two Electricity pylons with sunset

Report/Paper

Supporting Discoms in Implementing Amendments to the Electricity Act

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Financially viable electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) are essential to the future stability of India’s economy. However, many DISCOMs are currently suffering from several financial and infrastructure challenges. These challenges had persisted before the COVID-19 pandemic and many have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

How the sector rebounds will have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The new enabling conditions such as the liquidity boost, amendments to the Electricity Act, and privatization of DISCOMs in the Union Territories will impact progress towards the clean energy transition. Ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned and prepared to support DISCOMs’ needs over the coming months and years is essential to a quick sector turnaround.

Within this context, on 11 June, 2020, RMI India, Rocky Mountain Institute, and NITI Aayog convened 16 leading civil society organizations (CSOs) from across India to identify new ways to collaborate in supporting DISCOMs. The workshop was designed to create alignment and increase coordination and dialogue among this stakeholder group.

This was the first workshop as part of the Discom Transformation Platform hosted by NITI Aayog, RMI India, and Rocky Mountain Institute. The platform operates as a virtual information hub to host and organize the diverse set of projects, funders, schemes, and key actors engaging in decarbonization across India. It also serves as a physical convening mechanism to assemble the stakeholder ecosystem to address critical institutional, regulatory, business, and technical barriers in a more coordinated way.

This report offers a reflection of the discussions that took place on the e-workshop held on 11 June and a summary of the prioritized opportunities for CSOs and think tanks to help DISCOMs navigate the recent developments. It details the opportunities, including key insights and lessons learned, in order to leverage the complementary ongoing and new efforts across civil society and the think tank community.

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