Shadow Integrated Energy Policy (IEP): a critique on Planning Commission document on Integrated Energy Policy

  • 01/11/2010

Energy has become a crucial sector of the modern society, so much so that per capita availability of energy is considered as an indicator of economic prosperity. However, the social, economic and environmental impacts of demand/supply of energy are so great that only a holistic and objective consideration of all the related issues will enable the formulation of a sustainable and effective national policy. In this context an objective review of the recommendations of Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) document, as developed by Planning Commission of India, is considered essential from the society’s perspective. In this critique it is noted that while there are many good recommendations in IEP, an objective review will indicate that IEP has projected huge growth (about 5 times from the present level) in the installed/ production capacity of various conventional energy sources by 2031-32 ignoring the huge negative impacts of such a growth on our society. Unfortunately, IEP has implicitly or explicitly adapted the GNP maximizing paradigm to estimate energy demand rather than trying to estimate what is the least amount of energy needed to wipe out poverty, and how best to meet it in a sustainable manner. It is because of GNP maximizing paradigm that IEP has projected a huge annual demand growth for electricity between now and 2031-32.  Authored by Shankar Sharma,  Email: and