Professor Subhes Bhattacharyya

Professor of Net Zero Carbon Energy Systems
PhD (Grenoble, France), MEng (Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand), BEng (BE College,University of Calcutta, India)

Academic and research departments

Centre for Environment and Sustainability.


Areas of specialism

Applied energy research covering engineering, economic, environmental and regulatory perspectives; Energy policy and planning; multi-criteria decision making; energy sector sustainability issues; Energy Systems modelling; Energy Access; energy pricing and taxation; climate change vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation issues;

University roles and responsibilities

  • Teaching and research on energy issues with a special focus on net zero carbon emissions.

    My qualifications

    PhD in Applied Economics (Energy Economics specialisation)
    University Pierre Mendes France, Grenoble, France
    Advance Maters degree - Applied Economics
    University Pierre Mendes France, Grenoble, France
    Master of Engineering - Energy Planning and Policy
    Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
    Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical engineering)
    University of Calcutta (India)

    Previous roles

    31 August 2012 - 28 February 2022
    Professor of Energy Economics and Policy; Director of Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development; Research Theme Director - Net Zero.
    De Montfort University, Leicester (UK)
    01 September 2003 - 30 August 2012
    Senior Lecturer; Programme Director - Energy Studies
    University of Dundee (UK)
    01 May 2002 - 31 August 2003
    Visiting Associate Professor,
    Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
    01 March 2001 - 30 April 2002
    PricewaterhouseCoopers (India)
    01 December 1997 - 31 January 2001
    Economist - Regulatory projects
    National Economic Research Associates
    05 February 1997 - 30 November 1997
    Associate Professor
    Madras School of Economics, India

    Affiliations and memberships

    Senior Fellow
    Higher Education Academy (UK)
    Energy Institute
    Royal Society of Arts


    In the media

    Meet the Researchers: Just and Inclusive Transport in India
    Principal Investigator of the project
    Youtube Video


    Research interests


    Postgraduate research supervision


    SUBHES C BHATTACHARYYA (2022)Oil and Subsidies, In: Roland Dannreuther, Wojciech Ostrowski (eds.), Handbook on Oil and International Relationspp. 270-283 Edward Elgar Publishing

    Socio-political reasons have often influenced retail price of petroleum products in both oil exporting and oil importing countries. Countries have used differential fiscal measures to tax or subsidise petroleum products. Subsidised products have resulted in higher demand for products, which in turn has contributed to environmental pollution, higher import dependency for importers and loss of export revenue for exporters. The main purpose of this chapter is to present an analysis of global oil subsidies. The chapter presents different types of oil subsidies prevalent in different segments of the oil supply chain and highlights the factors and considerations that influence subsidy decisions. A comparison of recent oil subsidy estimates is then presented which reveals significant variation among studies due to differences in the assumptions and estimation methodologies. The effects of oil subsidies and the implications of oil subsidy removal are then considered. The analysis presented here highlights the difficulties in subsidy estimation due to the presence of multiple and divergent factors. It also draws attention to the potential loss of welfare for the poorer section of the population chapter and the consequent potential for a return to traditional fuel wood for meeting energy needs by the poor. Any subsidy removal programmes need to take care of such regressive outcomes.

    Magda Moner-Girona, Sandor Szabo, Subhes Bhattacharyya (2022)Finance Mechanisms and Incentives for Off-Grid Photovoltaic Technologies in the Solar Belt, In: Comprehensive Renewable Energy1pp. 82-113 Elsevier

    Access to modern energy is a social and economic priority to rural population and policy-makers because of its direct socio economic and environmental benefits, as well as the indirect benefits of energy as an important input factor to growth and the Sustainable Development Goals. In this sense, renewable technologies offer the option to provide access to sustainable energy services and foster economic development. However, there are many barriers to the widespread diffusion of renewable energy technologies in the rural environment. One of the main barriers is financial, as many rural families have little expendable capital and lack access to credit on one hand and entrepreneurs face challenges due to the small size and risky nature of the projects arising from their remoteness, limited demand and poor consumer base on the other. Therefore, schemes for financing off-grid electrification are just as important as technological innovations. This chapter reviews existing support mechanisms and incentives for off-grid photovoltaic deployment in developing countries, particularly combining market, energy use, and socio-economic elements. Additionally, it analyses the progress and adaptation of the support mechanisms depending on the degree of failure in the past, and suggest new solutions for promoting sustainable energy options for remote rural areas in developing countries. (This is an update of M. Moner-Girona, S. Szabo, S. Rolland, 1.07—Finance Mechanisms and Incentives for Photovoltaic Technologies in Developing Countries, In Comprehensive Renewable Energy, edited by Ali Sayigh, Elsevier LTD, 2012,

    Andrew Mitchell, Andrew Mitchell, Daniel Kerr, John Rowlatt, Subhes C Bhattacharyya (2023)Developmental discourses of transition in the Indian transport sector: A corpus linguistic survey of the literature, In: Human geography Sage Publications

