|Introduction: Give introduction about India energy transition pledge|
Body: What role does states play and why is there need for state level framework.
Conclusion: Give suggestions for improving cooperation between states and centre.
India as chair of G20 this year is planning to develop multiple pathways to reach its targets of net zero emissions by 2070 and 50% non-fossil electricity generation capacity by 2030. The diversity of states in India necessitates a clear framework in ensuring a smooth energy transition.
What role do states play in this energy transition?
- Implementation of policies: States are critical to the implementation of policies. The Centre may set up goals but the actual realization of the targets depends upon state performance and its capabilities.
- State subjects: Electricity is listed as a state subject and it is the sole responsibility of states to deal with issues like high losses, unreliable supply, and service quality.
- Innovative ideas: States have been at the forefront of innovation in implementing renewable energy projects. For example, early initiatives by Gujarat and Rajasthan on solar, and Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu on wind energy technologies, have contributed significantly to renewable energy uptake at the national level.
- Different priorities: States could have different priorities which can be misaligned with the national goals in which case states can obstruct the policy. Eg, Government wants to increase nuclear power share but protests by locals against nuclear power plants obstruct the policy making.
What is the need for such a framework?
- Broadens understanding: Such a framework helps to understand plans, goals, and outcomes of the energy transition. This includes accountability, affordability, and transparency of decision-makers.
- Public cooperation: Framework would lead to transparent decisions and engage public participation in the decision-making process.
- Federalism: The framework would respect the principle of federalism and will lead to a pragmatic and accelerated energy transition.
- There is a need to engage with states based on the diversity, capability, and priorities of the state. In considering these due importance should be given to available techno-economic options, fiscal space, and social and political imperatives.
- States should update their State action plan on climate change, set up state-level steering committees for energy transition, and have a regular dialogue between the energy minister of state and the centre.
- NITI Aayog State Energy and Climate Index (SECI) encourage healthy competition among states on different dimensions of the energy and climate sector.
States are critical to achieving net zero goals and transitioning to renewable energy in a federal polity. The principle of cooperative federalism would help in bridging ambitions and implementation gaps between the Centre and the States.