Praveena Sanjay

Director, Climate & Sustainability &
Additional Charge, Outreach & Coordination

Praveena Sanjay is one of the core founding members of WISE and has been with the institute since its inception in 2004. She has 19 years of focused expertise in the fields of renewable energy, climate and sustainable development. She collaborates with national and international agencies in efforts to achieving India’s national and international climate and sustainable development goals, besides working at the sub national level for climate action. Her contribution in ‘Enabling a Circular Economy for E-waste in Pune City (supported by the US Consulate General, Mumbai and evaluated and monitored by the Ohio State University), met with wide acceptability among city officials and key stakeholders, in particular, by the Joint Municipal Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), Pune Municipal Corporation and his team. The recommended Circular Action Plan is expected to pave the way for more informed decisions by policy-makers and e-waste stakekholders in Pune. Praveena is also instrumental in conceptualizing and developing a national-level Renewable Energy Portal that provides comprehensive information on renewable energy trends and developments taking place in India. The portal (launched in November 2017), currently receives over 66,000+ hits each month.

As Founding Editor of Green Energy, WISE’s bi-monthly magazine on sustainable energy for eleven years, Praveena was instrumental in generating awareness on renewable energy across the country, especially at a time when renewable energy was still finding a foothold in the mainstream power sector. The print copy of Green Energy went on to have a readership of over 50,000 individuals and organizations from across the globe. Praveena also conceptualized and edited several reports and publications on RE and sustainable development. Recently, she published a series of three Renewable Energy Annual Reports (on the lines of REN21 RE Global Status Report), titled ‘Renewables India’ for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Praveena played a key role in training around 400 journalists across the country (way back in 2005), which was supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and conceptualized and organised a year-long outreach campaign for developing Clean Energy Technology Action Plans for Climate Mitigation in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan, supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She was also instrumental in organizing the first-of-its-kind sub-sector conferences on renewable energy in India. These included, the series of Wind Power India conferences (2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012), Solar India 2007, Climate Change India 2008, RE Regulation India 2010, The New Role for Coal in India’s Electricity Sector 2014, Waste-to-Energy 2016. Each of these conferences saw the participation of around 400 to 1000 people from the sustainable energy sector.

Key articles/chapters authored by her include The Impacts of Coal Mining, Processing and Combustion on the Environment and People, as part of WISE’s book titled Coal in India: Time for a Verdict; ‘The Business of Resource Efficient Design: Making Business Sustainable and Profitable published by the International Management Institute, Kolkata; and recently, ‘Steps Toward a Resilient Circular Economy for India’ published by Springer, in their journal Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy.

She was one among 10 candidates from India to be selected by the U.S. Department of State to participate in the International Visitors’ Leadership Program on ‘Sub-National and Corporate Efforts to Reduce Emissions and Promote Renewable Energy’ in 2017, and the only invitee from India (as Editor of Green Energy) to participate in a study tour organised by the Swiss Foreign Direct Investment Agency in 2007, focusing on new opportunities being introduced in the renewable energy sector in Switzerland.

Praveena has an MSc in Energy and Sustainable Development from DeMontfort University, United Kingdom, and a Post Graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Symbiosis Institute of Journalism and Communication, Pune.

Praveena opines that while climate mitigation measures are essential to meet our national and international carbon commitments, this is simply not enough to holistically address the climate crisis, which is already here. She believes that two key issues need to be simultaneously emphasized upon in the coming years, if climate change needs to be tackled on a war-footing. The first is climate adaptation. The increasing climate-related natural disasters and the current global pandemic is a wake-up call for the need to focus our attention on climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction more seriously. Second, decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental degradation will be key to sustaining life on this planet; a low-carbon economy based on renewable energy also needs key resources to thrive. She believes that sustainable production and consumption will enable us to do more, with less, for longer, building better prospects for transitioning to a low-carbon and resource efficient world.