Welcome Speech by Dr. Jyoti Parikh

  • A very good morning and hearty welcome to Dr Manmohan Singh, Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde, Honorable Minister for Power, Dr. Kirit Parikh, Member Planning Commission, Shri R. V. Shahi, Secretary Power, Members of our conclave advisory board viz. Shri R.P. Singh, CMD of Power Grid Corporation Ltd Shri Rakesh Bakshi, CMD of Vestas RRB Ltd. and very distinguished delegates in the audience, ladies and gentlemen.
  • This is an overwhelming and historic moment for IRADe and myself. Nearly four years ago when we were discussing the need for setting up this institution, Dr. Manmohan Singh graciously gave his advice and gave us guidance. He is a founding member of this young institution. He has always supported independent economic analysis in various ways in many institutions spread around this country in different disciplines.
  • This is because he recognizes that Independent institutions play an important role in doing analysis of policy, keeping track of the relevant issues and raising new concerns. For example, fifteen years ago in Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) my Ph.D. students and I did a simulation model with 200 major power plants and 70 transmission lines for the World Bank and the Ministry of Power, which estimated the long term benefits of inter regional transfer of power. They were substantial. Perhaps as a result subsequently the Power Grid Corporation was set up known then as NPTC. About 5 papers were written on model applications and published in IEEE transactions.

  • IRADe focuses on research for effective action through multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder groups for implementable solutions that could lead to effective governance. We carry out policy analysis, impart training and serve as a hub of network among various stakeholders. The key focal areas are Energy Systems-policy and planning, Natural Resources and Environment management, Climate Change and Clean development Mechanism, Infrastructure-industry and institutions, Rural and Urban Development. With about 26 projects, many completed, some on-going, IRADe has a multifaceted research program.
  • Today not only we but also the world is optimistic about India’s future, expecting India to grow at 8% to 12 %. All of these enthusiastic expectations come with a caveat about energy and infrastructure saying "If there are no major hurdles on energy front".
  • On the hope front, we have a vibrant private sector emerging now in the energy sector in the last five years, which will supplement the efforts of the public sector, which emerged and got strengthened since sixties and seventies. The days are gone when only government borrowed funds from public savings or from donors. Instead we see now over subscription of IPOs and new ways of financing our capital needs are emerging.
  • Today, we have gathered to evolve a path for implementation of Integrated Energy Policy proposed by the expert committee set up by the Planning Commission. The program has 10 sessions on various themes and issues discussed in Integrated Energy Policy (IEP). What IEP says for each session is summarized in the souvenir for your ready reference.
  • I would like to mention here two themes on which IRADe has worked for ‘action’ and ‘advocacy’ which are relevant to the energy conclave. One is biofuels for energy security where we have carried out techno-economic analysis to identify conditions in which biofuels can flourish. The second is the need for access to energy for poor and for rural development. What emerges is that for improving social well-being, clean energy is important. Can we not make a promise to women and children who toil to gather fuels that they will not have to carry head loads of firewood by 2015? 2020? 2030? The experience, wisdom and power in this hall is large enough to change matters.
  • IRADe looks forward to the Energy Conclave to generate ideas and research agenda from this august audience, and identify steps to implement the Integrated Energy Policy. We have the stakeholders from the five ministries and several institutions who have to collaborate, cooperate and coordinate to ensure energy security for the country in times to come.
  • I welcome you once again and thank you all.