Smart Energy For Smart Cities

Soumya Das, Director - RIPL

2019-04-17 08:41:29



  1. How smart energy can help in the ecosystem of smart cities in India?

The smart city is ultimately about uplifting the living condition of citizen in that area by ease of operations, smart governance and sustainable development. The essential smart components of Smart Cities in India include‘Energy Efficiency’. All the plans must incorporate the provisions of renewable sources such as solar energy.

The smart city plans also focus on energy efficient building designs and smart energy management. The smart water management system, wastewater recycling etc., also have very positive effect on ultimately reducing the overall energy consumption by the city.

It is notable that India is importing approximately 80% of its crude oil consumption, 15% of coal energy consumption and 35% of natural gas consumption. This underlines even greater need to focus on smart energy management. The consumption of energy in urban area is relatively more intense. In this context, the smart cities have a crucial role to play.

Presently REPL consortium is working on preparing DPR for the Indore Smart City. We are including the extensive energy conservation features in each and every aspect. For example, the parking areas are naturally ventilated, therefor mechanical ventilation is not required.

  1. What alternative energies should our country focus on and why?

India is a vast country with diverse and even contradictory environmental and geographical condition. The focus on any one particular source of renewable energy will not work. Say for example, the dependence on wind energy can be worked out in the western part of India, where population density is thin, and you can get access to vast stretch of open lands. That may not be equally effective in other parts. Depending on the analysis of local conditions and available resources, all types of renewable and clean energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass based electricity and nuclear energy need to be explored.

  1. What are the challenges India face in terms of raising awareness for new and renewable energy segment?

Yes, it also a matter of awareness and mindset. People are used to conventional sources of energy, which is more convenient. However the increasing advocacy by the public institutions can influence the demand side positively. Also the aggressive research & development can bring down the cost and that will create a pull towards usage of renewable resources.

  1. What is the future of new and renewable energies in India?

The question is not really so much about the future of renewable energy. The actual question is the future of energy itself, which we cannot foresee without substantial portion constituting of renewable energy. This is being realized all across by the public and private sector institutions. There is increasing focus of green energy. We have the mega projects like Charanka Solar Power in Gujarat. Speared over the area of more than five thousand acres, this is the biggest solar-wind hybrid park in the world. As I already mentioned, all the smart cities have renewable as a mandatory component.

Apart of rapid depletion of conservative sources of energy, there is grave environmental concern of Green House Gas Emission (GHG). All these factors cumulatively points towards a future that we will shift more towards the renewable energy, either willingly by choice, or through compulsion.