The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK-FCO) awarded a project to WISE to develop clean energy technology action plans for three states: Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The main objectives of the project were to strengthen the states’ renewable energy capacity and address energy security concerns across various sectors including power, industry, water and transport.
WISE undertook this project in 2009 at a time when wind energy was fledgling and solar energy was not yet established. The awareness levels in state governments about RE technologies and clean energy were low. WISE undertook a comprehensive literature review and data analysis exercise across diverse sectors and worked with the states’ top bureaucrats to consult and prepare a roadmap and action plan for accelerating clean energy interventions. Under the project, WISE also undertook a detailed renewable resource assessment that suggested huge RE potential (wind and solar) in the GW range.
Consequent to the preparation of the Draft Action Plans, a series of workshops were held in each state capital—Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Jaipur—with participation from various departments, agencies and utilities of the state governments. Participation was also open to various central agencies, private utilities, and NGOs. The first round of three workshops were held for detailed presentation and briefing on the contents/recommendations of the Draft Action Plans, stressing the need for each department/agency to critically examine the recommendations and provide feedback in the light of their own perspective and emerging policies. The second round of three workshops were held to garner the feedback for the Draft Action Plans. Based on the detailed feedback received, the Draft Action Plans were suitably modified and finalised, prior to formal submission to the state governments.
The third round of three workshops were Policy Workshops, emphasising the emergent need for coordinated policy changes at the sectoral and inter-sectoral levels, if the combined challenges posed by climate change, future energy security, and environmental sustainability were to be suitably addressed. The final round of three workshops were Capacity Building Workshops, concentrating on the techno-economics and potential for renewables to simultaneously address the above challenges through institution building.
In addition, six Media Briefings were also held, three coinciding with the release of the Draft Action Plans, and three with the formal presentation of the Final Action Plans. Print and visual media representatives were present in large numbers in all the three states.
The study findings were groundbreaking and received extensive publicity. Copies of the three Action Plans were submitted to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India.
Many of the implementation strategies, mainly in the area of renewable energy policy and regulation received considerable traction through direct state government action over the next five to ten years.