Source: Central Electricity Authority
Although the installed capacity of renewable energy is growing considerably, the actual generation of energy from renewable energy sources is growing at a much smaller rate. In 1992, the percentage of total energy generation from renewable sources was 0.01% of total energy generation, and in 2011 it was 4.87%. Although this is a promising increase, the installed capacity is growing much faster than the energy generated from those installed sources. In order to reduce Indiaâ€™s carbon footprint and solve the crisis of providing energy to all Indian citizens, these installed sources of renewable energy must be fully utilized and continue to grow in the future.
The main questions that need to be answered in terms of concern over the environment involve what outside organizations are doing to pressure India into improving their environmental standards and reduce their carbon footprint and how they are helping India do so. The major outside force that has driven India to reduce their carbon footprint is the Kyoto Protocol. Developed by the United Nations in 1997 and entered into force in 2005, the Kyoto Protocol requires developed countries to meet set targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (â€œKyotoâ€? par. 1-4). While India, a developing country, is not required to meet any standards, like developed countries, it has done a lot on its own to reduce greenhouse gas emissions anyway. However, when the treaty is revised before the end of the year, India and other developing countries may be required to meet targets. This could force India to take additional steps to meet these new standards. In addition, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a flexibility mechanism defined in the Kyoto Protocol, gives credits to developing countries for implementing projects to reduce GHG emissions. Once a project is approved, a country earns credits, which can later be traded or sold to developed countries, which can use them to meet parts of their GHG emission reduction targets. The money generated from the sale of these credits is then used to improve the financial viability of the projects. India has taken advantage of the CDM process. From 2009 to September 2010 alone, the number of registered projects in India climbed from 478 to 532, and only China has more registered projects (Arora et al. 3). This trend is sure to continue, at least as long as India is not required to meet set targets.
Analyzing this information provides a basic comprehension of the drivers for renewable energy change in India. Each of the preceding elements' baseline forecasts allows the expected future of India's carbon reduction prospects as a whole to be considered. However, a nearperpetual list of uncertainties exist which could drastically affect the trajectory of the forecast, leading to a situation much different than once thought. Figure 9 visually demonstrates the nature of such uncertainties. Thus, although the preceding analyses hold all variables ceteris paribus, uncertainties affecting the accuracy of their prediction must be mapped and accounted for.
•Government ideology: Indian political elites could vote to suspend futher funding for institutional incentives citing debt reduction and spending cuts •Disrputions in revenue base: Indian taxpayers could be victims of a drastic economic event or natural disaster. This could greatly reduce the amount of revenue the government takes in.
• Population disruption: Any significant natural disaster or wide-spread disease could greatly reduce India's extremely high population. Such a reduction would naturally reduce the carbon footprint along with the amount of CO2 producing energy sources. •Emigration shifts: If the emigration rate oupaces the immigration rate, population rate of growth could slow down, decreasing the need for energy development
•Transnational shift: If the economy falls back into recession due to the Eurozone crisis, international support for renewable energy development and CO2 reduction could slow down. This would undoubedtly affect India's efforts. •U.S. Policy: The 2012 elections could elect a Republican to the White House. Such a policy shift would result in a shift in envrionmental policy from the world's most affluent nation. India may piggy-back on this decision in its aspirations to be the number one global economy.
•Global recession: A recession could easily tip the Inidan private sector into a 2008-like chaos. If so, renewable energy will undoubtedly fall to the wayside. •Domestic fiscal and monetary policy: If the Indian central banks alter money supply or the federal government alters government expenditures, interest rates could rise causing investment for renewable energy development to fall along with GNP and GDP.
•Accelerated change: If technology emerges that will allow the private sctor to speed up the rate and efficiency of energy production, will the Indian power grid and infrastructure be able to handle it? Analysis as of now shows the answer to be no., with rolling blackouts already a problem. • Defects: If a systematic manufacturing or installation error occurs among technology, the cost to fix/replace will be great. If the government does not cover, a break-even point for companies will be moved further into the future.
According to the Institute for the Future Method, there are four possible scenarios in the future of a situation: growth, constraint, transformation, and collapse. The growth and constraint scenarios involve just modest change, while the transformation scenario features extreme positive change and the collapse scenario features extreme negative change. The expected scenario for clean energy in India is growth, while the other three represent alternate scenarios.
