U.S.-India State-Level Energy Cooperation: Adapting to the Pandemic

August 4, 2020 • 10:30 am – 12:00 pm EDT

States’ Forum

The Covid-19-driven economic disruption has had an extraordinary impact on the electric sector across the world. Decline in consumption, restricted cash flows, urgency in grid resilience, and the need for remote operations and maintenance: these are just a few key trends that Covid-19 has precipitated or exacerbated. Measures that national and sub-national entities across the world take today will be crucial to addressing the energy risks of now and future. Building on years of partnership to connect Indian and U.S. subnational entities on pressing energy sector opportunities and challenges, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and National Association of State Energy Officials hosted a virtual States’ Forum to encourage an exchange of best practices on Covid-19 response and recovery efforts. The Forum helped build capacity, tools, and resources to ensure security of supply and continued progress on energy goals during repeated periods of lockdown.

In the context of the Covid-19, it is vital for energy policymakers across the two countries to combine effective scenario planning with an examination of how different trends and developments could affect continuity of service in the short, medium, and long term.

This virtual event featured CSIS experts, U.S state energy officials, and key influencers from the sector.

Among those present were officials from the state of Michigan, Colorado Energy Office, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Ohio Economic Development Corporation, California Energy Commission, American National Standard Institute, and U.S.-India Business Council.

Experts shared their expertise around a variety of challenges and lessons learned to minimize the pandemic’s impact on utilities and consumers, the challenges brought by Covid-19 for utilities and other major end-use sectors.

The event was structured into three parts. The first part provided a brief overview of the impact of Covid-19 on India’s electricity sector. The second phase of the discussion was led by the state energy officials from Colorado, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin who have been working to address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The officials shared their insights on international cooperation with sub-national Indian stakeholders and decision-makers.  Other useful advice shared was on how Indian states can prepare for volatility and risk as they progress towards clean energy transitions. The event concluded with a question and answer session.

The following areas were identified as “potential areas of collaboration”:

  • Fleet Electrification
  • Advanced distribution management system
  • Emission monitoring and reduction solutions
  • Energy efficiency measures for low-income segments
  • Renewable energy deployment and integration
  • Incentive structures for electric vehicle adoption
  • Extreme weather planning
This event was made possible through the generous support of the SED Fund and ClimateWorks Foundation.
Neelima Jain
Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies
Afeena Ashfaque
Adjunct Fellow (Non-resident), Chair in U.S. – India Policy Studies

Will Toor

Executive Director, Colorado Energy Office

Patrick Woodcock

Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Megan Levy

Local Energy Programs Manager and Energy Assurance Coordinator,Office of Energy Innovation,Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

Sandy Fazeli

Managing Director, Policy NASEO