Sustainability Science Program

Anish Sugathan

Anish Sugathan

Anish SugathanDr. Anish Sugathan
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 506 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-496-0426
Group affiliation: Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Anish Sugathan is a Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the SustainabilityScience Program. His research interest is in the area of institutional reforms and economic governance enabling sustainable development, specifically in energy policy, environmental regulation, and electricity sector in India. His research focuses on the evaluation and design of emission control policies for the Indian power sector. Anish is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Development in India led by Professor Rohini Pande. He has contributed to collaborative projects on techno-economic evaluation of uranium supply-chain at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, has developed labor migration models for India at the Centre for Development Studies, and has worked on the indigenous design and development of several power generation and emission abatement technologies while working as a research engineer at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited. He holds an undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the University of Kerala. He is a Fellow (Ph.D.) of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore in the area of Corporate Strategy and Policy and a recipient of a SAP Labs India scholarship supporting doctoral studies. His doctoral research assessed firm-level productivity changes in the Indian power sector following deregulation and explores the influence of quality of institutions on corporate governance practices in India. His faculty host is Rohini Pande.

Institutional design for efficient provision of electricity: Experimental study of electricity consumption under misallocation and theft
This project asks how, in the presence of persistent market distortions and weak institutions, introduction of advanced metering technologies for electricity distribution can curtail systemic inefficiencies unlocking energy savings and environmental gains.

In India about a third of all electricity generated is lost in transmission and distribution (T&D), primarily as a result of pilferage. Lack of accountability fuels a pattern of profligate consumption of scarce resources, further worsening the environmental footprint of electricity production-distribution. Conventional approaches relying exclusively on technological interventions have largely failed to contain systemic inefficiencies in provision and consumption of electricity. In this context, we propose to conduct an experimental study to understand the ‘socio-technical’ impacts of alternate governance arrangements combined with advanced metering techniques in reducing inefficiencies. We propose to conduct three type of experimental interventions to design normative policy suggestions. First, altering the nature of information on consumption communicated. Second, introducing top-down and bottom-up monitoring strategies, and finally, providing targeted advisories. For conducting the experiments we install “smart” continuous monitoring energy meters to a representative sample of households and on one feeder-line supplying electricity to a theft prone area in the city of Bangalore in India.

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