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India plans to develop a forecasting model for energy demand and supply

According to reports, India plans to develop a forecasting model for energy demand and supply that will help in policy decisions. The model, on the lines of UK’s Energy Calculator 2050, will be available to industry and researchers.

“The proposal has in-principle approval of the Prime Minister and the task to set up a model is entrusted to Planning Commission,” a senior government official said.

Apart from India, China is also in talks with UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to set up a similar model. “This will be the government’s own energy model, which will provide energy pathways for four decades. This will provide effective tool for taking energy related policy decisions in an integrated manner,” Planning Commission Adviser-Energy Anil K Jain said. The model will be handy to predict demand, supply and pricing more objectively and in a manner, which will help to optimize natural resources, he added.

Planning Commission is creating this energy model because the country has separate ministries and departments for different types of energy such as coal, power, petroleum, nuclear and renewable. It will also guide Indian negotiators in taking stand at international forums, especially on the climate change, he said.

Bangalore-based Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) is assisting Planning Commission in setting up the model. CSTEP’s Chairman VS Arunachalam says that since GDP growth is dependent on energy supply, it is important to know how much energy India would need and how to meet the demand.

Currently, the Planning Commission’s recommendations on energy are based on studies carried out with expert groups, but these often do not capture the changes in global energy scenarios and technological advances. Jain said almost all developed nations have their own energy models that help them in taking crucial policy decisions regarding demand, supply, pricing and utilization. US Energy Information Administration is one such model that keeps global energy data and has been a resource center for various countries including India.

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