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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

While it is not surprising that political factors shape the Indian energy landscape, few systematic attempts have been made to address exactly what interests most heavily influence energy choices and the precise nature of their impacts. Available research suggests that scholars need to move beyond simplistic explanations, such as lack of political will or capacity constraints, and recognize a broader set of interacting social, structural, institutional, and political agency variables. The technocratic analyses and projections based on simulation models that dominate the academic literature neglect political and social perspectives as unscientific, esoteric, or theoretical. Thus this chapter argues that future research should focus on political and economic power relations at the national, regional, and domestic levels when tracking poor outcomes of energy choices and policies. In the future, an emphasis on theoretically informed analysis will deepen understanding of hard choices related to the equitable distribution of energy in India and also facilitate implementation of more progressive energy policies.

Keywords: India, energy policy, equitable access to energy, energy security, self-reliance, energy imports, decarbonization, fossil fuels, renewable energy, subsidies

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