Elements and Possible Constraints for a Smooth Energy Transition in India


  • Rakesh Kacker Retired Secretary to Government of India
  • Nidhi Srivastava Phd Scholar, Energy Studies Programme, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India




The Prime Minister of India laid down a target for India at COP 26—to achieve net zero emissions by 2070. Realizing this target depends upon a transition away from fossil fuels towards non-fossil-fuel alternatives. This Commentary highlights the main constraints in this attempt at transitioning to an energy mix that has a greater share of renewables. It is noted that while the share of solar and wind in installed capacity has increased significantly, there has been no corresponding decrease in the share of coal. In absolute terms, coal-based capacity has also shown significant increase. The Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of India as communicated to the UNFCC was revised in August 2022 in view of the progress made and now includes a target of increasing the share of non-fossil-fuel sources to 50% of installed capacity. In addition, in the recently released Draft National Electricity Plan (DNEP), a target of...


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Aggarwal, Prateek, Siddharth Goel, Tara Laan, Tarun Mehta, Aditya Pant, Swasti Raizada, Balasubramanian Viswanathan, Anjali Viswamohanan, Christopher Beaton, and Karthik Ganesan. 2022. Mapping India’s Energy Policy 2022. Winipeg, Canada: International Institute for Sustainable Development. https://www.iisd.org/system/files/2022-05/mapping-india-energy-policy-2022.pdf.

Bhushan, Chandra, Srestha Banerjee, and Shruti Agarwal. 2021. Just Transition in India. Delhi: International Forum for Environment, Sustainability & Technology. https://iforest.global/wpcontent/uploads/2021/04/iFOREST_Just_Transition_In_India.pdf.

CEA. 2020a. Growth of Electricity Sector in India from 1947 - 2020. New Delhi: Central Electricity Authority. https://cea.nic.in/wpcontent/uploads/pdm/2020/12/growth_2020.pdf.

CEA. 2020b. Report on Optimal Generation Capacity Mix for 2029–30. New Delhi: Central Electricity Authority. https://cea.nic.in/old/reports/others/planning/irp/Optimal_mix_report_2029-30_FINAL.pdf.

———. 2022a. Draft National Electricity Plan. New Delhi: Central Electricity Authority. https://cea.nic.in/wpcontent/uploads/irp/2022/09/DRAFT_NATIONAL_ELECTRICITY_PLAN_9_SEP_2022_2-1.pdf.

———. 2022b. Installed Capacity Report July 2022. New Delhi: Central Electricity Authority. https://cea.nic.in/installed-capacity-report/?lang=en.

Ernst & Young and FICCI. 2022. Accelerating India’s Clean Energy Transition. https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_in/news/2022/06/ey-accelerating-indias-clean-energy.pdf?download.

GOI. 2015. India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. New Delhi: Government of India. https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/India/1/INDIA%20INDC%20TO%20UNFCCC.pdf.

———. 2022. India’s Updated First Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement (2021–2030). New Delhi: Government of India. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/NDC/2022-08/India Updated First Nationally Determined Contrib.pdf.

ILO. 2015. Guidelines for a Just Transition towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All. Geneva: International Labour Organization.


IPCC. 2022. Working Group III Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_FullReport.pdf

Press Information Bureau. 2022. “Cabinet Approves India’s Updated Nationally Determined Contribution to Be Communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1847812#:~:text=The%20Union%20Cabinet%20chaired%20by,on%20Climate%20Change%20(UNFCCC).

REN21 (Renewables Now). 2022. Renewables 2022 Global Status Report. https://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/GSR2022_Full_Report.pdf.

World Energy Council. 2019. “World Energy Trilemma Index.” https://www.worldenergy.org/publications/entry/world-energy-trilemma-index-2019.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Kacker, R. ., & Srivastava, N. (2023). Elements and Possible Constraints for a Smooth Energy Transition in India. Ecology, Economy and Society–the INSEE Journal, 6(1), 5–11. https://doi.org/10.37773/ees.v6i1.893