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Title: India’s Electricity Future: Perspectives From The Public and Policymakers
Authors: Ramamurthi, Pooja V
Advisors: Weber, Elke U
Contributors: Public and International Affairs Department
Keywords: coal phase out
decision making
energy transitions
Subjects: Public policy
Alternative energy
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The world needs to decarbonize its electricity systems, transitioning away from the current fossil fuel-based economy. The complex decisions that large emerging economies make to meet their future electricity needs while balancing their developmental goals have implications for global carbon emissions. Differing levels of global status, economic development, cultural contexts, and channels of political participation in emerging economies can result in different policy and individual decisions compared to advanced economies. An energy transition will require policy decisions at the supply and demand side. It therefore becomes critical to understand electricity decisions at a policy and household level in emerging countries, a field that has largely been dominated by a techno-economic lens in Western country contexts. Using the case of India, my dissertation seeks to explore a series of questions related to decision-making in the electricity sector. I approach my research questions with an interdisciplinary lens, drawing from political science, behavioral science, social psychology, sociology, and public administration. I use mixed methods including tools such as network analysis, statistics and econometrics, machine learning and qualitative interviews. I address the policy problem through three essays in my dissertation that focus on a) public preferences for electricity sector policy, b) individual household decisions for high consuming electricity appliances and c) the policy processes of elite policymakers in the power sector. My first study illustrates how public preferences could influence policy options towards India’s decarbonization efforts and that public opinion towards energy transitions merits further study in emerging economies as it differs from that in developed countries. My second study highlights that understanding psychological dimensions along with income and socio-demographic factors can help better predict appliance ownership. Further, the types of norms and beliefs that predict ownership and the strength of their influence is context-specific and varies across countries. My third study shows how state-directed development with close private industry alliances describes the Indian power policy sector better than pluralistic coalition frameworks that have traditionally been used to study energy policy processes. My studies have direct implications for energy policies in India and emphasize the need for increased empirical social science energy research from emerging economies.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Public and International Affairs

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