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I am working on an academic project with Prof. Sudhir Chella Rajan (Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras) that involves constructing energy use scenarios for India. We have adopted an end-use approach to disaggregate the energy consumption and intend to analyze the impact of techno-economic policies on energy demand and green-house gas emissions from India.

The first phase of the project involves gathering data on ‘current accounts’ – figures concerning activity and energy intensity levels in a particular reference year, in our case 2005-06. As I strive to distil relevant and accurate data from a heap of papers and reports, it becomes apparent that dealing with macro-figures is no mean task. There are endless choices to make. Which data-source is more accurate? What parameter represents the variable adequately? How much detail does one incorporate?

On the way to meet Prof. Chella today, it occurred to me that our facts and figures resembled broken pieces of glass. Each with it’s own distinctive shape, tinge, size and edge.

I have to put these together.

I have to put these together.

The skill, of course is to identify each piece for what it stands and assemble all of them into a composite, meaningful portrait. One that describes the present as it is and the future as it will be.

What lies beyond.

What lies beyond.

Images courtesy DixonBaxi and Malinkrop.
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