Best Indian Climate Think Tank NGO: The Energy and Resources Institute

Best Indian Climate Think Tank NGO: The Energy and Resources Institute

By Submitted by Climate Scorecard India Country Manager Pooran Chandra Pandey


The Energy and Resources Institute

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a research institute in New Delhi that specializes in the fields of energy, environmental, and sustainable development. Established in 1974, it was formerly known as the Tata Energy Research Institute. As the scope of its activities widened, it was renamed as The Energy and Resources Institute in 2003.

The origins of TERI lie in Mithapur, a remote town in Gujarat, where a TATA engineer, Mr. Darbari Seth, was concerned about the enormous quantities of energy his factory spent on desalination. He proposed the idea of a research institute to tackle the depletion of natural resources and energy scarcity. Mr. J. R. D. Tata, then chairman of the TATA Group, liked the idea and accepted the proposal.

TERI was set up with a modest corpus of USD 500,000 (INR 35 million). On the invitation of the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, TERI was registered in Delhi in 1974 as the Tata Energy Research Institute.



TERI initially began its operations in the Bombay House, Mumbai. In 1984, it moved to Delhi where it continued to operate out on the rented premises (which included the India International Centre) for almost a decade. In 1993, the organization set up its permanent base in Darbari Seth Block, named after its founder, in the India Habitat Centre complex located at Lodhi Road, New Delhi. Today TERI has a global presence with many centres in India and abroad including Tokyo, Washington, London, and Malaysia.

In October 2011, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands opened the European headquarters of TERI in Utrecht. It also established a research base in Africa to provide technical assistance as well as to facilitate exchange of knowledge amongst the communities in various African states. In 2016–17, TERI set up the world’s biggest facility for Mycorrhiza production in Gual Pahari, Gurugram, Haryana.


Nobel Price for Peace

Dr. R. K. Pachauri was the founder-director of TERI. He assumed responsibility as the organisation’s chief executive in 1981 and by the time he demitted office as the executive vice chairman in March 2016, his vision and hard work had made TERI the leading voice in energy and climate change that it is today. Apart from building this institution, he also won numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which he led from 2008 to 2015. He passed away on 13th February, 2020.


Diversified Mission

TERI’s mission is to usher transitions to a cleaner and sustainable future through the conservation and efficient use of resources, as well as innovating ways to minimize and reuse waste. It undertakes interdisciplinary and integrated research and analyses, evidence and data based decision making, taking solutions from lab to pilot and field scale, early validation of business models, enhancing livelihood through new technologies and practices, policy advisory and consultancy, education and outreach to influence decisions and consumer behavior, capacity building, and partnerships across stakeholders.


Launch of the Latest TERI-SHELL Report

As a part of research, advisory, consulting, and publishing portfolio, TERI and Shell released a report in March 2021 titled “India: Transforming to a Net-Zero Emissions Energy System”, a brief summary of which is produced below:

  • The report illustrates a pathway to steer the domestic energy system towards net-zero emissions by 2050 while achieving India’s sustainable economic development ambitions.
  • Possible yet Challenging: India needs a suitable policy and innovation-driven context to deploy clean energy technologies on a massive scale.
  • Increase Renewables: The share of renewables in the power mix needs to increase to 90% for India to meet its net-zero goal. This was around 11% in 2019-2020.
  • Coal-Fired Power Plants: India must phase out its coal-fired power plants and remove them altogether by 2050.
  • Technology Access: The availability, or absence, of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), would define the shape of India’s energy systems.
  • Biofuels would have to account for 98% of India’s oil, compared to a negligible share currently.
  • Over two-thirds of India’s industrial and transport energy use would have to be electrified, compared to less than 20% share of electricity in industrial energy use and negligible share in transport energy use as of now.

A copy of the full report can be read at

TERI has a diversified funding model. Private donors, public agencies, research agencies, and sponsorships fund the NGO’s pursuit of issues ranging from the climate change to energy transition to proof of concept models. It now has over 1250 employees, with research professionals from disciplines pertaining to issues of environment and energy deployed both in India and internationally across its offices.

As TERI has over the years been doing a yeoman service to various stakeholders in the domain of climate, energy, water, energy, environment and agriculture research, advisory and consulting services, it is suggested that the Indian government further supports it so as to be able to take both its evidence-led research and its application to more applied levels through South-South and Triangular.



Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Director General

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance

Telephone: +91-11-23793791/2


Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Telephone: +91-23384340


Mr. Nitin Gadgari, Union Ministry of Road Transport and

Telephone: +91-11-23062019



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