    India is a large nation state facing the twin challenges of economic development and the need to transition away from its path dependence on coal towards a low carbon infrastructure. By applying corpus linguistics to a sampled literature on decarbonising India's transport sector, we explore three motifs of difference, viz. 'change', 'decarbonisation', and 'transition', and how these motifs are applied within the context of this academic literature to refer to potential opportunities to transform India's developmental trajectory. We find that rather than exploring such opportunities, the sampled papers tend to recirculate discourses influenced by eco-modernisation which, although proposing change to India's carbon footprint, leave the fundamental structure of India's neo-liberal economic model unchallenged, even though, from a developmental discourse perspective, this lies at the root of climate change, and for meaningful change to occur it must be addressed.

    Salisu Isihak, Uduak Akpan, Subhes Bhattacharyya (2022)Evolution of GIS-based rural electrification planning models and an application of OnSSET in Nigeria, In: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition2100019pp. 1-14 Elsevier

    This study carries out an in-dept overview of GIS-based rural electrification planning models with a trace to their historical evolutions. The study focuses on web-based and desktop-based models that have been developed and used extensively in rural electrification planning in recent years. Specifically, four of such models are considered: SOLARGIS, Network Planner, the Reference Electrification Model (REM), and OpeN Source Spatial Electrification Tool (OnSSET). We compare the performance of these models and conclude that OnSSET has better capabilities than the other models. Specifically, we find OnSSET very useful because it is open source. We demonstrate the application of OnSSET in a state in Nigeria, i.e. Kaduna State. The state is selected because of data availability. The result of the study shows that mini-grid solar PV is the cost-effective technology option for most unelectrified communities, followed by Standalone PV. Furthermore, the cost of achieving universal electricity access in the state by 2030 is estimated at US$505.08million while an additional generation capacity of 252MW will be required to achieve universal electricity coverage by 2030. The study concludes that the financial requirement seems to be beyond the capacity of Kaduna State given the prevailing economic realities in Nigeria and recommends that pro-poor public-private partnership strategies be considered for electrification projects in the state.

    This video contains the presentation made at the Non-Road Mobile Machinery Conference 2023 held in Berlin. The talk shares some reflections on non-road mobile machinery electrification in off-grid areas and discusses the win-win opportunities for both the off-grid sector and the local communities.

    This presentation focuses on the issue of decarbonisation of non-road mobile machinery in the off-grid areas of developing countries. The presentation focuses on the status of electricity access - particularly the lack of access in Sub-Saharan Africa and highlights the importance of improving agricultural productivity in these areas to support poverty eradication. The role of agricultural machinery in supporting the productivity is highlighted. The symbiotic relation between off-grid electrification and electrification of agricultural machinery is then emphasised. Potential options for realising the opportunities and possible challenges are also discussed.

    Leticia Ozawa-Meida, Fernando Ortiz-Moya, Birgit Painter, Matthew Hengesbaugh, Ryoko Nakano, Tetsuro Yoshida, Eric Zusman, Subhes Bhattacharyya (2021)Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into Urban Climate Plans in the UK and Japan: A Text Analysis, In: Climate9(6)100 MDPI

    Cities are increasingly adopting potentially sustainable climate plans. Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into these plans could help stabilize the climate while generating jobs, narrowing equity gaps, fostering innovation, and delivering other sustainability benefits. Yet, how much cities are integrating the SDGs into climate plans remains poorly understood. This article shed light on this question with a text analysis of SDG "keywords" in climate plans for two British and two Japanese cities. The results revealed that none of the surveyed cities have connected climate with socioeconomic priorities covered in SDG1 (poverty), SDG8 (employment), SDG5 (gender), and SDG10 (inequalities). Meanwhile, the United Kingdom cities made more connections between climate and responsible consumption and production (SDG12) than the Japanese cities. Further, Kyoto, Japan shares a climate-SDGs linkages profile that resembles the United Kingdom cities more than Kawasaki. Though not without limitations, text analysis can facilitate the city-to-city peer learning needed to make urban climate plans sustainable within and across countries.

    Subhes Bhattacharyya (2022)Clean Energy Financing: Sources, Instruments, Risks, and Mitigation Options, In: Financing Clean Energy in Developing Asia: Volume 2pp. 9-51 Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    In 2015, the international community agreed in Paris to limit any rise in global average temperature to “well below 2°C above the preindustrial levels” by the year 2100. Model-based analysis of low-carbon pathways suggests that global net anthropogenic carbon emissions must decline by 46% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050. Reaching this objective requires unprecedented, urgent efforts nationally and internationally by all stakeholders, including governments, companies, and households. Such efforts must involve a systemic transformation of prevailing fossil fuel-based energy systems to clean and smart energy solutions.