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Columbia Energy Exchange

India’s Strategy for Growth and Decarbonization


Suman Bery

Vice Chairperson of NITI Aayog

Last month, India surpassed China to become the world’s most populous country. With its large population, growing workforce, and fast-growing GDP, India is on the cusp of asserting major economic power on the world stage. 

But there are major energy-related challenges still to overcome. Persistent electricity shortages continue to weigh on the country’s manufacturing sector. And despite tremendous growth in renewables, India still relies heavily on coal and imported oil. 

India’s government has made addressing these challenges a priority, seeking to nearly triple its clean energy capacity by 2030. It is also investing heavily in new technologies like battery storage and hydrogen. At the same time, it continues to expand its fossil fuel sector, which it sees as vital to the country’s economic growth. 

What does the next decade have in store for India’s energy sector? What are the major obstacles to growth? And how is the government balancing its climate goals with meeting the country’s rapidly expanding energy demands?

This week, host Jason Bordoff talks with Suman Bery about the uncertainties facing India’s energy sector, from supply shortages to geopolitical risks.  

Suman is the vice chairperson of NITI Aayog, a think tank in the Indian government. He conducts research and advises policymakers on matters of economics and public policy. Prior to his appointment, he was a senior visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, and a global fellow in the Asia Programme of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. He was also the chief economist at Shell from 2012 to 2016. 

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