The Centre for Energy Regulation (CER) addresses the need to supplement regulatory research and knowledge base to understand and analyse key issues in the power sector. The Centre would work in close cooperation with key stakeholders in the Indian power sector particularly the Electricity Regulatory Commissions (ERCs), electric utilities and academia. It also aims to develop a network with institutions in India and abroad.
The Centre aims to contribute towards policy and regulatory advocacy based on regulatory research utilising its knowledge base. The regulatory knowledge base, comprising of a database and learning tools, would enable the stakeholders to understand regulatory processes in the sector and take informed decisions. A set of structured activities under the guidance of national and international experts would provide a platform for the exchange of ideas resulting in measurable outcomes.
Indian power sector underwent reformation and restructuring in phases. The reforms ushered at Central and State levels with consolidation of the laws relating to electricity into Electricity Act, 2003. Unbundling, corporatization and privatization of State Electricity Boards (SEBs) followed by formation of independent Electricity Regulatory Commissions (ERCs) brought a certain degree of transparency and accountability in the sector, thereby improving its governance structure. However, emerging needs of the Indian power sector prioritize further developments around key themes of viability, sustainability and modernization. An effective regulatory response to these priority areas necessitates institutional strengthening of the regulatory institutions and utilities. Hence, there is a need for significant skill upgradation, education and research endeavours to understand, analyse critical issues and design solutions specific to the Indian context.
- Enhance regulatory-academia-utility interaction in the power sector through research-based workshops.
- Develop a knowledge base and database repository related to power sector for informed and well-evidenced policy and regulatory decisions.
- Support research-based studies, opinions impacting the power sector and its regulation.
- Promote active platforms for peer to peer learning amongst the ERCs.
This Centre aims to contribute toward institutional braining and strengthening of the Electricity Regulatory Commissions (ERCs). Strengthening of the institutional capacity of ERCs in the power sector is main objective of the Centre. Further, to promote research efforts addressing regulatory issues of practical relevance, the Centre would aim to bridge the gap between academia, regulatory commissions and utilities.
Based on the review of national and international comparators, consultation with stakeholders and emerging power sector priorities, the key identified differentiators for an effective approach of the Centre towards fulfilment of the identified objectives are as follows:
- Inclusive approach to regulatory research and capacity building bottom up.
- Hands on involvement and learning by engaging staff in regulatory research.
- Information and analytical database for aiding the decision-making process.
- Online learning tools for skill development.
- Continuous engagement through innovative approaches and platforms.
- International exposure through structured programs (inbound and outbound).
- Leverage creation through the PSR program.
The beneficiary stakeholders include regulatory and utility staff, potential researchers and other academicians, industry professionals, individuals from government organizations, ministries, and civil society groups, alliance partners et al. The centre envisages a holistic uplift of the entire Indian society by dissemination of knowledge pertaining to regulatory and policy aspects of the power and other energy sectors by addressing the embedded problems of indigenously and collaboratively.
About IME, IITK
The Department of Industrial and Management Engineering (IME) at IIT Kanpur has been engaged in teaching, research, capacity building, policy advocacy and consulting activities in various aspects of the power sector reform and regulation. In continuance with these endeavours, the department is setting up a Centre for Energy Regulation (CER), to enhance regulatory research, knowledge building and networking in the Indian power sector. The Centre is supported through a project on “Strengthening Regulatory Research & Network in The Power Sector” partly funded by the Government of United Kingdom under the Power Sector Reform (PSR) program. Strengthening of institutional capacity in the Indian power sector is one of the main objectives of the Centre.
The Government of United Kingdom, is supporting Power Sector Reform Program (PSR) in India to encourage reform process till March 2021. The UK Government has pledged to support the Centre, under its PSR initiative, for an initial period of three years by partly funding Centre's activities through a project titled "Strengthening Regulatory Research & Network in The Power Sector" . The project aims to supplement regulatory research and knowledge base to understand and analyse key issues in the power sector, by collaborative activities of key stakeholders in the Indian power sector particularly the Electricity Regulatory Commissions (ERCs), electric utilities and academia.