Policymakers must solve difficult, interwoven questions if they are to address their country’s energy sector in a way that simultaneously drives economic growth and encourages sustainable development. This requires relevant energy modeling and analysis to evaluate the best energy pathways that countries should adopt.

In line with the global goal of moving towards cleaner fuel choices, NITI-AAYOG and Institute for Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) aim to understand the role that natural gas can play in India and Japan’s energy future. NITI AAYOG has partnered with EPIC-India in this endeavor, to model India and Japan’s natural gas future till 2040. Utilizing EPIC’s unique energy model, this project attempts to understand how changes in international oil and gas market prices, domestic fuel pricing regulations and the penetration of renewable energy impact India and Japan’s future energy mix. The model also gives us an insight into the carbon emission pathways for these various scenarios. The results of this modeling exercise can help make policies that best allow India and Japan to achieve its desired natural gas pathway.

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The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. While designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States. The Government of India, in keeping with its reform agenda, constituted the NITI Aayog to replace the Planning Commission instituted in 1950. This was done in order to better serve the needs and aspirations of the people of India. An important evolutionary change from the past, NITI Aayog acts as the quintessential platform of the Government of India to bring States to act together in national interest, and thereby fosters Cooperative Federalism. At the core of NITI Aayog’s creation are two hubs – Team India Hub and the Knowledge and Innovation Hub. The Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government, while the Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities. These hubs reflect the two key tasks of the Aayog.

EPIC-India and the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI), the government of India’s premier think tank have signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to work on issues of electricity sector reform, energy modeling and energy and environmental policy analysis. As NITI AAYOG provides policy inputs across all of India’s ministries, this partnership provides EPIC with an ideal knowledge platform to share and exchange its policy findings. EPIC-India’s projects with NITI AAYOG include an ambitious platform to roll out innovations in electricity distribution reform, arising from research in Bihar, to other parts of the country. Additionally, following the success of NITI AAYOG’s national energy planning tool EPIC-India along with NITI AAYOG is helping three Indian states develop an overarching energy and environment planning tool at a sub-national level.