A NICE cooperation!

As a part of the Norway India Clean Energy (NICE) cooperation, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and University of Agder, Norway organized a virtual workshop on clean energy recently.

TERI shared findings from three projects under the theme ‘Sustainability and Clean energy’, which is a part of a framework cooperation program between the Embassy and TERI. This included designing a road map for accelerating solar photo voltaic (process that converts light into electricity) based microgrid development in India; developing a recycling plan for solar panels and batteries; and a feasibility study for biomass gasifier based heat engines designed to meet the combined heat and power requirements of the rural agro-industries.

Large-scale rooftop solar systems deployed on several institutions and commercial complexes in urban areas can potentially be converted to grid-interactive microgrids. Such projects offer many advantages such as generation of clean energy, consumers becoming generators for their own electricity requirements, reducing dependence on grids and in fact feeding excess power back to the grids. One of the participants, Mr Sugatha Mukherjee, Head-Operations, Tata Power Renewable Microgrids Ltd, supported the concept and expressed interest in replicating the microgrid architecture developed under the project at their training centre.

Recycling of batteries would soon be a huge global challenge. India, for example, is expected to generate about two to seven million tonnes of photovoltaic waste by 2050. Dr Sandeep Chatterjee, Director/ Scientist 'F' at Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) underlined the importance of creating a conducive research and development eco-system for providing cost-effective solutions for recycling this waste and extracting precious materials thus boosting circular economy.

The workshop also discussed the biomass gasifier project, that enables increasing the renewable energy penetration for electricity, heating and cooling applications and opens up additional income generation opportunities for rural population. Women entrepreneurs in rural areas could particularly benefit from this.

Dr Ashvini Kumar, Senior Director, TERI, highlighted how the decade-long Norway-India cooperation has contributed to advance research and policy influencing in the areas including clean energy, climate change, atmospheric modelling and policy studies.

Mr Dinesh D. Jagdale, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, congratulated TERI for its research contribution on the topic of clean energy and welcomed Norway’s role in supporting the clean energy research in India. The event was well received and attended by more than 70 stakeholders.