Dreams of a green factory (and the reality)

Current hype would have us believe that India is on the cusp of a green industrial revolution. The reality of an energy transition will likely be far more complicated and messy.

For much of late March through May, many parts of India were reeling under power shortages in the middle of an oppressive, historic heatwave. Daylong power cuts to industry and households became common for a few weeks and passenger trains were—and still are—being cancelled to facilitate the movement of coal from the mining belt to power plants.

There were multiple reasons behind these shortages, but much of it came down to perpetually cash-starved power generators not being able to pay for coal to arrive at their plants on time. Prices of imported coal trebled after Russia invaded Ukraine, killing the …


Rohit Chandra

Rohit Chandra is an assistant professor at IIT Delhi’s School of Public Policy and also a visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. Primarily a political scientist and economic historian, his academic work spans the areas of energy policy, state capitalism and infrastructure finance; he has spent the last decade studying the coal and power sectors.