The NITI Aayog, (the erstwhile Planning Commission), rolled out an Integrated Energy Policy (IEP)1
in 2006 that defines the concept of Energy Security for India as providing “lifeline energy to all its citizens irrespective of their ability to pay as well meet their demand for convenient energy for citizens to satisfy their various needs at competitive prices, at all times, considering shocks and disruptions that can be reasonably expected”. It further talks about exploring options for achieving India’s Energy Independence beyond 2050. The concept of Energy Security might seem to be about exploiting domestic resources maximally and delivering energy at the cheapest price to the consumer, but it is often described with the associated implications for food, air quality and water security: in short, sustainability. Because of global and local repercussions, a country cannot simply aim for high levels of growth based on fossil fuels alone. Local effects are a result of carbon intensive fuels used in transport, biomass incineration, etc. Particulate matter emissions from power plants located close to cities have worsened their air quality: Delhi already, is one of the lowest ranking cities in the world with respect to air quality, as per a recent World Health Organization2 report.