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)


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


    Adriana Fajardo, Lucy Baker, Subhes C Bhattacharyya, Temilade Sesan, Maneno Katyega, Daniel Kerr SUSTAINABILITY, INCLUSIVENESS AND GOVERNANCE OF MINI-GRIDS IN AFRICA (SIGMA) RESEARCH PROJECT Acknowledgement

    This paper is based on a comprehensive literature review of publications fromacademia, industry, governmental and international institutions relating to businessmodels, finance, and operational risks and challenges of mini grids in SSA. Firstly, weinvestigate the different business models that currently exist for mini grids in SSA andprovide insights into the opportunities and challenges of each approach. Secondly,we identify access to finance as a prominent challenge to the further expansion of‘third generation’ or solar/ solar-hybrid mini grids in the region. In so doing, weexplore the different configurations of actors, institutions and processes involved inthe provision of finance and investment for the sector. Finally, we examine some ofthe key investment, regulatory and operational risks and challenges in the sector’scurrent and future development. Through such a study we shed light on thechallenges and opportunities faced by the evolving sector in the region andconsider successful approaches and best practices to advance sustainable energyaccess.Despite notable growth in connections to solar or solar-hybrid mini grids in SSA andelsewhere, progress in bridging the rural electrification gap has been slow, with morethan 560 million people still lacking energy access in SSA, particularly in remote areasconsidered too poor to afford cost-reflective tariffs. More clarity is needed betweenthe optimistic promises and enthusiasm expressed in influential energy publicationsregarding solar mini grid development, and the level and quality of financeavailable for mini grids in the region. Moreover, while financial sustainability is oftenregarded as the main challenge for mini grid expansion, there is a complementaryneed for proven, successful, and scalable business models.While the literature points to hybrid ownership, partially subsidised models, a focus onanchor customers, and the bundling of projects into financial portfolios as the mostpromising business strategies, we argue that there is no one-size-fits-all solution formini grid business models in SSA. Success depends on specific external and internalchallenges unique to each context (Franz et al., 2014; Safdar, 2017). Through ourreview, we find that an optimistic narrative towards private sector participation maynot always translate into greater accessibility and affordability, particularly forgeographically remote and low-income users and that while the mini grid sector inSSA has grown significantly in recent years, securing adequate and appropriateexternal finance remains a key challenge.

    L. Baker, T. Sesan, S. Bhattacharyya, A. Pueyo, D. Bukari, S. Meena, E. Onsongo, M. Oyinlola, E. Sawe, E. Otu-Eleri, U. Uduka, B. Onjala, M. Katyega Of monopolies and mini grids: case studies from Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Senegal SIGMA WORKING PAPER NO. 1 SUSTAINABILITY, INCLUSIVENESS AND GOVERNANCE OF MINI-GRIDS IN AFRICA (SIGMA) RESEARCH PROJECT 2 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    Recent advances in decentralised renewable electricity systems have undermined long-held assumptions that electricity access and rural electrification can only be achieved via the extension of the national grid. Renewable energy and solar hybrid mini grids are being promoted as one low-cost option to meet Sustainable Energy for All’s commitment to universal energy access by 2030, because of their potential to connect low-income, rural and/or dispersed communities for whom the cost of extending the main grid is considered too expensive. As this paper discusses in relation to four countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Senegal, in recent years new private sector actors in renewable energy mini grids have started to emerge, marking a shift away from large-scale diesel or hydro mini grids run by government utilities, and small-scale mini grid development previously led by bi-lateral donors and community organisations on a project-by-project basis. However, there have been considerable governance and regulatory challenges to the development and deployment of renewable energy mini grids at scale, which has often taken place in the absence of national regulation rather than because of it. Moreover, some state-owned electricity utilities and associated institutions have been resistant at once to new private sector actors and decentralised systems. Meanwhile, the term ‘mini grid’ lacks a common definition and is simultaneously associated with energy access as well as productive use, despite the often-competing objectives of these end uses. This paper unpacks some of these dynamics through an extensive desk-based study of grey and academic literature and a regulatory comparison of the four case study countries. Building on scholarship from development and energy geography, we argue that a more granular analysis is needed in order to account for the complex and evolving processes of electricity decentralisation in low- and middle-income countries.

