Calls for responsible renewable energy system in India by consortium of key industry leaders


Members of the Responsible Energy Initiative (REI) India gathered in Delhi to release their ambitious ‘vision and principles’ for the country’s renewable energy (RE) sector. REI India seeks a socially just, ecologically safe, and rights respecting renewable energy sector as the country aims to achieve 500 GW of installed RE capacity by 2030. The ‘vision and principles’ have been contributed to by a group of 26 global and Indian leaders from across the renewable energy sector and leading international think tanks.

Releasing REI India’s vision and principles, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, International Solar Alliance (ISA) said, “As the renewables sector grows exponentially, fuelled by an urgent need to meet peoples’ energy needs cost effectively and address the planet’s climate emergency, it is essential that the RE sector and its allied industries act responsibly. We all need to act in ways that address energy equity, participatory governance, protect the livelihoods and ecosystems of places where RE is sited, and ensure that the full lifecycle of the RE system is safe and secure.”

The announcement comes as recent incidents of conflicts in India between communities and RE generators, from Rajasthan and Gujarat to Karnataka and West Bengal, continue to concern those within the RE sector.

Today’s ‘vision and principles’ launch follows the Initiative’s earlier inquiry findings, released in March 2021, which highlighted the challenges the sector must overcome together if they are to systemically change the RE sector. The initiative is run as geographically-based inquiries to identify problems, leading to action that can be taken to redress them, culminating in rule-making to attempt systemic change, which would allow the RE sector in the focus country to be a force for good.

By encouraging collaboration across wide-ranging stakeholders, REI seeks to urgently galvanize action to address concerns over: the loss of traditional livelihoods; threats to community wellbeing; long-term ecological impacts on altering land use patterns; and complaints over energy equity.

The Responsible Energy Initiative is a consortium of core and expert partners, alongside participants from across the RE value chain. Core partners for the India inquiry are World Resources Institute India (WRI India), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and Forum for the Future. The expert partners are World Wildlife Fund India (WWF-India), Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) and Landesa.

Speaking for the consortium, Ajay Shankar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI said, “It is a matter of pride that the historic transition away from fossil fuels is gathering momentum in India. It is essential that the concerns and interests of all stakeholders who would be affected are well understood and discussed. A consensus on the way to address these must be reached transparently. We must have a fair and just transition for all.”

The release of REI’s vision and principles was followed by a discussion on the current state of the RE sector in India with several initiative participants present. Participants for the India inquiry are: AB InBev; Acciona; Adani Green Energy; Amplus Energy Solutions; Axis Bank; Business and Human Rights Resource Centre; British International Investment; Climate Group; EverSource Capital; Forum for the Future; Fourth Partner Energy; Global Wind Energy Council India; Hero Future Energies; JSW Energy; Landesa; National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI); Navitas Solar; ReNew Power; Sunvest Capital; The Nature Conservancy India; The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI); TPG; Vikram Solar; Wipro; WRI India; WWF-India.

About the Responsible Energy Initiative
The Responsible Energy Initiative is a multi-year programme working to ensure renewable energy in Asia achieves its full potential and creates value in a way that is ecologically safe, rights-respecting and socially just. The India inquiry is being run by Forum for the Future, TERI, WRI India with expert support from Landesa, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and WWF-India. Find out more about the initiative and discover insights from our active inquiry at our Medium page.
The initiative has been supported by S&P Global Foundation, UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in India, MacArthur Foundation and Stichting SED Fund.