India Program

India Program
We produce technical and policy analyses in the power sector, appliances, industrial and buildings energy efficiency, sustainable cities, and transportation sector.

India Program

The objective of the India Program is to provide technical assistance to Indian policy makers for transformation of the Indian economy to clean sources of energy, through policy/regulatory interventions that accelerate deployment of cutting-edge technologies. India Skyline The India Program has been working with Indian policymakers and civil society for more than two decades, on addressing critical barriers in the power sector, appliances, industrial and buildings energy efficiency and transportation sector.

Our work includes reassessing the renewable energy potential in India, developing comprehensive models for optimal grid dispatch and capacity expansion, analyzing the financial and emissions impact of clean energy pathways for India, assessing the potential for efficiency enhancement in the residential, industrial and buildings sectors and sustainable transportation through adoption of Zero-Emission-Vehicles (ZEVs). 


Recent Work

US-India Space Cooling Collaboration: India is expected to have 150 GW addition to peak load due to increased cooling demand by 2030, which can be reduced by >50 GW by standards and incentive programs. The team has conducted cost-benefit analysis showing AC efficiency improvement potential in collaboration with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), an analysis showing technical feasibility and benefits of doubling the rate of AC efficiency improvement,  utility AC unit outside homeimpact and benefits analysis, presented to the Forum of Regulators by EESL, technical note for EESL on all key aspects of a super efficient, low-GWP, and smart AC bulk procurement program, and a technical note on requirements for “demand-response ready” ACs. 

Renewable Energy (RE) Potential & Zones: Our study estimated developable on-shore wind potential in India at three different hub-heights and found significantly higher potential (i.e, 20 times) than the official estimate provided by Government of India Wind Agency.

Identification of high-quality RE zones can reduce the risk to project developers and facilitate preemptive transmission planning by utilities and government agencies to encourage cost-effective and, socially and environmentally responsible development. Using meso-scale satellite imagery and GIS data, the Multi-criteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy (MapRE) initiative seeks to provide a framework for systematic identification and valuation of areas for renewable energy development–focusing mainly on solar and wind technologies- and recommending renewable energy zones for transmission planning.

Renewable Energy Grid Integration: Renewable electricity prices plummeted 80% between 2010 and 2019, while battery prices (specifically, Li ion) have fallen 85% between 2010 to 2020. India has announced ambitious renewable energy targets (mainly for solar and wind sources): 175 GW by 2022, 275 GW by 2027, and 450 GW by 2030. Our work focuses on enabling this clean energy pathway in an efficient and cost-effective manner:

  • ​Comprehensive assessment of the operational impacts of integrating 175 GW RE by 2022 developed in collaboration with the Indian system operators, under Greening The Grid (GTG) initiative of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This project encompassed power system planning reforms and targeted analysis for large RE parks and RE integration pilots.
  • Significant capacity building of the Indian system operators, planners, regulators and policy-makers 

              Average hourly load and net load in India (2030)           India's inter-state transmission network (400 kV level)​

India's inter-state transmission network (400 kV level)Average hourly load and net load in India (2030)

Flexible Resources Initiative: As part of Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (EDGE) of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy, the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Energy Resources (State/ENR) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have launched a two-year initiative in October 2019 under the U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance Task Force (Task Force), termed as the Flexible Resources Initiative (FRI). This initiative has been launched in partnership with India’s Ministry of Power (MoP), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) to advance a comprehensive strategy to promote a flexible, reliable, stable, and sustainable power system.  The analysis objectives include determining the amount of flexible resources required for large scale grid integration of renewables, how to optimize India’s use of existing generating assets, and quantify the value of new, cost-effective investments to provide flexibility while minimizing economic and technical stress on thermal assets. The initiative also encompasses recommendations on market design, regulatory frameworks, operating practices for improving the flexibility of India's power system and transitional mechanisms to smooth the move to a fully operationalized electricity market.Picture of Building, windmills on India landscape

