Bharath M. Palavalli, Sruthi Krishnan and Yashwin Iddya
Enabling Public Participation in Shaping the Inclusive Energy Transition Through Serious Gaming---Case Studies in India
To create holistic plans for equitable access to energy and to create sustainable transition pathways, stakeholder consultation and engagement processes are essential. In India, the planning process for energy has challenges that range from legacy processes, increasing energy demand to fuel growth, pressures arising from competing (as well as new and old) technologies, to varying goals for all the stakeholders. We categorize these factors as institutional structures, geopolitical, environmental, technical, social, and monetary factors. To ensure a vision for a collective future and a coherent plan for energy, it is important that the processes enable participation and allow for co-ordination and interaction to strengthen dialogue. Processes should capture intangibles and include slack for events such as pandemics, which are no longer treated either as externalities or once-in-a-lifetime events. In this chapter, we give two examples of serious games as tools to address these challenges in the context of planning. The first example is of a game created for bureaucrats, decision-makers in the government, and private energy companies to plan collectively and compare results from various plans for energy expenditure in India. In the second case, the game aids transportation planning in urban India, which requires additional effort to ensure a transition to equitable access to energy. Using results from the game sessions, we illustrate how such methods can bridge gaps in energy planning in the diverse and challenging context of India.