Sustainability Science Program

Santosh Harish

Santosh Harish

Santosh HarishDr. Santosh Harish
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
Email: santosh_harish@hks.harvard.edu
Group affiliation: Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Santosh Harish is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia. His research interests lie in energy and environmental policy in developing countries. Santosh is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Development in India led by Rohini Pande. At J-PAL South Asia, he works on energy and environment projects with Professors Rohini Pande and Michael Greenstone, including the evaluation of a pilot emissions trading program for Indian industry. Santosh received his PhD from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University (2014). His dissertation research focused on the generation and distribution aspects of providing reliable electricity access in rural India. This work included the development of a consumer surplus-based method of incorporating consumer interruption costs in electrification planning, and a study on the rural-urban disparity in supply rostering schedules. His research has been published in Energy Policy, Energy for Sustainable Development, and Economic and Political Weekly. He received his undergraduate degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (2010). His faculty host is Rohini Pande.

Adapting to chronic power outages in India: Modeling residential demand for energy services with unreliable supply
The goal of the project is to build a microeconomic framework for consumer demand for electricity services with unreliable supply and dissimilar alternative energy sources.

With chronic supply deficits, electricity consumers in India are forced to adapt to frequent outages by rescheduling their activities and using expensive, backup power. Unreliability of power supply limits the development benefits of household electricity access, and inhibits the growth of local industries in villages and towns. The goal of the project is to build a microeconomic framework for consumer demand for electricity services with unreliable supply and dissimilar alternative energy sources. The framework could be used to identify interesting hypotheses on consumer adaptation behavior that can then be tested by collecting primary data on the usage of backups and through randomized experiments. These could in turn provide valuable insights in designing short to medium term policy interventions to minimize consumer inconvenience due to supply rostering.

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