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First Fuel


 | Book Awards 2022 | English Non-fiction

First Fuel

‘A vital read’ Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice Chairman, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd Group ‘Authoritative’ Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, India ‘A must-read’ Ashok Sarkar, Senior energy specialist, World Bank

Full Title: First Fuel: India's Energy Efficiency Journey and a Radical Vision for Sustainability

Author: Padu Padmanabhan
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

The definitive account of India’s energy journey and a blueprint for an energy-efficient future.

The historic oil crisis of 1973, which permanently altered significant economic policies worldwide, marked a turning point in India’s energy odyssey, putting the country on the path towards energy efficiency. A young energy researcher at the National Productivity Council at the time, Padu Padmanabhan soon found himself at a juncture that would lead him to the many watershed moments of this journey.

Drawing on his extensive subsequent experience at the United States Agency for International Development in India and the World Bank, Padu takes us from the Nehruvian years of idealism, through the five-decade-long quest for fuel efficiency and energy conservation that ultimately paved the way for the shift towards energy-efficient practices. Simple yet highly effective, energy efficiency has come to be known as our first fuel – an inexhaustible source of energy that may be one of the most viable means of combating the consequences of climate change and the indiscriminate use of natural resources. Through lessons gleaned from the implementation of past energy-efficient technology, Padu shows us how this ‘fuel’ can be harnessed for a sustainable future.

First Fuel is an invaluable account for not only energy-sector professionals but anyone interested in understanding what it takes to achieve energy efficiency and why we need to urgently adopt such practices. It recommends vital policy and regulatory changes and, in so doing, presents a radical new vision for energy and all its users living in the most critical of times.

About the Author: 

Padu Padmanabhan joined the National Productivity Council in 1974, followed by a decade at the World Bank, Washington, DC and another at USAID India, which gave him a ringside view of energy programmes in India and the developing world. The post-liberalization years saw him help design some of India’s finest bilateral programmes with the US that leveraged over a billion dollars in developmental investments. He has also served as the former director of the South Asia Regional Initiative on Energy and was responsible for the establishment of several centres of excellence for energy efficiency in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Global Clean Energy Award (2007) by the Swiss-based Transatlantic 21 and the Energy Manager of the Year (2019) by the Association of Energy Engineers in the US.

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