Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Pollution Prevention Program for the Clean Energy and Environment Office (CLEEO) of USAID/India
This assessment report covers an evaluation of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Prevention Program (GEP) for the clean energy and environment office of USAID/India. The program, which had a component on reducing emissions from coal-fired thermal power plants, was implemented in partnership with the country’s biggest power producer, NTPC Ltd.
GEP was originally designed to reduce the volume of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) per energy unit generated in coal-based power, while also focusing on promoting energy productivity and biomass fuel use (for selected utilities and the sugar industry). With the government of India’s permission, the second phase of the project implemented new activities including distributed generation, alternative transportation, hydrogen economy, and regulatory assistance. The India evaluations are designed to serve as a model and reference point for subsequent USAID energy sector work and programs. The analysis methodology was mixed method including a desk review, limited literature review, key informant interviews in India and the U.S., and site visits.
The prominence of coal in India’s energy mix has risen since GEP began, and coal will continue to be the primary fuel source for the foreseeable future. Stronger and more performance management and reporting (e.g., programs such as GEP) would provide compliance with USAID directives, and allow USAID and other external organizations to better evaluate projects and investments.
Excerpt from the report:
The evaluation team recommends that:
Given that coal will remain India’s dominant source of power , USAID continue to work with coal-fired power utilities because the environmental and development impacts of USAID’s efforts in this sector are proven to be significant and cost-effective.
Depending upon the resources available:
USAID collaborate with CenPEEP to continue working with existing coal-fired power plants to reach a broader audience in state plants, and create a central efficiency structure inspired by the CenPEEP model within selected SEBs; this structure could take the form of a model power plant to be used to demonstrate the project interventions; or
- USAID invest in building a CenPEEP-like group to focus on the efficiency aspects of supercritical plants at the Sipat power plant— making it a model for efficiency and ensuring that U.S. experience and best practices in supercritical coal-fired plants is rapidly adapted and adopted in India; or
- USAID pursue both options.
- In future programming, USAID should ensure development of performance management plans as well as a monitoring and evaluation plan.