Renewables in the Indian Electricity Sector: How fast and how much? A talk by Shoibal Chakravarty

Global climate change caused by human activity is the greatest challenge facing us today. Among the things we as a species can do in order to rectify what we’ve done to our planet is to stop the use of fossil fuels like oil and (especially) coal. In recent times, the technology involved has improved enough that solar electricity is about as cheap to produce as coal-fired electricity .

Will the wholesale adoption of renewable energy (if it is possible) guarantee access to electricity to the 30 crore people in the country who have little or no access to electricity? Will we be able to avert the power cuts that we are subject to, even in our cities?

Shoibal Chakravarty, an assistant professor at the School of Natural Sciences and Engineering, NIAS, works on answering these questions. His work involves the modelling and analysis of all aspects of energy use and production as they relate to climate change and to the basic equity of access to energy. Dr. Chakravarty will talk to us on July 13th, at 5pm at Kanada Auditorium, about where we as a nation as headed in our quest to replace oil and coal with renewable energy. The title of the talk and the abstract follow.


Renewables in the Indian Electricity Sector: How Fast and How Much?

Shoibal Chakravarty,

School of Natural Sciences and Engineering, NIAS

In the recent Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) at the COP 21 in Paris, India set herself very ambitious targets for electricity from renewable and non-fossil sources in 2030. These go hand in hand with the ambitious renewable energy targets set for 2022. This talk will discuss the impact of this massive expansion of intermittent renewables in the electricity sector, and technological and policy solutions like demand response, generation ramping and scheduling, energy storage and efficiency that will enable this transformation. We expect that the most important challenges will not be in capital outlays for generation but in transmission and distribution. A significant increase in wind turbines and solar PV facilities will require a robust, flexible and responsive electricity grid. We will also briefly discuss the models of the Indian electricity grid that will be required to provide a test-bed for technological and policy experiments that will inform policymakers and experts in the field.

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