    In the context of access to electricity, mini-grids have emerged as an electrificationstrategy in the developing world. However, various technical, economic, sociopoliticaland governance issues militate against the sustainability of mini-grids.Sustainability here is defined as the ability of mini-grids – specifically, those poweredwholly or partly by renewable sources - to meet present and future needs for domesticand productive energy uses in a reliable, accessible, efficient and cost-effectivemanner. The purpose of this paper is to critically review and synthesise the availableliterature on the technical sustainability of mini-grids with a special emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and highlight lessons for mini-grid projects in the region.The paper has followed a structured review approach inspired by the systematicreview methodology. The review is based on studies published since 2000 (when minigridsbegan gaining sustained attention in the SSA region) covering both academicand policy-oriented literature which were identified through searches of variousdatabases and websites using predefined search strings. Specific inclusion andexclusion criteria were then applied to the identified literature and the selectedmaterial was analysed using NVivo. The content was analysed around four themesconsidered important for technical sustainability as follows:1. Quality of equipment and design or installation issues;2. Technical indicators used;3. Technical operations, repair and management;4. Technical sustainability.The paper found that the technical sustainability of mini-grids is influenced by systemdesign, construction quality, operations and maintenance and future capacityexpansion of the systems. Various choices at the design stage in terms of demand tobe serviced, system sizing, construction, component matching, demandmanagement, smart features, and consideration of non-technical issues affect thetechnical sustainability of mini-grids. Trade-offs for cost minimisation often compromisethe flexibility of the system, affecting long-term prospects of the plant. A lack ofaccurate data on load, resource availability and adequate local skills have alsoaffected mini-grid projects. Although smart systems have been introduced, theireffectiveness depends on user-friendliness, robustness, and durability. Furthermore,the quality of installations and construction quality have also adversely affectedperformance where local skills are in short supply and the quality of supply iscompromised. However, the embeddedness of the technology in the socio-cultural,political and environmental context also influences the technical sustainability of minigrids.The quality of service (in terms of availability, reliability, power quality andadequacy) is directly influenced by the quality of maintenance and systemoperation. Inappropriate operation of the system for various reasons such as a lack ofskilled operators, inability to strictly adhere to operating instructions and localenforcement issues of good practices or absence of user engagement andcooperation affects the plant performance and technical sustainability. Similarly,irregular or inadequate maintenance of the plants due to financial, skills or other4constraints (e.g. remoteness of the plant, availability of spare parts, etc.) significantlyinfluences performance. Studies have reported the prevalence of poor operatingand maintenance practices in the mini-grid space, resulting in poor consumersatisfaction. Although modular systems offer the advantage of easy capacityexpansion to meet future needs, in reality such expansion remains aspirational due topoor financial resources of mini-grids.Crucially, the paper identifies the limitations of existing frameworks for assessing thetechnical sustainability of mini-grids and proposes a streamlined yet expandedframework for measurement that incorporates the elements of renewability andadequacy of electricity supply over the long term.

    This paper presents the performance analysis of mini-grids using DEA. It has used mini-grid data from a published source and determined the relative production efficiencies of mini-grids in developing countries across the world. Data for 81 minigrids was extracted, and two separate data envelopment analysis models wereused to analyse the dataset. The Charnes, Cooper & Rhodes (CCR) model offered an analysis under a constant returns-to-scale assumption, while the Banker, Charnes and Cooper (BCC) model offered an analysis with a variable returns-to-scale assumption. This allowed for the determination of the most-productive-scale-size forthe mini-grids analysed, by comparing the pure technical efficiency given by the BCC model with the technical and scale efficiency of the CCR model. Four inputs and one output variable were considered for this analysis, with the capacity per person served by the mini-grid, the renewable energy share of the mini-grid and theage of the mini-grid being used alongside a code for the ownership model of the mini-grid as inputs, and the cost per watt delivered as the single output.This analysis has shown that there are significant issues present with the productive efficiency of mini-grids in developing countries. Compared to their peers in the dataset, the majority of mini-grids are inefficient, with a large number of mini-grids being very inefficient compared to their peers. The input-oriented models inparticular highlight this inefficiency: input-oriented scale efficiency is low across the corpus, indicating that the majority of mini-grids are operating far away from their most productive scale size. Moving forward, the mini-grid sector in developing countries needs to assess the scale of their operations, and determine whetherincreasing or decreasing returns to scale are present to expand or diversify their operations as appropriate.

