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Assessing the Sustainable Development Impacts of Renewable Power Technologies in India: An Economic Returns Framework

Financial analyses, which consider financial costs and income, have typically informed energy-related decision-making and investment planning. Economic analyses, however, take societal impacts as a whole, and include social, economic and environmental costs and benefits, which are especially critical in energy policymaking and planning.

To support systematic consideration of such societal impacts in decision-making, this working paper proposes a framework to identify and assess the relevant socioeconomic and environmental impacts of renewable power technologies in India and to estimate their economic rate of return (ERR). The paper proposes ERR as an indicator that could be utilized to summarize the sustainable development impacts of RE in an understandable and comparable metric to guide decision-making. The working paper also demonstrates the application of the framework by estimating the ERR for Ground Mounted and Rooftop Solar, Wind, Biomass and Small Hydro power generation in India. These estimates highlight the drivers of costs and benefits for RE technologies in India.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

Full executive summary available in the paper.

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