Effective policy formulation in the energy sector relies on rigorous analysis of readily available, accurate, reliable and comprehensive data. Availability of such data requires institutional mechanisms and processes to collect, process and disseminate data in a timely manner. This report is a study of the legal and institutional structures and processes that form the basis of energy data management (EDM) in India.

Several government institutions have sufficient legal authority to collect energy data and share it among different departments for administrative reasons. However, they have limited mandate to disseminate this data to the general public. Apart from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) which is responsible for disseminating statistics, only Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has the mandate to disseminate electricity data.

It is seen that collection and public dissemination of energy supply data is reasonably good though there is room for improvement in harmonization and reconciliation of data across energy sub-sectors. There are many gaps in energy consumption data because it is more difficult to gather this data, and because existing mechanisms to collect such data are insufficient.  Several recent initiatives such as formation of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) and the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) attempt to improve data collection, assessment, sharing and dissemination. While not specific to energy data, these initiatives can benefit energy data management.

Based on our analysis of Indian energy data management, we suggest various improvements to enhance coverage, accuracy and efficiency of data collection as well as to increase reliability and availability of energy data to the general public. These suggestions include simple improvements to operational processes, adoption of modern technology and larger institutional reforms. We believe that operationalizing these suggestions can help to improve Indian EDM significantly, and thus help more informed energy policy formulation and citizen engagement.

Prayas (Energy Group) is a member of the energy data management sub-group of the Sustainable Growth Working Group (SGWG) constituted under the Indo-US energy dialogue. This report has been submitted to the SGWG for its consideration.