    This paper presents an indicator-based framework for the sustainability analysis of mini-grids and applies this to a selection of mini-grids in Kenya. Although various frameworks exist, they have been criticised for lack of attention to long-term perspectives, high data needs, prescriptive nature of the attributes and limited userfriendliness. Considering that data availability is a major concern and that data available is qualitative in nature, this paper proposes a set of indicators and a scoring system that can be used with a broad qualitative understanding of the sustainability attributes of the mini-grids. The paper first presents the framework andthe scoring system and applies this to the data gathered from the fieldwork in Kenya. The results indicate that the significant variation in sustainability performance of the mini-grids covered and the performance is relatively poor in social, institutional and environmental dimensions.

    Temilade Sesan, Unico Uduka, Lucy Baker, Okechukwu Ugwu, Ewah Eleri, Subhes Bhattacharyya (2024)Exploring the connections between mini-grid market regulation and energy access expansion: The case of Nigeria, In: Energy Policy113891 Elsevier

    About 140 million people across Africa are expected to gain access to electricity from mini grids by 2040. Nigeria, with the least dependable electricity supply on the continent, stands to benefit significantly from this boon. Accordingly, the government has put in place clear regulations to incentivise private investment and drive market growth. While the techno-economic dimensions of the growing mini-grid sector and the broader electricity industry have been extensively studied, less attention has been paid to analysing the impacts of the regulatory framework on the achievement of rural electrification and universal energy access goals. Drawing on qualitative data obtained from key regulatory and market actors in the Nigerian mini-grid sector, this paper interrogates the premise of pursuing widespread rural electrification through a regulatory framework that is primarily geared toward increasing market efficiency. The study finds that, while the current framework has enabled growth in the sector, complementary mechanisms are required to achieve equitable distribution of access, especially among the mainly rural populations dwelling on the fringes of mainstream electricity markets. The findings are instructive for practitioners and policy makers seeking evidence-informed approaches to achieving the goal of universal energy access in Africa.

    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.

    Subhes C Bhattacharyya (2019)Energy economics Springer

    1. Introduction to energy economics -- Part 1: Concepts -- 2. Economic concepts applied to the energy sector -- 3. Energy data and energy balance -- 4. Energy demand analysis -- 5. Energy demand forecasting -- 6. Economic analysis of investments -- 7. Economics of non-renewable energy supply -- 8. Economics of renewable energy supply -- 9. Energy Pricing and taxation -- 10. Economics of environment protection -- Part 2: Issues -- 11. Energy challenges -- 12. Energy and Sustainable Development -- 13. Energy Security Issues -- 14. Impact of price volatility -- 15. Energy Investment issues -- 16. Energy Access -- 17. Pollution control from stationary sources -- 18. Pollution control from mobile sources -- 19. Energy saving and energy efficiency improvements -- Part 3: Markets -- 20. International oil market -- 21. Natural gas market -- 22. Coal market -- 23. Electricity market -- 24. Carbon market -- Part 4: Governance -- 25. Institutional perspectives in energy -- 26. Energy sector regulation -- 27. Reform and restructuring of the energy sector -- 28. Regional energy integration and international cooperation

    Subhes Bhattacharyya, Daniel Kerr, Nupur Ahuja, Nehal Gautam, John Rowlatt, Sukanya Das, Gopal K Sarangi, Andrew Mitchell, Naman Agarwal (2023)All Change: Equitably Decarbonising India's Transportation Sector The British Academy
    Leticia Ozawa-Meida, B Painter, Subhes Bhattacharyya (2019)Analysing climate action plans of selected UK cities for their SDG alignment IESD, De Montfort University

    In UK, the Climate change Act of 2008 has placed a binding target of reducing the net carbon emission in 2050 by at least 80% compared to the 1990 baseline. With a high share of urban population, the contribution of cities and urban areas towards climate change mitigation and adaptation becomes crucial. UK being a signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2016, there is a new emphasis on the sustainability of cities as well. In this paper, a preliminary analysis of climate action initiatives of three UK cities (Bristol, Leicester and Milton Keynes) and their alignment with the SDG is presented. We used a text mining approach to analyse the climate action plans and then use this to map the alignment with the SDGs. We find that climate action plans have not focused on the sustainable development goals or the SDGs and their focus remains limited mainly to mitigation activities through promotion of renewable energies at homes and in buildings and actions on transport. However, climate action plans could influence a significant number of SDGs and an integrated approach could be beneficial for the cities and their residents.

