Key Messages

Our Annual Report 2023–2024 highlights how CSTEP's innovative solutions are driving a change on the ground. We continue to be the catalyst for change by conducting analysis, building tools to support decision-making, and developing innovative approaches to problems.

Over the years, our work on clean air for all has brought about real change on the ground. While the scientific evidence gathered on identifying local sources of air pollution is informing city-level Clean Air Action Plans (CAAPs) across the country, the India Clean Air Summit (ICAS), the flagship event that stimulates purposeful dialogue and collaborative action, has entered its sixth year. CSTEP has developed high-resolution emission inventories for over 80 non-attainment and million-plus cities, which has helped us identify targeted air pollution reduction measures.

As more states focus on meeting India’s commitment to developing 500 GW of non-fossil capacity by 2030, CSTEP has been actively collaborating with many states, including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala, to devise their renewable energy plans for the future. It is important to note that when we approached state power departments to prepare a plan for 2030, many were keen on taking it a step further and planning for 2036, 2040, and beyond, according to their vision.

Our work in the area of climate, environment, and sustainability remains dedicated to advancing empirical policymaking in climate change mitigation, adaptation, and circular economy. Through economy-wide modelling and sectoral deep dives into sectors such as buildings, transport, and agriculture, our SAFARI model is furthering the importance of systems thinking in long-term forecasting and informing the policy discourse and is one of the youngest models included in the IPCC Assessment Report (AR6) database. The Adaptation team’s pioneering work in West Bengal, which culminated in the development of a climate co-benefits framework, has established the importance of measuring the climate co-benefits of development programmes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. We have developed a PAN-India recycling framework for end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) waste, which is being disseminated to industry partners for uptake, in collaboration with the National Solar Energy Federation of India.

The Rooftop Solar Explorer (RTSE) tool developed by CSTEP enables consumers to assess rooftop solar potential and equips solar developers to set up rooftop systems, thereby accelerating the clean energy transition. The tool was first piloted in Bengaluru in 2021 and subsequently launched in 2023 in several cities in Madhya Pradesh, such as Bhopal, Jabalpur, Indore, and Gwalior. It has also been implemented in cities in Chhattisgarh such as Bilaspur, Korba, Durg, Raigad, and Raipur.

CSTEP had the opportunity to contribute to the safety and standards mechanism for carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) systems for a committee established by the NITI Aayog. We are also working on developing a comprehensive hydrogen ecosystem (H2 Valley) for various applications and examining the transition challenges within the freight segment. 

eARTh, CSTEP's latest initiative, explores the medium of art to nudge behavioural change towards climate action. This is a natural progression of the organisation's belief that science can be an important decision-making tool not only for policymakers but also for the public. The Initiative invites artists into the world of climate science and public policy to figure out how science and citizens can be brought together for climate action.