Energy Game

  • Intended Audience

    General Public, Energy Policy Planners.

  • Keywords

    Multi-party negotiation, Conflict resolution, Energy Policy, Planning.

  • Type

    Paper-based / table-top

  • Duration

    1 - 1.5 hours

  • Number of Players

    6 - 12 players


India needs an energy policy that addresses environmental issues, decreasing coal reserves, increasing demand and technological challenges. Comprehending problems that arise in such complex socio-technical systems is not a trivial task. The Indian Energy Game has been designed with the primary objectives being to understand
1. The challenges faced by different agencies in meeting targets.
2.The decision making process and negotiations between the agencies.

The participants assume roles of different ministries of the Indian Government that build energy capacity in the country. These Ministries are responsible for controlling the fuel sources that different generation techniques use. The game is played in two rounds; in the first round the participants need to design an energy mixture for the 12th Five-Year plan and in the second round they design an energy mixture for the 13th Five Year Plan of India. The various constraints that arise when planning for energy, such as social costs, environmental costs, fuel shortages and technology barriers to name a few, play a role in shaping the decisions of the players.

The problem we are addressing in the game is not just one of optimisation. Players become sensitive to these challenges when posed with these various constraints. As with the different Ministries in real life, throughout the game, each player holds different pieces of information. This information asymmetry makes it difficult for the players to meet their goals. Experiencing these constraints first-hand helps players understand the importance of cooperation and the dynamics of negotiation. To give an example, we have observed in multiple sessions of the game that the participants seem to understand that large hydroelectric projects, although inexpensive, displace a lot of people and have severe environmental costs.

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Designing Energy Policy through the Indian Energy Game.

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