Over the past two decades, India has made incredible strides in improving access to reliable and affordable energy that is critical for economic growth. Hundreds of millions of households have been connected to the electricity grid for the first time. But the growing demand for energy in India has largely been met by abundant, inexpensive, and highly-polluting coal. As a result, India is now the fastest growing carbon emitter in the world, and annual concentrations of particulate pollution have increased by 60 percent between 2000 and 2016. These pollution and carbon emissions will only grow as hundreds of millions more citizens gain access to reliable electricity. As the demand for energy increases, the continued reliance on fossil fuels will only worsen India’s air pollution problem and climate change unless policy and clear regulations are enacted and enforced.
Launched in 2014, EPIC-India partners with government and industry at the national level and in nine states throughout the country to identify innovative policy ideas, pilot them on the ground, and rigorously measure outcomes. These projects range from the world’s first emissions trading scheme for particulate pollution to a trailblazing five-star pollution rating scheme for industries. These innovative partnerships and projects are “co-generated” with regulators to ensure the right questions are being answered and have the potential to improve the lives of more than 500 million Indians. If the pilots are successful, they can then be scaled up and replicated in other Indian states and throughout the world.
EPIC-India also works to translate research findings into easily-digestible content for traditional and new media sources, and provides a forum where energy and environmental challenges can be discussed. Through innovation seminars and workshops, EPIC-India reaches out to the broader community to develop and nurture new ideas.