Sustainability Science Program

Sushanta K. Chatterjee

Sushanta K. Chatterjee

Sushanta ChatterjeeDr. Sushanta K. Chatterjee
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

Sushanta K Chatterjee is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and Joint Chief for Regulatory Affairs with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission in India. His work focuses on public policy and regulation, including renewable energy. He deals with power sector reforms and was centrally involved in India’s Electricity Act of 2003. He contributed to the conceptualisation of the Renewable Energy Certificate mechanism in India. Sushanta is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Development in India led by Rohini Pande. He has a PhD in Management from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in India and completed a dissertation on “Policy Instruments for Promotion of Renewable Energy Generation: Development of a Suggestive Framework for Indian REC System.” He has an MBA from Indira Gandhi National Open University with a specialization in Finance and a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology and Management from the Indian Institute of Public Administration. He co-authored The Electricity sector in India: Policy and Regulation (Oxford, 2012). His has published on the Electricity Laws of India and renewable energy. He is a Member of various Government Committees. His faculty host is Rohini Pande.

The renewable energy policy dilemma in India: Should the Renewable Energy Certificate mechanism compete or merge with the Feed-in-Tariff scheme?
This project explores two renewable energy policies in India, Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) and the market-based Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism, and analyzes their potential impact.

Renewable energy has taken center stage in energy policy design in India in the wake of energy security concerns. Several policy instruments have been tried to promote renewable energy resources. India has experimented with both regulated fixed contract Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) and the market-based Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism. These two instruments are mutually exclusive of each other, in that an investor can choose either the FiT or REC route for investment. A buyer, on the other hand, can meet his/her renewable purchase obligation by either or both of these two policy instruments. Co-existence of these two interventions has, however, led to a dilemma and impasse in some cases, thereby adversely affecting investment in the renewable energy sector.  The REC segment of the market specifically is in a serious crisis. This study seeks to delve into the policy philosophy behind both FiT and REC mechanisms in India, to understand the tension between the two, analyze their impact, and suggest a way forward based inter alia, on review of international experiences. The study is intended to provide insight into the ongoing debate around this issue in India and serve as an input for future renewable energy policy design in India.

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