High government investment
Reduced government spending
Gradual economic recovery
Less investment in renewables
Great economic recovery
Poor economic recovery
Growing middle class
Slow economic recovery
Slowed population growth
Decrease in population growth
Growing middle class
Improved urban infrastructure
Developments against renewable energy
Improved urban infrastructure Invest in rural next
Large urban consumption
Rural energy development
The Indian government continues to invest in clean energy projects by helping to fund the private sector, but due to a lack of changes in the Kyoto Protocol is not forced to meet a minimum target. India does, however, continue to work toward the goals they have set for themselves and set new goals for reducing their carbon footprint and developing clean energy. The international economy slowly begins to recover, but the recession slows the progress of companies creating sources of clean energy, especially wind power. While progress for these companies is set back several years, they do recover and eventually return to the growth rates they experienced before the recession began in 2008. Population growth continues to rise at a near constant rate, as fertility and mortality rates only decline slowly, increasing the demand for energy. While it is initially difficult for energy production to keep up with the growing population, the recovering economy spurs investment and clean energy rises. The middle class, on the other hand, grows tenfold, leading to a widespread emigration to cities. This puts pressure on India to greatly improve its infrastructure, which it devotes many of its resources toward. However, this leads to little investment in rural energy initiatives, leaving a majority of the population without suitable energy. Providing the rural population with clean energy will be Indiaâ€™s next step in reducing its carbon footprint and providing energy to all of its citizens. Some indicators, or signposts, that India is heading toward this particular scenario include increasing GDP growth rates indicating a strong economic recovery, increased consumption of durable goods as a result of a growing middle class, and improved roads and access to clean water due to development of urban infrastructure. Modest development and acceptance of renewable energy solutions characterize this scenario. As such, changes will only be seen on a gradual basis.
Oil spills, massive profits for energy companies, continued frequent blackouts, and accelerating climate change converge to create the political will necessary for more direct government control over the energy industry. The Indian government does not stand by and wait for renewables to replace fossil fuels; instead it implements a series of mandatory efficiency efforts to force demand to respond to available energy, as opposed to the other way around. Population growth continues at a steady pace, with more and more movement toward cities. As such, urban areas become huge meccas of energy consumption, causing the most regulation to take place there. Government expenditures must increase tremendously in order to keep up with the increase in demand, which is problematic in a sluggish global economy that has not realized its full potential after the 2008 recession. Growth in the middle class helps to alleviate some of the government spending, as technological innovations such as micro-griding are produced by members of the working class. While the road to energy efficiency is not easy, if managed properly, there is enough for everyone to meet their needs without destroying the environment or energy wars. The signposts related to this scenario include an increased number of new laws, regulations, and policies produced by the government relating to energy usage, reduced investments in â€œgreenâ€? companies and increased investments in fossil fuels, and lackluster GDP growth rates. This scenario is characterized by a general lack of enthusiasm for
going full speed ahead with renewables. This will be apparent in the attitudes of the Indian people and of the Indian government.
Internationally, governments begin to cooperate to allocate resources and solve carbon emissions problems across the globe. The Kyoto Protocol is extended and India is forced to meet minimum targets for lowering GHG emissions, putting pressure on the government to do more. The priorities of the Indian government shift as they focus on solving the energy crisis by effectively allocating Indiaâ€™s resources and mixing private incentives with government funding to establish clean energy sources throughout India. Investment in clean energy rises due to these incentives and the energy sector becomes the most important market force in the world. There are no significant natural disasters or disruptive economic events, so the government can focus on funding clean energy initiatives to improve Indiaâ€™s carbon footprint while providing energy to the millions of citizens who currently have no access to electricity. Population growth begins to slow as fertility rates drop and emigration rates rise, leading to a more attainable demand for energy in India. Indiaâ€™s electrical grid greatly improves as the government begins including renewable sources to solve blackout issues and other electrical inconsistencies. India fully utilizes wind farms, solar energy, hydropower, and other clean energies that thrive due to local control of the energy sources and their suitability with small-scale applications. For this scenario, the signposts to look out for include high percentages of government investment in renewable energy, robust GDP growth rates, a slowdown in population growth rates, and an increase in rural development relating to renewable energy such as wind farms. Overall, there will be a feeling amongst the people and signals from the government that renewable energy is the established way for India to now produce its energy. In other words, it will be the new norm, instead of just an alternative.
