Challenges and Law Reforms in Indian Energy Sector

Air, solar and water are the basic energy sources that sustain life on earth. Though these natural energy sources are accessible and inevitable for everyone, power energy consumption strategies by the countries in the world play a vital role in the economic strategies of every country. Indian economy sustains to a great extent from the energy sector. Indian energy sector is constituted by various sources of energy including electricity and fuels and also from the renewable alternative energy sources of coal, wind and solar. The Constitution of India empowers the central and State Government to deal with the energy sectors. The private energy sectors are also subject to the government policies and confirmation. The energy sector of the country faces different challenges in the present scenario. One of the major challenges is the overpopulation of the country that makes huge increase in the demand in the energy sector. The exploitation in the energy sources also accelerates the decline of the energy sources that has put the Indian energy sector in crisis creating grave environmental pollutions. The conflict between the public and private energy sectors is another issue that challenges the economy of India. The increase of the global energy prices is another major challenge faced by the Indian energy sector.

The Indian Government strategy has a liberalized view that allows the private sector to enter into the energy sector for the increase in the economy. Government allows the cooperation of the private sector in fulfilling the government policies that have to be adapted in the energy sector to overcome the crisis. The major concerns regarding the energy policies are energy access, energy security and the climate change.

Electricity is one of the major energy produced from water, that promotes the economy of India, but even today it is not accessible to everyone in the country. This energy accessibility is subject to various factors and climate change is a determining factor in every form of energy. The decline of water sources is serious threat to the production of electrical energy. Other major energy sources such as fuel, gas and even renewable energy sources are also subject to the challenges of accessibility, climatic variations and energy security. Oil consumption is increased in an uncontrollable manner that makes Government to import it as per the international economy rate that finally results in the price hike of oil and petroleum products. The security for all energy sources is another major concern taken up by the Government and several measures for the preservation of energy is also included in the energy security policies of government.

For the last 30 years India had witnessed a tremendous growth in energy industry. The total usage of energy of country has been expanded from commercial purpose to non commercial purpose and that too ten times more over this period. Therefore need for conservation of energy resources is an important factor for the development of country’s economy. In 1972 a Fuel Policy Committee and in 1979 a Working Groups on Energy Policy were appointed and they put forward suggestions for the conservation of energy in various sectors The government of India had made the legislation for energy conservation as a preventive measure against the various energy exploitations. The Energy Conservation Act 2001 came in to force in 2002 for the fulfilling the objectives of improving the energy consumption and efficiency. A Bureau of Energy Efficiency is established by the Act for the implementation of the provisions of the Act. During the 9th five year plan various policies were adopted to include private sector in order to mobilize additional power generation and supply. As electricity is a Concurrent subject both the Central and the State has the power to make laws on it as envisaged in the Seventh Schedule of Constitution. As part of the reformation process the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act of 1998 was passed. Later in 2003, The Electricity Regulatory Commission Act of 1998, The Electricity Supply Act 1948 and The Electricity Act 1910 were repealed and the Electricity Act 2003 was passed by the parliament to structure and restructure electricity industry. As per the provisions of the 2003 Act different statutory bodies are established in order to perform and co-ordinate various functions and duties in relation to power generation and supply . The awareness about the consumption and preservation of energy, particularly the use of electricity is given prime importance through institutions under the State and Central Government institutions in the legal framework stated in the Act. The Act had undergone amendment in 2010, where the central government states the guide lines of issuance and purchase of energy savings certificates to the consumers in accordance with the energy consumption by them. Energy conservation Building code or ECBC, Strengthening Institutional capacity of state designated agencies or SD’s are specifically stated in the Act subject to the state and Central Government Policies.

The IEA or the International Energy Agency considers the Indian Government Policies in the energy sector as an innovative and effective measure in the consumption of energy. As per the article in the World Energy Outlook in 2011 and Energy Technology Perspectives in 2010, emphasis that the energy policies of India promotes the sustainability of energy sources that is integrated and at the same time inter related to the global energy sector and economy. The sustainable energy sources give the Indian economy more openness to the international market economy and the economic growth in the energy sector is focused on the human development and environmental conservations. Indian Government policies do not promote the environmental exploitation under the pretext of growth in energy economy. In order to attain self sufficiency and self reliance in the energy sector India also gives importance to extract domestic energy resources like hydro carbon, thorium and renewable energies. The usage of hydro, thermal and nuclear energy is a factor that aid in the energy conservation and energy security that ensures economic growth and sustainable development of India.

The energy administration in India is effectively done to overcome the challenges faced by the energy sector through planning commission and empowered group of Ministries. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas and Department of Atomic energy administrative wings in the energy sector that helps for a sustained economic growth in the country.