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  • Covid-19 Policy Note Series: Energy and Power

    The Covid-19 pandemic has torn through the Indian economy and society. By early June 2021, over 28 million people were infected, with about 340000 deaths. At the peak of the national lockdown in the first quarter of FY 2020-21, the national GDP had contracted by 23.9%, with high unemployment rates and significant declines in wages, especially in the informal sector.

    Covid-19 has strongly demonstrated the deep interlinkages between the economy, environment, and the society, and highlighted the importance of adopting development strategies that address these in an integrated manner. This series of WRI India expert notes outlines sector-specific recommendations through which the country can continue to develop its economy, while improving the environment and strengthening society.

    The third note focuses on energy and the power sector. During the pandemic, electricity demand fell, consumption shifted away from commercial buildings towards residential ones, and discom finances were further affected. The increased adoption of digital education and greater need for healthcare services also demonstrated the importance of reliable and affordable electricity for all. This note offers recommendations – on rural access, capacity planning, and building demand – through which the energy sector can be further developed to benefit the economy, environment, and all sections of society.

  • Covid-19 Policy Note Series: Cities and Urban Planning

    The Covid-19 pandemic has torn through the Indian economy and society. By the middle of April 2021, over 14 million people were infected, with about 175000 deaths. At the peak of the national lockdown in the first quarter of FY 2020-21, the national GDP had contracted by 23.9%, with high unemployment rates and significant declines in wages, especially in the informal sector.

    Covid-19 has strongly demonstrated the deep interlinkages between the economy, environment, and the society, and highlighted the importance of adopting development strategies that address these in an integrated manner. This series of WRI India expert notes outlines sector-specific recommendations through which the country can continue to develop its economy, while improving the environment and strengthening society.

    The second note focuses on urban development planning. Urban centres were particularly affected during the pandemic, due to the higher population densities, spatial considerations, and shortfalls in infrastructure and services. This note outlines ways in which urban planning can be reimagined to benefit the economy, environment, and all sections of society.

  • Covid-19 Policy Note Series: Urban Transport

    The Covid-19 pandemic has torn through the Indian economy and society. By the middle of April 2021, over 14 million people were infected, with about 175000 deaths. At the peak of the national lockdown in the first quarter of FY 2020-21, the national GDP had contracted by 23.9%, with high unemployment rates and significant declines in wages, especially in the informal sector.

    Covid-19 has strongly demonstrated the deep interlinkages between the economy, environment, and the society, and highlighted the importance of adopting development strategies that address these in an integrated manner. This series of WRI India expert notes outlines sector-specific recommendations through which the country can continue to develop its economy, while improving the environment and strengthening society.

    The first note focuses on the urban transport sector. Urban transport was particularly affected during the pandemic; several modes of public transport were halted or curtailed through various stages of lockdown, while domestic vehicle sales in the first quarter of FY 2020-21 were 75.5% lower than in the preceding year. As the public and private transport industries attempt to recover, this note outlines ways in which urban transport and its associated infrastructure can be reimagined to benefit the economy, environment, and all sections of society.

  • A Review of State Government Policies for Electric Mobility

    India has identified electric mobility as a promising pathway to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased energy security. While less than 1% of vehicles in India are electric, state governments have started expressing greater intent in promoting transport electrification. Many states have rolled out electric vehicle (EV) policies with two primary objectives: to incentivize EV uptake among the public and to promote industrial growth in the EV sector.

    This review of EV policies of 12 Indian states, with notified or draft policies in place, provides a comprehensive overview of policy incentives and mechanisms being deployed for promoting electric mobility. It shows that disparities exist in the incentives defined by different states, and some states have focused more on demand generation and others on industrial promotion. However, the range of policies provide a good starting point for meaningful state-level action on electric mobility.

    As state and city-level policy makers design, revise, refresh and implement tailored initiatives to support the EV ecosystem, this review is expected to be a useful resource for guidance.

    View Summary | View Complete Paper

  • Procurement of Electric Buses: Insights from Total Cost of Ownership

    A shift towards cleaner energy for public transport, particularly through e-buses, brings multi-dimensional benefits. The benefits multiply when combined with the greening of electricity generation in India.

