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 in Sustainability Science

Anish Sugathan is a Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science 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.

Evaluating emission control policies for the Indian power sector: Policy alternatives considering abatement and growth
Thermal power plants are the most significant large point source of anthropogenic carbon dioxide and harmful local air pollutants in India. However, the extant Indian regulations stipulate no stringent limits for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and fine particle emission from coal fired plants. Therefore regulatory efforts that target thermal generators will likely yield significant abatement outcomes. However, introduction of emission regulation can alter investment pattern in the sector impacting economic growth and development. For a fast growing and energy starved country like India, the loss of welfare due to slowdown can possibly overwhelm the gains envisaged by a reduction in emissions. Thus lax regulations are partly driven by the policy dilemma of balancing emissions with growth in electricity infrastructure. This project aims to address this policy dilemma by ex-ante evaluation of policy alternatives using a counterfactual framework. In particular, a policy-invariant dynamic structural model of the Indian power generation industry is developed. Using counterfactual experiments with the model, policy choices involving selection of pollutants and method of regulation are evaluated seeking optimal welfare outcomes. The research aims to evolve practical guidelines for scholars and policy makers designing emission regulations for the Indian power sector.

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