STS - conferences, IST2012

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Convergence and/or Sustainability Transition? : Energy Productivity Analysis for Select Indian Industries
Shyamasree Dasgupta, Joyashree Roy

Last modified: 2012-03-19


Traditional literature in economics conceptualizes convergence of economic structure, growth and productivity across sectors and across countries from various perspectives. General conclusion is that the resource intensiveness of developing economy first increases and then eventually declines to converge with their developing counterpart. Empirical studies however, suggest that convergence has indeed been a historical reality but the domain of convergence with respect to time period and geographical coverage has been fairly restricted. So far convergence argument has yielded many useful insights towards formulation of economic policies for developing countries but analysis of policies and implication towards sustainability transition is yet to be explored. The pattern of convergence for industrial sector, a subsystem, has always been more complex as compared to the pattern displayed by the aggregate economy, the larger system. This paper analyses the pattern of convergence of ‘specific energy consumption’ (measured by energy input used per unit of output) of seven most energy intensive manufacturing industries in India namely, Iron and Steel, Cement, Aluminium, Fertilizer, Chemical, Pulp and paper and Textile to ‘the world best’. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India has taken up a strategic policy to cap the ‘specific energy consumption’ of these industries and has developed a market mechanism to generate the efficient outcome.  This has left the industries with the challenge to achieve transition of energy sub-system without compromising on the growth in output and traditional goal of competitiveness. Taking the past trend of decline in specific energy consumption for these select industries this study empirically explores how this strategic navigation through multilevel experiments in terms of policy, technology and institutional can impact the process of convergence of a subsystem.