Electricity Access: While tens of millions of Indians lack access to electricity, the Government of India has undertaken an aggressive electrification program over the last few years.  Extending access is anticipated to further worsen the financial condition of utilities affecting other clean energy procurement, due to subsidizing low-income households. Our work supports development and deployment of super-efficient (EE) appliances to reduce cost of providing access by 50%. The team conducted an analysis which shows the subsidy requirement for electricity access can be reduced by >70% and the cost of access can be dropped by more than 40% with super efficiency. Additional analysis shows how the cost of solar pumping can be reduced significantly with super efficiency.  The team also demonstrated a 25-Watt super-EE system at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and analyzed the price reductions achievable with bulk procurement of such a system.  

Electrification of Transport: India has announced significant incentives for manufacturing and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and EV (FAME) scheme, that has been announced in two phases in 2015 and 2019. Our team works on assessment of techno-economic and environmental potential and the barriers to adoption of ZEVs in India, estimating charging infrastructure needs and environmental impacts of fleet electrification, and novel policies for adoption of ZEVs. We use both detailed bottom-up component level estimation of vehicle production cost and also top-down incremental cost analysis that focuses on differences between internal combustion engines and EVs. Our work shows how targeting high-mileage users and vehicle segments is counter-intuitively more economical notwithstanding the conventional wisdom about range anxiety and charging barriers and cost suggesting a greater focus on low VMT applications. ZEV adoption and diffusion can occur more rapidly Electric cars photothan currently underway, with fewer provided subsidies that are targeted to the right sectors and with proper policy support. We target adoption by high-use and commercial vehicles rather than private household vehicles. We’ve provided technical assistance and analysis to the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI), the nodal department for implementation of the FAME scheme in India. 

Smart, High-Performance Buildings: Two-thirds of India’s buildings are yet to be built or are being built now—retail and offices are witnessing the highest growth. Within buildings, air conditioners and appliances are the highest loads, with the former producing an enormous amount of urban heat.  At this rate, India’s power system is expected to grow several times by 2040. U.S. India Center for Building Energy Research and Development (CBERD) has been established to promote innovation in energy efficiency through collaborative research, by focusing on the effective integration of information technology with building controls and physical systems. This work has supported mandatory building energy code (now in two states), created and disseminated the Building Innovation guide to showcase American technologies that support high-performance buildings, and developed software and technologies specific to India commercial building construction practices.

India Demand Resources Energy Analysis Model (DREAM): Energy modeling efforts are essential toward providing a comprehensive vision of an economy’s future energy pathways as well as supporting the simulation of alternative sustainable development scenarios. Building on LBNL's long-term experience working with India collaborators and an existing data bank of end-use data for many sectors and sub-sectors, LBNL developed a detailed bottom-up Energy End-Use Model for India to develop energy future pathways according to assumptions on technology improvements, lifestyle behavior changes, and policy implementations. The objectives are multifold and include: (1) gathering detailed end-use data from different sectors in one tool (2) building custom-based scenarios to inform low-carbon strategies, (3) collaborating with local organizations to diffuse model applications, and (4) tracking and assessing India’s needs for meeting its current NDC commitments and advising on future revisions.

Key Partners and Collaborators

Ministry of Power -

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy -

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission -

NITI Aayog -

Power System Operation Corporation Ltd -

Department of Heavy Industry -

Bureau of Energy Efficiency -

Energy Efficiency Services Ltd -

Prayas Energy Group -

Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy -

Confederation of Indian Industry -

Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy -

IIM Ahmedabad -

Department of Science and Technology -

Forum of Regulators -

Council on Energy Environment and Water (CEEW) -

Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai  -

The World Bank -

The Energy Research Institute (TERI) -

Central Electricity Authority (CEA) -

Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF) -

India Team Members
India Program Leader, Deputy, Staff Scientist/Engineer
Research Scientist
Energy/Environmental Policy Research Scientist/Engineer
Energy/Environmental Policy Faculty Scientist/Engineer
Energy/Environmental Policy Research Scientist/Engineer
Senior Scientific Engineering Associate
Senior Scientific Engineering Associate