At first glance, it seems almost incomprehensible that there would be a scenario in which a collapse would occur, but upon further inspection of the data, such scenarios become eerily plausible. Currently the Indian population and economy are growing at rapid rates, although the rate of economic growth recently slowed. The use of renewable sources of energy is becoming increasingly vogue, and government investment in energy has continued to remain important in recent years. With a rapidly expanding population, it is vital for India to develop new, sustainable sources of energy; however, if the population growth rate were to decline, the motivation to develop such renewable energy resources would quickly disappear, like the air out of a pricked balloon. Potential declines could be caused by a pandemic that wipes out a large percentage of the population, much like the Spanish Flu in 1918, or the implementation of a onechild (or similar child limitation) policy, much like the current Chinese policy. A great economic slowdown is much easier to imagine: just look back to 2008 in the United States. Consumer and investor confidence could quickly plummet, forcing mass layoffs, thereby reducing the tax rolls. Such a slowdown has consequences of immense proportions: companies may no longer feel comfortable investing in potentially risky projects, or even investing at all; consumers may be unable to bear the burden of higher utility rates; reduced consumer spending would lighten the load on the grid, giving a false sense of hope that increased capacity and new sources are needed; and finally, government spending could be reduced to historic lows to fend off disastrous financial consequences caused by decreased tax revenues. Finally, if some new credible research revealed that carbon emissions do not affect global temperatures or that using renewable sources of energy does not help reduce carbon emissions, investment in renewable energy would quickly become unfashionable, much like last seasonâ€™s clothing, causing a mass exodus out of the industry by private companies and the government. This scenarioâ€™s signposts include a reduction
in government spending relating to renewable energy. This could come in the form of fewer subsidies for green technology or an increase in fossil fuel investment and dependence. In addition, if GDP growth rates do not start ticking up, it could be a sign that we are headed for collapse. The most important signpost will be changes in extreme weather conditions. If the effects of climate change start to accelerate and take a turn for the worse, provisions must be made to prepare for this type of scenario. Each of the above scenarios presents its own unique opportunities for those involved in business. Advantages and disadvantages exist in every possible future, which is why itâ€™s so important to consider many different scenarios. The goal is to help companies decide where to allocate their resources to most effectively exploit the market opportunities available. Smart, calculated, evidence-based business decisions are discussed next.
With most uncertainties mapped and accounted for, the baseline forecast demonstrates that India's expected future is likely to be the “Slow and Steady” scenario laid out in Figure 10. The Indian government's commitment to finance and subsidize renewable energy, coupled with significant infrastructure improvement, provides the linear-like progression towards utilizing renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint. IREDA mandates of reducing GHG emissions also at the federal level sets a bureaucratic goal-oriented tone which will also keep progress going. Another important precursor to slow and steady growth in using renewables is the recovering global economy. Unfreezing credit markets, higher stockpiles of liquid assets, and a decreased sense of volatility in the market all will push private sector capital into the Indian economy, financially supporting the level of growth in nuclear, solar, and wind-turbine power. Such growth, however, is constrained by societal factors of resistance, with rural populations demanding immediate progress which can only be provided by fossil fuels. Demographic factors will also keep growth linear rather than exponential or factorial; rapid increases in population will require a higher and higher level of immediate resources which, as with the rural population, cannot be provided by time-heavy renewable energy development. Most important to the “Slow and Steady” model, though, are the significant net positive implications for India's private sector, which will maintain the economic growth projected by
analysts like Morgan Stanley. Although private sector fixed expenses may increase in the short run (although significantly lessened from public sector support), switching to renewable forms of energy will cause long-run variable expenses to decrease over time from the decreased use of oil, gasoline, coal, and grid-based electricity. Installation of renewable technology in homes and business will cause a slow rise in employment and opportunities for older Indians to learn new trades, and young Indians to find postsecondary jobs. Keeping steady the uncertainties on page 24, the “Slow and Steady” scenario will create 2.4 million jobs by 2020 (Dominguez par. 1).
