High Economic Growth, Equity and Sustainable Energy Development of India


@@India has been experiencing sustained high economic growth in the recentyears. However, there exists substantial amount of unacceptable poverty among the people in the country. The expressions of symptoms of such poverty include among others inadequate educational and health attainment of the people and lack of access to basic amenities like modern clean energy, safe water and sanitation which are crucial determinants of capability development. There exists in fact significant amount of energy poverty among the people, particularly in the rural India which has more than 70% share of its population, in the form of use of traditional inefficient biomass as the primary fuel with injurious health effect and the lack of connectivity of the households with electricity. The eleventh five year plan of India which has recently been initiated has taken the approach of inclusive faster growth for the development of the Indian economy. This paper analyses the implications of this high inclusive growth in respect of the twin challenges of environmental sustainability of the energy use required by such growth and the removal of energy poverty, which have to be addressed in India's energy planning. The paper defines the concept of sustainable development and points out its resource accounting implications in respect of energy related resource use. It focuses in this context on the instrumental role of the efficiency of energy use and energy supply, fuel composition and technology in determining the strength of the linkage between the GDP growth and the growth of energy use and that between the energy use and the pollution intensity of energy.
@@The paper also defines, on the other hand, the notion of energy poverty and discusses the problem of equity and energy development in a dual society like that of India. It then reviews the past trend and pattern of energy use and the future projections of energy requirement and supply with special reference to the twin issues of equity and environmental sustainability. In this context it makes a decomposition analysis of the past energy use and CO2 emissions in India for examining its environmental sustainability and if economic reforms of India could make any impact on it. It makes further a brief review of the methodologies of projections and policy planning for the future energy sector development in India as existing in the recent literature. Finally, the paper discusses certain selected issues of energy security and macroeconomic viability of such energy development in the background of the sustained steep rise of oil prices and high cost of carbon free new technologies. It concludes by highlighting certain policy issues relating to pricing, technology and institution for the attainability of inclusive growth and particularly for meeting the gaps in such attainment that would possibly remain as per the existing alternative projections for the future. However, this paper does not pay any special attention to the climate change related global policy issues that would affect India and gives priority to the national level issues relating to energy equity and energy related environmental sustainability of Indian development

Ramprasad SENGUPTA
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Visiting Professor
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: (81) 78 803 7036
Fax: (81) 78 803 7059