    Deployment of e-bus must be underpinned by a robust understanding of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This is especially important for a price-sensitive market like India. The commentary on 'Procurement of Electric Buses: Insights from Total Cost of Ownership' does precisely this. TCO analysis attempts to identify the key cost components and major barriers to the procurement of e-buses. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis was done to identify high and low impact variables and their impact on TCO per km of buses.

    The commentary provides a deep understanding of possible areas of advancement and the associated pressure points in what is touted to be the future of Indian transportation. The commentary also provides a detailed assessment of innovative business models that will be handy for decision-makers, transport corporations, operators, financing partners, OEMs, and other allied stakeholders to arrive at appropriate terms that can diversify risks and reduce the resource burden of interested stakeholders.

  • Tracking India’s Industrial Evolution with Electric Mobility

    With the diffusion of electric vehicle technology in India, upcoming and established firms have begun launching new products, services and business models to increase their competitiveness. Product development and manufacturing practices are evolving, new players are making a foray into vehicle assembly and allied products, and organizations are being re-structured.

    WRI India has identified more than 100 strategic moves made in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry between 2017 and 2020. Applying a multi-case research methodology, we further analyzed 31 of these strategic moves using the Four-Dimensional Framework of Competitive Advantage. Our goal was to observe how firms are choosing to become more competitive as they race to enter the global EV value chain.

    The paper highlights key observations and lists policy pathways that can guide decision makers in state and central governments, and stakeholders in the industry and academia, to chart the way ahead and identify the areas that need policy intervention. We posit that policymakers can play a key role in driving competition, and thereby reap the rewards of economic development – including technological leadership, active participation in the global value chain and developing human capital and resource efficiency.

    View Summary | View Complete Paper

  • Building a Resilient Kochi - A holistic approach to provide Safe Public Transport and Public Spaces in times of a pandemic and beyond

    Public transport and public spaces serve as lifelines for cities. With the occurrence of COVID 19 pandemic, public transport systems, streets, and public spaces were shut as they are highly prone to the spread of infection, thus putting cities to a grinding halt. Now, the cities are preparing to slowly exit from this ‘lockdown’ phase and embrace the ‘new normal’. This gradual exit requires a meticulous plan with short-term, mid-term, and long-term strategies especially for providing public transport services and opening public spaces.

    While the situation in Kochi (which is one of the key anchor cities of Kerala) has been brought under control with immediate measures, there is a very critical need to develop resilient sustainable solutions for a long-term adoption to create safety in public transport modes and city public spaces.

    This document is expected to guide the city authorities and agencies to develop a phased approach for public transport and public spaces in Kochi, to tackle the present and future pandemics. It provides action steps specific to the city, to plan, implement, and regulate safe public transport and public spaces, which in turn help to scale this up to other parts of the state and country.

  • COVID-19 Safety Measures for Public Bus Operations in India

    Buses are one of the most commonly used and popular modes of transport in India, with over 46% of urban passenger trips being serviced by public buses. However, they are also confined spaces with a lack of adequate ventilation, which makes them high-risk environments for the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.

    With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, public transportation across the country stopped to prevent the spread of diseases between the millions of passengers bus systems handle on a daily basis, as well as transit staff. In order for bus services to resume operations effectively and safely, comprehensive measures will need to be implemented across the board.

    This document has been created to help prepare bus operations, following the emergency response phase of the pandemic and includes guidelines catered to Indian contexts, based on the best practices adopted by cities around the world.

  • COVID-19 Public Safety Measures for Metro Systems in India

    India’s metro system carries more than 8 million people across cities every day, forming an integral part of the country’s urban transport system. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown, public transportation came to a halt to avoid spreading disease further.

    Metro systems have the potential to be high-risk environments for spreading disease—with a large number of common surfaces and its reliance on air conditioning and closed ventilation. Stations, too, pose a risk. Metros carry a large number of passengers, and ensuring their safety and the safety of metro staff will require careful planning.

    To resume metro services safely, operators will need to implement a comprehensive post-lockdown operations plan, to prepare for various scenarios and improve ridership over the long term. This document contains pragmatic suggestions on how to adopt health and safety measures as set out by health agencies and how to communicate these to the public effectively.

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