    Justin Udie, Subhes Bhattacharyya, Leticia Ozawa-Meida (2019)Implementation of analytic hierarchy process in evaluation of vulnerable critical oil and gas infrastructures to climate change impacts Climate Change: Impacts and Responses Research Network

    The Niger Delta oil and gas infrastructures are under severe threat of climate change impacts exacerbated by frequent flood activities, rising temperature, surging Atlantic tides, persistent heavy rainfall, and windstorms. This requires sustainable adaptation mechanisms to cope with vulnerabilities, but experts are challenged with the scale of vulnerability and ability to prioritise adaptation responses according to system criticality. Through a systematic review and synthesise of criticality assessment criteria, this paper applied multiple input analytic hierarchy process (Mi-AHP) in prioritising the criticality of seven stratified vulnerable infrastructures to ease adaptation planning. The result indicates that oil terminals, flow stations and roads/bridges are most critical infrastructures with an EV value = 0.27, 0.19, and 0.15 respectively. The result further indicated that transformers/high voltage cables are the fourth most critical systems obtaining EV = 0.14 while Pipelines, loading bays and wellheads were ranked fifth, sixth, and seventh with EV = 0.11, 0.09 and 0.05. Accordingly, the study emphasised the need for sustainable and pragmatic adaptation planning leveraging the outcome of the study to effectively manage and reduce the vulnerability of climate change impacts on oil and gas infrastructures in the Niger Delta.

    Subhes C. Bhattacharyya (2020)Routledge handbook of energy in Asia Routledge
    Aparna Katre, Arianna Tozzi, Subhes Bhattacharyya (2019)Sustainability of community-owned mini-grids: evidence from India, In: Energy, sustainability and society9(1)2pp. 1-17 Springer Nature

    Community-owned solar mini-grids (SMGs) are increasingly promoted to provide communities access to reliable electricity, empowering local actors as they become active stakeholders in projects. However, early failures and difficulties in building local capacity have raised questions regarding their long-term sustainability and ability to be replicated to provide socio-economic benefits to the communities. This study assesses the sustainability of 24 community-owned SMGs in India operating over extensive periods of time using a novel scoring framework using mixed methods to derive its conclusions. The study found that institutional, financial, and technical capacities, central for the SMG's long-term sustainability, could be achieved through community engagement from early stages, if communities are allowed freedom to develop governance procedures while at the same time clarifying roles and responsibilities. This creates strong sense of ownership that is key for effective and inclusive governance. User satisfaction, ensured through provision of usable supply in line with users' expectations, motivates actors to make regular payments, thus leading to economic sustenance. While social and environmental benefits were observed, energy consumption and engagement in productive activities remained marginal. The study reports an example of community-owned SMG model that has been replicated sustainably over many cases, overcoming key challenges related to appropriate financial and technical management and producing positive social impact. Low engagement in productive activities was more a factor of the local socio-cultural contexts, rather than limited paying capacities of the users. To increase energy utilization and create environments for sustainable rural living, the study recommends implementation of systems that link energy with other rural development needs such as agriculture or water provision. The study also recommends more use of qualitative and quantitative data for impact analysis to ensure that conclusions are generalizable and provide rich contextual explanations for the observed phenomena.

