• Primary Program Energy Transitions and Electric Power
  • Research Interests Energy policies/regulations, markets and transitions


Prior to joining KAPSARC, Shahid was an associate director at TERI, an independent research institution working in the areas of energy, environment and sustainable development. As part of his managerial responsibilities, he was responsible for defining, providing direction, implementing research agenda. he has immensely enjoyed working in a team, guiding and mentoring fellow colleagues. As an energy specialist with research and consulting experience, Shahid has worked on various aspects of electricity market reforms covering a range of issues around energy-economics, energy-policy/regulation, energy-markets, energy-sustainability, pricing, DSM especially related to the electricity industry in India and abroad. He has interacted widely with policymakers, regulators, utilities (public and private), multi-lateral & bi-lateral organizations, and international research institutions. He also contributed to a number of government reports aimed to facilitate transition of the energy sector. Representation as energy sector specialist in a number of national and international expert groups/task forces etc.


See all Shahid’s publications
  • Discussion papers
  • Report
  • Data Insight
  • Instant Insight
  • Commentary
Oman Electricity Sector: Features, Challenges and Opportunities for Market Integration

Oman Electricity Sector: Features, Challenges and Opportunities for Market Integration

This discussion paper is part of a KAPSARC research project initiated to develop insights that can facilitate the creation of a well-functioning integrated electricity market comprising the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The project identifies and examines the key issues affecting electricity market integration within the GCC and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and suggests the enablers needed to facilitate market integration. This report focuses on Oman’s electricity sector, the liberalization of which started in 2004. The country’s power reforms are now poised to move to the next level, with the aim of creating a more competitive electricity industry in the Sultanate. Key features of Oman’s electricity market, challenges, and opportunities for market integration identified in the paper include: Nearly one quarter of Oman’s domestic natural gas production is used to power electricity generation and water desalination plants. The government’s National Energy Strategy 2040 seeks to ensure the country’s long-term energy sustainability, in part through targeting that at least 10% of electricity output comes from renewables by 2025. The private sector now owns 100% of generation capacity in Oman’s main interconnected system (MIS), and efforts have started to privatize other transmission and distribution firms. Regulatory oversight through a financially and administratively independent regulator with an adequate mandate, the Authority for Electricity Regulation, has played a key role in improving the sector’s performance and has created confidence among new industry players. In future, Oman’s gas network may be included in the regulator’s remit. Oman intends to implement a new arrangement for the future procurement of electricity through the spot market by 2020.

May 29, 2019
The Challenges Facing India on its Road to a Gas-Based Economy

The Challenges Facing India on its Road to a Gas-Based Economy

Indian policymakers have stressed the role and relevance of natural gas in India’s overall energy mix in the 21st century but expectations of its share have been scaled back. For example, the Hydrocarbon Vision 2025, released in 1999, projected the share of gas would reach 20 percent of the primary energy mix by 2025, while India’s current vision puts this target at 15 percent by 2030. Now, however, India’s climate change pledge at the United Nations Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) is set to reverse this with policies to promote gas in industry and transportation as well as its complementary role in achieving ambitious renewable energy targets in the long term. Key insights Despite previous reform measures, prices for the greater part of India’s gas supplies are still government controlled and set arbitrarily rather than determined by market forces. This leads to affordability issues – the number one challenge in Indian energy policy. Indexing Indian upstream gas prices with international markets with different dynamics may not be as effective as using opportunity costs linked to liquefied natural gas (LNG) import parities or weighted average of fuel oil and coal in bringing prices closer to the market’s ability to afford them. But the delivered cost of gas includes taxes that make its use uneconomical in India for power generators and other users. ‘Postage stamp’ transportation pricing could introduce simplicity and encourage more homogeneous economic growth and market development in the short term, although the resulting long-term distortions would have to be addressed in the future. Power and fertilizer manufacturing have remained the country’s two anchor gas-consuming sectors. Lower domestic gas production than expected and higher international LNG prices have rendered the use of gas uneconomical for power generation. The growth of a gas-based economy would require expansion to industry, transport, and households. Progress has been hampered by jurisdictional conflicts between multiple regulators. This can be streamlined by strengthening the role of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board as a market operator in the midstream/downstream segment and assigning greater upstream regulating power to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. Gas pipelines are currently limited to regions where domestic gas production and LNG import terminals are located. Realizing the vision of a gas-based economy in India will require a clear roadmap and coherent planning approach.

