Satish Sabharwal: Energy Economist, Bureau of Energy Efficiency

Energy Economist, Bureau of Energy Efficiency

Satish Sabharwal has had a long innings in the energy sector, beginning as a researcher at TERI. He worked on several studies including a policy for decentralised energy options like solar, wind and biogas vis-à-vis grid power for the Department of New Energy Sources and an electric motor survey in industries for the Department of Power. Over a span of 35 years thereafter, he worked extensively in the energy space, including four years at BHEL as a design engineer for India’s first 30 MVAr static VAR system for TNEB and for filter design for the Barsoor-Saleru experimental HVDC project. He is currently an energy economist with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, where he has worked for 26 years. During this time, he has contributed significantly to capacity building, introducing labelling, devising building codes and preparing the energy conservation curriculum for NCERT.

In his view, the government has the right vision to promote renewables through solar energy. While the government has provided support in the form of various schemes, concerted efforts are needed by all stakeholders to create confidence in customers, build capacity for the supply of photovoltaic panels and inverters, and develop skills for speedy implementation of projects. The regulatory authorities and distribution companies have to take initiatives to facilitate project implementation and avoid administrative delays. Further, the government should set up an agency to execute mega solar projects and not depend on the states to initiate proposals for achieving the targets. Renewable equipment manufacturers should also explore the potential of micro and mini wind generators, gasifiers and innovative family solar cookers.

As head of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Management Centre, Delhi government, on deputation from 2008 to 2009, Sabharwal took a leadership role in developing capacity for the supply of solar water heaters and promoted the use of CFLs.

An electrical engineering graduate from IIT Delhi, he did his management training at Engineers India Limited and then obtained an M.Sc. in power systems from the University of Manitoba, Canada. Besides developing innovative electronic/electric circuits, he enjoys playing the flute and listening to music. His personal goals are travelling and writing a book on the experiences of an IIT technocrat in government service. His ideal holiday is going on a cruise or spending time in the hills or on a beach with his family.