How energy access benefits the economy, environment

A conference, 'Powering Cities in the Global South', held in October 2022, aimed at addressing the crucial issue of energy generation and utilization in smart cities, particularly in India. The conference was hosted by the Nansen Environmental Research Centre - India (NERCI), Kochi and conducted within the framework of the "URban Sustainability in Action Multi-disciplinary Approach through Jointly Organized Research schools" (URSA MAJOR) project, coordinated by the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) and funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Essentially, the event focused on three main topics: Green Energy and Sustainable City Planning, Smart Energy Systems for Urban Areas, and Challenges for Renewables in India. It aimed to promote the integration of energy planning in smart city development, benefiting both citizens and the environment. Challenges and opportunities in green energy production and smart energy systems in southern Asia and Kerala were amongst some of the issues that were deliberated. Recommendations for the implementation of smart city development in southern Asia and Kerala were also made at the meet.

During discussions, the main challenges for sustainable energy were identified as technology, policy and regulation, business models, and access to finance. The integration of power systems and the use of energy storage were recommended for better renewable energy management. Based on the presentations and discussions the conference made, the recommendations made for implementation towards smart city development in southern Asia and Kerala in particular were as follows:

  • An integrated framework and guideline for adaption of sustainable energy practices by cities with a large population.
  • Mandate clean energy technologies in emerging applications viz Mobility, Green Hydrogen, Cooking, Cooling etc.
  • Explore offshore wind power harness, along the lengthy coastline of Kerala.
  • The unexplored biofuel generation from aquatic weeds has a large potential in the state. Specific studies need to be undertaken for assessment of its potential.
  • Distributed Renewable Energy for livelihood applications needs to be examined in detail.
  • Financial interventions to accelerate Renewable Energy uptake through co-operative banks and NBFCs.
  • Regulatory framework for Virtual Net Metering for Renewable Energy

A brief report about the conference can be accessed through the following the link:

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