Although states and societies have grappled with many global challenges in the past, their intensity and magnitude is a relatively recent phenomenon, requiring urgent adaptive responses. Governance has increasingly been pointed out as both a part of the problem, as well as its solution. This holds for energy – access to and the development of energy resources and the energy security of nations. A nation’s energy security entails not only the sustained supply and affordability of energy, but also sustainable development and efficient delivery of energy services to people. Without the mediating role of the state and indeed a broader understanding of what governance implies, effective management of energy concerns would be impossible. Governance of energy is therefore critical not only at different spatial scales (from the global to the local), but also in distinct, yet overlapping, policy arenas. Global energy governance structures are now getting more attention with the emergence of developing countries like China and India as major consumers of energy as well as their active involvement in acquiring energy assets abroad.
This component will seek to understand whether the energy governance mechanisms that exist have been able to address the challenges that each energy resource poses or whether they have been largely unsuccessful. What international institutions exist and what functions do they serve? Does the presence of more than one governance mechanism at the international level highlight an overlap in mandate, a duplication of work or work that is at cross-purposes? Similarly, at the national level in India, what are the varied governance and regulatory structures that govern different energy resources? What challenges do they face in affecting energy sector reform?