The case of India presents a conundrum for the energy transition: it is at once a world leader in the energy transition, with ambitious new renewable energy targets of “500 gigawatts of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030,” and home to the world’s “second-largest new coal pipeline.” While perhaps par for the course — most countries worldwide also practice a tandem approach to energy generation —, India is emblematic of the corporate capture of the State in the energy transition writ large.

Insofar as corporate capture, which in India is most often termed political capture due to politicians seeking to gain influence over the State, the challenge is how to reduce States’ dependence on oligarchs, monopolies, and authoritarian leaders and allow democratic economic models to prevail that genuinely favor the renewable energy transition over fossil fuel dependency. 

In the Indian case, it appears that tight political control and a limited set of known actors is the preferred model of State capture.

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