    Subhes C. Bhattacharyya, Debajit Palit, Gopal K. Sarangi, Vivek Srivastava, Prerna Sharma (2019)Solar PV mini-grids versus large-scale embedded PV generation: A case study of Uttar Pradesh (India), In: Energy policy128pp. 36-44 Elsevier Ltd

    Despite significant grid expansion during the last decade, globally India has the highest number of people lacking access to electricity. Mini-grid has been suggested as a possible electrification option and the new mini-grid policy of the state of Uttar Pradesh has attracted global attention. Relatedly, the drive for grid extension restricts off-grid areas to very remote locations and enhances the risks for mini-grid projects. Simultaneously, the pledge for increasing renewable energy share in the power supply mix opens the possibility of large-scale embedded renewable energy generation in the rural areas. This paper investigates the viability of solar PV-based mini-grids using a discounted cash flow analysis and considers the UP-policy prescriptions to explore the case of a megawatt (MW)-scale grid-connected solar PV under a power purchase agreement. It identifies the viability support requirements for both cases under different business conditions. It finds that mini-grids are not a viable proposition if the tariff prescribed in UP is used and that other cost minimising support (such as capital subsidy or low interest debt or an output-based subsidy) would be required to attract private investments. Large-scale solar projects, on the other hand, are more viable and can be an attractive proposition for rural electrification in the Indian context. •Investigates viability of solar mini-grids using provisions of the Uttar Pradesh mini-grid policy.•Compares solar mini-grids viability with MW-scale grid-tied PV systems.•Shows that mini-grids are not viable without subsidies or supports.•Large rural PV generation projects are more attractive to private investors.•Flexible support and risk management systems are required to promote mini-grids.

    Justin Udie, Subhes Bhattacharyya, Leticia Ozawa-Meida (2020)Integrating Analytic Hierarchy Process in Assessing the Criticality of Vulnerable Oil and Gas Infrastructure to Climate Change Impacts in the Niger Delta, In: The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses12(4)pp. 13-28

    This volume presents the papers presented at the international conference on Energising the SDGs through appropriate technology and governance. Papers were presented in eight sessions. In addition, there was a keynote speech, a panel discussion, a workshop on Sustainability Compass and a lunch-time poster session. This compendium provides a summary of the event and includes original papers and posters delivered at the conference. These covered various themes, including climate action plan in UK and Japanese cities and their alignment with the SDGs; sustainable energy access; contribution of renewable energies, urban design and sustainable development goals, tools for evaluation and monitoring of progress with the SDGs, and innovations and business models for various services.

    Tunmise Timothy Ayodele, Ahmad Taki, Muyiwa Oyinlola, Bhattacharyya Subhes, Subhes C Bhattacharyya (2020)A Review of Retrofit Interventions for Residential Buildings in Hot Humid Climates, In: International Journal of Environmental Science and Development11(5)pp. 251-257
    A Younis, A Taki, S Bhattacharyya (2020)Sustainability Issues In Low-middle Income Apartments In Urban Amman, Jordan: Heating Devices And Health Concerns, In: WIT Transactions on the Built Environment19327pp. 27-38 W I T Press

    Energy security constitutes a major challenge for sustainable development of the Kingdom of Jordan. This has led the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to integrate a comprehensive energy master plan for to develop the energy sector by 2029. Of the total residential energy consumption, 61 percent is consumed for heating spaces. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by domestic stock in Jordan are anticipated to increase by 59 percent in 2018. Most households heat their houses using traditional devices such as portable unflued kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stoves. Combustion of such heaters generates toxic by-products causing symptoms and illness among residents as a result of poor indoor air quality. This paper discusses these issues in view of urban low-middle income apartments in the capital Amman, with a focus on investigating the types of stoves used and health implications associated with using them. A representative sample of 106 low-middle income households in urban Amman were surveyed, through semi-structured interviews, to explore how they responded to the environmental conditions. Results showed that unflued kerosene and LPG stoves were used for heating spaces by around 39 percent and 89 percent of the total households surveyed, respectively. It was also found that almost 65 percent of them used more than one device for heating their apartments. Furthermore, around 50 percent of those households reported different health problems related to asthma which could partially be due to the use of these heating devices. The field study also showed that almost 75 percent of households lived in apartments constructed with external envelopes of hollow cement blocks leading to poorer fabric performance. The paper concludes with calling for thrift retrofit interventions for existing low-middle income apartments and raising inhabitants’ awareness towards the proper use of stoves. This would enhance their thermal comfort, reduce carbon emissions and help improve residents’ quality of life, which eventually would contribute to ameliorating related health issues.

