In this domain, the focus is on building a comprehensive understanding of urban energy transitions, while ensuring that the analytical framework tangibly connects with national and regional energy policy. Very little systematic work exists in the urban energy space – ranging from energy accounting, energy transitions to large-scale energy planning for the future and IIHS aims to contribute in this space. Our current focus is on unpacking the underlying factors and drivers (including the political economy of development) that are shaping regional and sub-regional energy policy in India, more so in the context of Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework. Finally, energy and linked climate mitigation analysis, at urban scale, within the IPCC publication framework will be an intended major body of work where the team aims to contribute. It is noteworthy to understand that city-scale analysis that clearly identifies energy and climate mitigation linkages, particularly in the context of the Paris Accord is yet to gain momentum and this work will help fill this critical gap, in two specific contexts: solutions space and achieving the aspirational 1.5 deg C global temperature target. This area of practice is directly aligned with the School of Urban Systems and Infrastructure.
Some of the past and present projects include: analytical work as a part of Urban Policy Dialogue 2015, in which a methodological assessment of energy transitions in India was made and a detailed analysis around household energy consumption patterns was undertaken. As a part of the Urban Policy Dialogue 2016, we undertook an analysis in the context of understanding implementation and operational challenges within the framework of Sustainable Development Goal 7, particularly related to the urban energy transitions. In addition to this, Energy and Climate change linkages were explored through the Bengaluru Urban Diagnostics Report (CDKN) and an analytical book chapter (Cities on a Finite Planet). Some of the initial foundational work has been initiated, particularly in the domain of energy planning for cities; with IIHS BCC being developed as a live laboratory for understanding energy consumption patterns in the built commercial space.
We are presently initiating a British Academy (Cities and Infrastructure Program: C&I 2017) funded research project on “Energy innovation for low-cost housing in India and South Africa: strategies for inter-disciplinary and cross-institutional dialogue”, in collaboration with University of Cambridge, UK and the Energy Research Center, University of Cape Town, South Africa. This research aims to explore how low-income communities, private energy entrepreneurs and government (at various scales) work in contestation and collaboration to devise and deliver affordable domestic energy that meets the long -term needs and aspirations of low-income households in two rapidly urbanising cities, Bengaluru (India) and Cape Town (South Africa).
Kenrick Neagle Mascarenhas