October 29, 2018
Abu Dhabi Electricity Sector – Features, Challenges and Opportunities for Market Integration

Abu Dhabi Electricity Sector – Features, Challenges and Opportunities for Market Integration

The emirate of Abu Dhabi was the first in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to design and implement reforms aimed at moving away from a wholly government-owned vertically-integrated electricity market structure. From 1998, Abu Dhabi introduced several policy, legislative, structural and institutional reforms to its electricity sector and the related water desalination industry. This analysis discusses reform initiatives, restructuring activities and key market players as well as the challenges and opportunities associated with increased participation in regional electricity trading. Key features of the emirate’s electricity market and challenges and opportunities associated with cross-border electricity trading include: Maintaining economically competitive self-sufficiency in power. Reducing the cost of electricity procurement by using regional interconnections is thus an emerging driver for market integration. With lower peak demand growth projections and the commissioning of a 5.6 gigawatt nuclear power plant, Abu Dhabi’s electricity sector is likely to produce larger power surpluses, encouraging cross-border electricity trading opportunities. The current single-buyer model provides limited ‘implicit’ competition in the procurement of bulk supply. There is little or no pressure on power generators to compete with others in day-to-day operations. Power trading prospects are also hampered by the lack of volume- and time-specific marginal costs. Abu Dhabi’s electricity and water producers do not receive explicit fuel subsidies. However, electricity tariffs are still heavily subsidized for many residential consumers. Abu Dhabi is exploring several options to further liberalize its electricity market. Electricity trading is likely to be recognized as a separate licensed activity, which is expected to give fresh impetus to electricity trading within Abu Dhabi, across the United Arab Emirates and throughout the Gulf region. The paper is part of a KAPSARC research project to develop insights that can facilitate the creation of a well-functioning integrated electricity market among members of the GCC and wider Middle East and North Africa region and to suggest potential enablers that could help to fill existing knowledge gaps for policymakers in the region and to facilitate ongoing efforts toward regional electricity market integration.

March 3, 2019
Energy Exchanges on GCCIA Interconnector

Energy Exchanges on GCCIA Interconnector

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) interconnection grid has linked the national grids of the six GCC countries since 2011. It is run by the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA). It has been primarily designed to provide GCC member countries with alternative sources of operating reserves to improve the security of the regions’ power supply and support the reliability of supply during emergencies such as blackouts and unforeseen contingencies.

April 27, 2020
Is the Time Ripe for Private Investment in Interconnections in the MENA Region?

Is the Time Ripe for Private Investment in Interconnections in the MENA Region?

Efforts to integrate power systems and markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are gaining momentum. With rapidly growing regional electricity demand, the development of an integrated electricity market has the potential to offer a multitude of benefits to participating countries. This will require sufficient interconnection capacity to efficiently utilize surplus power while taking advantage of price and demand diversity in participating countries. Developing cross-border interconnections entails significant investment, and financing this investment has often been challenging. The Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), formed in 2001 to link the power systems of the GCC countries, has successfully built interconnections with ~3,850 megawatts (MW) of aggregate capacity (Figure 1). However, the existing capacity is highly underutilized for various reasons.  

September 2, 2019
Electricity Sector Reforms in Abu Dhabi and Oman: What Have We Learned?

Electricity Sector Reforms in Abu Dhabi and Oman: What Have We Learned?

Chile was the first country to reform its electricity sector. The reform program was first mooted when Chile’s National Energy Commission was established in 1978; it took off with the enactment of the country’s Electricity Sector Law in 1982. This law is still cited as landmark legislation in the electricity industry. Since then, many countries have implemented reforms to revamp their electricity sectors, such as the unbundling, privatization and independent regulation in England and Wales in 1989.

October 20, 2019

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