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Girish Sant Memorial Annual Event 2017

Event Start Date:
21st January 2017
Event End Date:
21st January 2017
Event Venue:

How Much Energy Do We Need?

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Time:  6 PM – 8.30 PM
Venue: Bal Shikshan Mandir, Kothrud, Pune


How much energy do we need for ensuring a decent standard of living for everyone? This is one of the basic questions at the heart of energy planning, yet it is one that is hardly addressed in any meaningful manner. Energy demand projections rarely show how exactly the proposed energy use will lead to better standard of living for all. For example, many projections estimate energy demands based on energy requirement for GDP growth. Yet, GDP growth by itself does not necessarily result in provision of basic needs for everyone.

The Girish Sant Memorial Annual Event 2017 will explore this issue of how much energy we need to support a decent standard of living in an equitable and sustainable manner for all Indians, and issues relevant to estimating it, through a panel discussion. Some of the questions that the panel will address include:

  • Is it possible, and preferable, to link energy demand estimates more directly to desired outcomes of better standards of living?
  • How much energy do we need, based on the conventional perspective of economic growth and poverty alleviation? How relevant are other philosophies of energy use that advocate modest consumption and the distinctions of necessary and luxury consumption?
  • Would social and environmental impacts drive or constrain “how much energy we can use”? Can how much we “need” be shaped by the limits to how much we can “use”?
  • Are there any “limits to energy” that we can realistically extract from nature and how should that inform the production and distribution of energy? What are the limits to renewable energy growth?
  • Which “energy needs” should we prioritise or privilege? What are the implications of these approaches on issues of equity, sustainability, aspirations?

These and other questions would be addressed by a panel of eminent experts and practitioners who bring together a rich diversity of experiences and perspectives in the field of energy.


  • Dr. Anupam Khanna, Independent Expert
  • Shri Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune
  • Dr. M.P. Parameswaran, Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad
  • Dr. Narasimha Rao, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

Book launch

Prayas (Energy Group) has authored a book titled “Many sparks but little light: The rhetoric and practice of electricity sector reforms in India”, which reviews reforms in the Indian electricity sector since the early 1990s. This book, dedicated to Girish Sant, would be launched just before the panel discussion.

Contact: Kailas Kulkarni at pegadmin@prayaspune.org, +91-20-2542 0720, +91-20-6520-5726

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