Our constraint scenario, dubbed “Reluctant Progression” is characterized by increased government regulation regarding energy usage, less private and public investment in renewable energy, a sluggish economic recovery from the world recession, a growing middle class, and large urban consumption. There are host of implications for business given the conditions proposed in the creation of this scenario. Increased government regulation increases compliance costs for companies operating in India. While this isn’t beneficial to the private sector, the fact that the government is not spearheading the pursuit of renewable energy leaves a gaping hole for private companies and industries to take the initiative and invest. As the countries of the world increasingly demand more and more action and accountability for carbon emissions, creating a market presence in a booming economy such as India’s is an invaluable advantage for any company seeking a competitive edge over its rivals. With the economic recession slowing investment, preliminary analysis would suggest not to invest in a slowly recovering economy. However, crises always present opportunities as well as problems. Within a sluggish recovery situation, interest rates are lower in order to spur growth and spending. This is great for investors looking for cheaper places to invest their money.
The most important aspect of this scenario, however, is the rise of the middle class of India. Not only will a growing middle class drive growth and help India recover from the recession, it also represents a large, developing consumer market. According to research conducted by Deutsche Bank, the increased income of middle class Indians will serve to increase the amount of discretionary spending, which includes spending money on luxury items and excludes necessities. This fact is displayed below in Figure 11, provided by Deutsche Bank Research.
As a result, a huge opportunity to market and sell to middle-class, income-spending Indians has arisen. Sectors such as the transportation industry, which could market cheap, smart cars, and low-cost airlines stand to benefit from an increasingly mobile middle class population. Consumer goods such as mobile phones and televisions are becoming more and more popular, which means that if companies want to establish their brand, they must do so now. Financial services could also benefit from the robust growth of the middle class. The use of credit cards
and personal loans has increased dramatically, which provides even more opportunities for brokers, personal financial advisors, and even life insurance experts (Saxena 3). In conclusion, there is a wealth of opportunities and strategies available to companies who wish to expand their business in the “Reluctant Progression” scenario.
If the global economy faces a significant uptick in growth (from a Eurozone exit out of recession, a Chinese expansion, and a US avoidance of the fiscal cliff for instance), potential exists for the pace of India's growth in renewables to drastically increase. Higher levels of government expenditures towards green subsidization could move otherwise unmotivated, statusquo companies to invest in clean energy. Further, changes in demographic factors, although less likely to occur than economic factors, could also take “Green is the New Black” to an unexpected transformative level. If India's population growth derivative begins to slow or its population level begins to decrease outright (e.g. high levels of emigration, a natural disaster, etc.), the magnitude of India's energy needs could be drastically reduced. For businesses, this means an accelerated rate of savings on the balance sheet and cash flow reports. The more promising conditions towards renewable energy become, the more likely a cascading cyclic effect will result. Figure 12 demonstrates this potentially different future on the following page.
Within our collapse scenario, titled â€œThings Fall Apart,â€? many complications arise regarding the progress toward providing renewable energy to Indian citizens. If used correctly, however, these negatives can be turned into positives by strategic planning and inventive business practices. This scenario is characterized by reduced government spending, a poor economic recovery, a decrease in population growth, and developments against using renewable energy. The prospect of a catastrophic event (or a series of events) due to climate change is also
high. If this were to happen, estimates for rebuilding homes and infrastructure are in the billions of dollars (Levine 3). A well thought out strategy by a construction company could reap extremely high profits. Additionally, if emphasis starts to turn away from investment in renewable energy, the fossil fuel industry would continue to grow and current investments would increase their return as prices for oil, coal, and natural gas increase. With the support of local communities, private companies can spearhead the push to rebuild India after facing a collapse scenario. As the government reduces spending, private investment could increase, a sort of reverse “crowding out.” This will only be possible if the attitudes toward using renewables are changed, which would require more marketing, awareness, and education of Indian citizens about the dangers of climate change. This will be the hardest path for businesses to take as there are many adverse conditions working against them such as limited access to credit, an ambivalent government, and unwelcome weather conditions. By preparing for the worst, however, businesses can still come out on top.
Each of the possible scenarios, be they predictions of growth or constraint, offer unique challenges to businesses. These challenges vary widely from the need to entirely reconstruct the electrical infrastructure in the case of a catastrophic natural disaster to the potential to eventually save enormous sums through the complete transition to non-fossil fuels. Preparing for the future is essential, but one must examine the future not as one potential outcome, but rather as many plausible outcomes. For this reason, the thorough analysis of wide-ranging factors, such as societal and technological trends, is absolutely essential. Simply analyzing the myriad factors is not enough; one must then develop forecasts that assist in the preparation of plausible futures, such as the “Green is the New Black” outcome discussed earlier. This process of thorough analysis and then forecasting leads to more richly colored future scenarios.
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