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Evaluating Renewable Energy Planning in India

Providing evaluation services to inform decision-making that advances U.S. clean energy and climate goals.

Energy security in the Indo-Pacific region is a high priority for the U.S. Government (USG) given the region's rapid expansion and huge appetite for energy resources. India alone is expected to experience a 250% increase in energy needs.

Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are an important part of the energy equation in the Indo-Pacific region and are critical to addressing global climate change. Renewable power yields large environmental and economic benefits; however, it can also add uncertainty to power systems due to the variable levels of energy generated based on sun, wind and unpredictable weather conditions. This uncertainty requires that power system planners, operators, regulators, and policymakers find new methods to cost-effectively manage and integrate renewable energy sources into their grids while ensuring a secure and reliable energy supply. 

To address this challenge in India, and to advance U.S. clean energy and climate goals in the Indo-Pacific region, the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Energy Resources and the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission launched the two-year Flexible Resources Initiative (FRI) in 2019. The initiative aims to help India develop a comprehensive and cost-effective strategy to scale and integrate renewable energy into its coal-heavy electricity system, working at both the national and state levels. 

As the project nears its end, MSI, along with Tetra Tech energy partner, ESI, has been selected to lead an evaluation for FRI. Together, we will collect and analyze information about FRI to assess implementation and results to date.  

The evaluation’s findings will inform U.S. decisions on next steps to support the adoption of FRI results and recommendations in India, as well as the potential replicability of FRI as a model in other countries that are heavily dependent upon fossil-based power. We will also make recommendations for advancing FRI objectives in India and enhancing the overall effectiveness of FRI’s implementation throughout the remainder of the project’s implementation. 

MSI has led over 1,000 evaluations around the world, including many in the energy sector. In addition to our expertise in evaluating energy programs, MSI is an expert in developing monitoring systems to track and quantify energy sector program results. We have provided such monitoring support to ESI on several projects and will continue our partnership on this evaluation.