Towards improving service delivery and sector health through multi-disciplinary skills in electricity sector: A Training workshop for civil society and electricity sector professionals

Prayas (Energy Group) organised a two-day training workshop at YASHADA in Pune on 11 and 12 February, 2019. The objective of the workshop was to provide a comprehensive overview of the Indian electricity sector and to introduce the upcoming challenges in its operation and planning. The workshop was attended by more than 40 participants working in the electricity sector- generation and distribution companies, regulatory commissions, trade unions, NGOs, policy think tanks, and consumer activists - representing around 8 states in India.

The workshop was aimed at helping the participants and researchers to improve the quality of their regulatory and policy engagement. Sessions were based on the recent work of Prayas, including the following:

Trends and Way Forward in the State Electricity Sectors: An Experience Sharing Workshop, 2018

Prayas (Energy Group) convened a two-day experience sharing workshop on 3rd and 4th September, 2018, at ASCI, Hyderabad. The workshop was a coming together of 58 individuals working in the electricity sector- NGOs, grass-root organisations, policy think tanks, and consumer activists, representing around 12 states in India. A similar workshop was convened last year as well which focused on state level discussions, highlighting relevant issues in the state context.

The idea of this workshop was to share experiences, discuss commonalities, differences, challenges, and strategies used in various states to engage with the sector. However, this year, there were also more in-depth discussions on common issues and themes from the state experiences.

Roundtable on Residential Electricity Consumption

Prayas (Energy Group) and Centre for Policy Research (CPR) jointly organized a roundtable in Delhi on 1st August, 2018 on India’s Residential Electricity Consumption.

Electricity consumption in Indian homes has tripled since 2000, and now contributes to about a quarter of the total electricity consumption. However, electrified Indian households, on an average, still consume less than a third of the world average. Rapid electrification, increasing incomes, and technology development are to result in increased appliance ownership and electricity use, which has implications for energy efficiency policies, generation capacity, planning, climate change and environmental pollution. Research on India's residential electricity consumption has been limited till date -- however, this is now changing.

Roundtable discussion organized by Prayas and the Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre (CCAPC) on "Clean Cooking Mission: A way to transition to completely smoke-free kitchens"

Millions of households in India still use solid fuels for cooking today. This is an important energy access, health and environmental problem as household air pollution caused by burning solid fuels for cooking is a major source of mortality and morbidity as well as outdoor air pollution in India. There is also a gender dimension to this as it is primarily women who cook and fetch solid fuels. At the same time, multiple clean fuel-technologies have the potential to address this challenge. Given this multi-dimensional, multi-fuel nature of the problem, there is a need to involve different stakeholders from relevant sectors to accelerate the transition to clean fuel-technologies through targeted policy. It is in this context that a roundtable discussion was organized by Prayas (Energy Group), Prayas (Health Group) and the Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre (CCAPC) to deliberate on the institutional architecture of a mission for clean cooking energy called "Clean Cooking Mission: A way to transition to completely smoke-free kitchens" on June 20, 2018 in New Delhi.

The roundtable began with background presentations by Prayas and CCAPC, which were followed by a discussion among the participants on selected questions. It was attended by representatives from the government, academia, think tanks and practitioners covering the energy, health, environment and gender aspects of the problem.

Trends and Way Forward in the State Electricity Sectors: An Experience Sharing Workshop, 2017

Prayas (Energy Group) convened a two day experience sharing workshop involving more than 40 civil society actors from 14 states. Decades after the reform process the sector continues to be a in a state of flux with several technological and structural changes adding to the complexity, challenges and uncertainty. Addressing this emerging scenario requires agile, forward looking and innovative approaches by all stakeholders including DISCOMs, Regulatory Commissions and Consumers. In this context, the objective of the workshop was to improve the understanding and engagement of civil society groups in the state electricity sectors through experience sharing.

Through state-level presentations and discussions on key issues such as power procurement, supply and service quality, rural electrification, regulatory governance and ensuring effective consumer participation the participants deliberated key aspects of the emerging scenario and discussed approaches for a way forward.

During the proceedings of the workshop each participant gained more ideas for continuing engagement with the sector in their own areas of work with an informal network for support.

This workshop is expected to be a first step of such interactions, and more such events will be organised over a period of time.

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