Oct 052016

Watch Dr SP Sukhatme, Professor Emeritus, IIT Bombay speaking about “Can India’s future needs of electricity be met by renewable energy sources?”.

In this lecture, an attempt is made to answer two questions. How much electrical energy will India need in the future? Can this need for electricity be met by renewable energy sources? The first question is answered in two ways. In the first approach, the energy inputs required for various activities in the residential, commercial, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors are considered, while in the second approach, the empirical relationship between the Human Development Index and the annual per capita consumption of electricity is used. The second question is answered by systematically considering all the renewable sources (solar power, wind power, hydro-electric power, etc) and estimating the potential of each source to supply electricity in the future. In an overall sense, the calculations show that the annual need of electricity can perhaps be met by renewable sources if India adopts a frugal policy for energy usage. However, this is not enough because the demand for electricity has to be met continuously on a daily basis. Many difficult technical challenges will have to be overcome in order to tackle this issue successfully. These challenges are discussed.

Dr SP Sukhatme is a well known figure in IITB having been there from 1965 to 2000, serving as HOD Mech dept. and Director.

Following Dr. Sukhatme, Ashok Sreenivas of Prayas spoke on current and future challenges to be overcome by the Indian energy sector. The debates around the right technology mix and the transition pathways are important and necessary. However, there are other challenges before the Indian energy sector which also need to be understood and addressed. The talk will present an overview of such challenges and some ideas on how they can be addressed, so that the energy sector can support equitable and sustainable development for all Indians.

Ashok is a Senior Research Fellow at Prayas (Energy Group), where he works on issues related to energy policy, energy data and modelling, energy access and fossil fuels, Prior to joining Prayas, he was associated with TRDDC (a research arm of TCS) and Parisar, a group working on urban transport issues in Pune. Ashok has a B. Tech in 1987 and Ph. D. in Computer Science in 1997 from IITB. Prayas (Energy Group) is an energy policy research and advocacy group based out of Pune, which has been working in this field for over twenty years. Prayas is known for its rigorous and comprehensively analytical approach to issues, which has helped to build its credibility across the various stakeholders in the sector.

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