The Deployment of Clean Energy in Delhi in the Context of the Distrust of Urban Society

Special Report: Energy and Cities in Developing Countries: Transitions in Question
By Marie-Hélène Zérah, Gautier Kohler

This article focuses on the deployment of clean energy in Delhi and aims to understand how the interactions between technology, society and regulation promote or hinder an energy transition. Our assumption considers that the support or the resistance of urban society to this transition needs to be understood as a conflicting and democratic process toward the construction of new technical and social paradigms. The methodology of the article is based on an analysis of public policies as well as the practices of companies and users related to power sector reform in Delhi. Our analysis shows that the wait-and-see attitude of electricity companies and the resistance of households and even government institutions is explained as much by the lack of clarity of public policies and a desire to maintain low energy prices as it is in the deep diffidence in the legitimacy and competence of the political and bureaucratic elites defining the content of this transition.

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