Steps Toward Energy Data

A few years back, scattered numbers never seem so powerful in devising strategy or policymaking. Decisions were more influenced by personal experiences, observations and beliefs; empirical evidence was only required to fulfil the possibility of clearing any raised doubts. The sudden brouhaha to collect and analyse a vast amount of data has allowed implementers to overpower such intuition enabled decisions and uncover the hidden truth about what really works.

In September 2015, a workshop on India’s energy data management (EDM) was held, co-chaired by NITI Aayog and MOSPI to recognize the power of available and the requirement of unavailable datasets. The workshop was joined by data users from research, policy analysis and modelling communities to provide feedback on data gaps especially on the consumption side of the energy sector. Based on the reviews, Prayas produced a report titled “An Assessment of Energy Data Management in India” which highlighted opportunities for improving data collection and dissemination. The report also recommended the development of a nodal agency for EDM to coordinate data collection, analysis and dissemination across ministries. A review of international best practices of EDM was also conducted in the first phase of Sustainable Growth Working Group, yielding insights for potential application to India. Based on these inputs, NITI Aayog led the development of a roadmap for improving critical energy data in a near-term and creation of a nodal agency on EDM in a longer-term.

WHAT KEEPS US BUSY?

Energy Data Dashboard

Taking account of reviews and feedbacks, NITI Aayog in collaboration with Prayas (Energy) Group created an interactive visual data dashboard which was launched in May 2017. The beta version was also placed initially on our website India Energy Portal (www.indiaenergy.gov.in) for a month and a half for public access and reviews. A single-window access to energy data in the country, the dashboard presents interactive and downloadable stories. Interesting visualisations of data provide an intuitive understanding of the sector which is critical to policy formulation, modelling/analytical work and business decisions. The dashboards import and analyse data from the year 2005 till 2016, which are published by Government agencies CEA, CCO and PPAC. However, in line with the requirement and progress of energy industry, the second version of the dashboard is in the process and would add aspects like climate, energy efficiency, transport, renewables, policy implementation reports, etc.

India Energy Security Scenario

The India Energy Security Scenario, 2047 is an energy building tool which develops energy pathways leading up to the year 2047, comprising of likely energy demand and supply scenarios. The tool can generate hundreds of scenarios with unique combinations of levels/efficiencies of energy demand and supply sectors. As the scenarios generated for different sectors are linear (either rising or falling, as the case may be), the graphic representation of the data sets is simple and easily understandable even by non-energy experts. In its second version, which was launched in 2015, a new feature of cost information was added. When a user adopts a pathway, the excel generates the additional/reduced costs due to the technology/energy demand in combination with the cost of energy that is chosen from the supply side. Nonetheless, it may be noted that IESS is not a Cost Calculator, but an energy one. IESS 2047 version 3 in collaboration with the World Bank will revise the present base year from 2012 to 2017. We are also trying to introduce the water-energy nexus in the tool to get a better understanding of the water footprints in our energy generation and consumption.

GIS Energy Map

GIS-based mapping of energy assets is quintessential for ensuring dynamic and integrated planning in the energy sector of India. At present, there is no consolidated energy map available for India. Different energy ministries have detailed maps on the areas they engage in. While these maps may be specifying extensive details about a particular aspect, they have not been adequate to present a holistic picture of the entire energy sector.

NITI Aayog has executed initial steps toward developing an integrated and dynamic GIS-based Energy Map of India. A technical committee comprising of representatives from all energy ministries, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), NIC and NITI Aayog has been set up for preparation of the map. This committee evaluated the technical issues such as ownership, updating, security and maintenance in the formulation of an energy map. A meeting on cybersecurity concerns was also held where the decision of leveraging the technical expertise and manpower of ISRO for development of the comprehensive energy map of India was taken. The MoU was signed in June 2017 with ISRO and the team has started working on the first prototype of the map.

Energy Statistics 2019

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) under the MoSPI publishes a book “Energy Statistics” every year. It has been mutually agreed that the Energy Statistics 2019 will be undertaken by energy division of NITI. The CSO/MOSPI will support us by improving the breadth of data included, its quality, and methodological issues of the publication. In particular, the major focus area in the coming months will involve resolving discrepancies in the energy statistics to develop an energy balance for inclusion in the publication. This will support a better understanding of the impact of low carbon growth strategies on emissions in the energy sector.

Nodal Energy Data Cell

Given the decentralized nature of India’s energy data management, the establishment of a nodal agency would address a key need for coordination and dissemination of data. The team has proposed an outline of an in-house structure which will not only coordinate between five ministries and various agencies but will also work towards strengthening the consumption side data and analysis. NITI Aayog is collaborating with Energy Information Administration and ministries to understand the list data points, survey procedures, staffing and skilling structure.

These efforts will tend the need to acknowledge the power of data, its analysis and inferences. These efforts will help an energy enthusiast who is looking for a firm base to start his/her quest for a better future of energy. And these efforts are a list of connected activities which will lead to a cycle. A cycle of the way you build your database, the way you use it and the more data you require in the process; be it for the dashboard, map, modelling and calculator. It seems we are getting ourselves involved in a self-improving progression. Is it wrong or right I will let the users decide? So, drop in your suggestions at shafqat.mobarak@gov.in on what you feel about our choice of guilty pleasures at work.