    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.

    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,

    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.

    Gopal K. Sarangi, D. Pugazenthi, Arabinda Mishra, Debajit Palit, Subhes C. Bhattacharyya (2020)Marginalisation of off-grid energy sector in Sri Lanka: What lessons could be learnt?, In: Environment, development and sustainability22(6)5219pp. 5219-5243 Springer Nature

    Renewable energy-based off-grid projects have played a crucial role in Sri Lanka's universal electrification effort. The paper, in this context, unravels two crucial and quite interrelated aspects of decentralised off-grid electrification in the country: a) it critically analyses the off-grid electricity sector development and assesses its contribution to the universal electrification in the country and; b) it examines the current set of challenges associated with the off-grid electrification in the larger context of massive grid expansion. A mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods is employed as tools of analysis. The paper brings out several policy-relevant findings. Strategic policy interventions coupled with targeted policy goals, robust community-centric management structures, well-designed credit systems, and well-structured capacity-building initiatives are identified as key leveraging points for the success of off-grid electrification projects. The techno-economic analysis of an existing micro-hydro project reveals that there exist opportunities for more productive use of existing capacity. Grid interconnection of off-grid energy projects emerges as a major challenge beset with a whole gamut of technical, legal, regulatory, financial, and social conundrums. Interestingly, the intensity of such challenges differs across ownership types.

    This paper critically examines the literature on the grid-offgrid debate and discusses the role of and the relationship between different electricity access options through a synthesis and critical reflection. This paper finds that models using greater resolution and capturing low voltage distribution infrastructure appear to recommend decentralised electricity solutions, whereas central grid extension emerges as the preferred outcome of more aggregated analysis, concentrated population clusters and for higher demand scenarios. However, model results are seriously influenced by assumptions, data limitations, technology choice options, and model flexibility. Exclusion of cost of generation for grid systems, lack of village level information, inherent bias towards scale and type of technology, and absence of social equity considerations in the analysis remain major weaknesses of the existing models. Universal electrification requires a strong leadership and an enabling environment. An appropriate organizational set-up, a robust regulatory framework with reporting and evaluation oversight and a more inclusive approach to promote alternative options are vital ingredients. Power sector decarbonization pathways may affect electrification choices but our understanding is limited or lacking. Further work is required to develop a programmatic approach to delivery and more affordable and fairer outcome for all.

    Abhishek Tiwary, Subhes Bhattacharyya, Mohammed Matouq (2021)Reducing non-residential asset sanitisation water footprint for improved public health in water-deficient cities, In: Sustainable cities and society75103268 Elsevier Ltd

    •Access to water-based sanitisation is disproportionately distributed in cities.•UV-based technology offers sustainable solution for sanitising public assets.•Long-term pandemic preparation requires alternative to water-based sanitisation.•Balancing public health sanitisation water footprint needs strategic planning. This paper evaluates the potential for reconfiguring city-scale clean water demand by reducing the non-residential asset sanitsation water footprint. A novel methodological framework is proposed for assessing the feasibility of a mix of three surface sanitisation measures (Manual surface wiping, Mechanical cleaning/Rapid disinfectant spraying, Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation-UVGI treatment) in terms of a Sanitisation waterfootprint index (SWI); three typical application scenarios are considered – high risk-high frequency, moderate risk-moderate frequency, moderate risk-low frequency. The UVGI treatment outperforms the other two surface treatment methods, particularly in high risk-high frequency scenario in the healthcare setting, with SWI as low as 2%. Further, case-study evidence from a ward-level spatial analysis using real-world data estimates SWI ranging between 0-30% in those wards with greater commercial/public assets, showing clear merit of this framework in re-configuring city-scale public health sanitisation water footprint. A cost-benefit analysis (involving resources – staffing, water and chemicals; capital expenditure, and energy costs) shows superior performance of UVGI treatment over the other two methods from the second year onwards, surpassing the initial cost-effectiveness for corresponding manual or mechanical cleaning. Wider implementation of this framework can foster strategic transformation of city-scale water footprint, which is deemed essential for ensuring sustainable growth of water deficient cities globally.

    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.