Background Paper for Round table discussion and consultation on Sustainable Energy Integration in Smart Cities

The Smart Cities Mission is an ambitious initiative that is pan-India and cuts across sectors. It seeks to redefine not just urban life but also the Indian economy and our social fabric as a whole. The potential is transformational, however, this mammoth undertaking necessitates a paradigm shift in the way we have been managing our cities. Smart Cities can be thought of as a singular overarching idea that brings under it multiple ideas that are whole economic sectors in themselves. Sustainable Energy is one such idea in the quintessential multi-axial complex of Smart-Cities architecture and design. In the long list of public goods and services that a city provides its inhabitants with, Energy is preeminent. The direct impact and the indirect nexus that energy has withpossibly every other sector, including critical ones such as water, transport, and industry makes Energy one of the topmost priorities when addressing the Smart Cities Mission. Before implementation begins, this mission will benefit from cogent mechanism design, a definitional framework with well-defined standards and standardized systems that are suitably modified only to meet regional and local objectives or constraints. This first stakeholder consultation would act as the preliminary step towards achieving this objective. This background paper seeks to be a ‘conversation starter’ around the idea of Sustainable Energy integration in Smart Cities and would kick-start wide consultations with stakeholders that would ultimately inform government policy towards a cogent cohesive implementation framework for executing the Smart Cities Mission.