Monday, February 25, 2008

Technological Collaboration Needed to Accelerate the Efforts to Combat Climate Change

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) organized a Facilitation workshop on Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET) at Work in New Delhi. The event showcased selected European Union technologies in renewables and facilitated interaction amongst Indian industries and the technology providers from EU countries. It was stressed that technological collaboration is needed to further accelerate the efforts to combat climate change. Biomass projects, wind energy, small hydro projects and Solid waste management projects were showcased by both sides.

The workshop aimed to identify SET/CDM project development opportunities in Asia in line with the technology needs and technology transfer aspects. The workshop also provided a platform for interaction amongst the buyers from EU and sellers of Certified Emission Reductions (CER) from India thus facilitating business cooperation between them.

The workshop provided insights by renewable industry experts from India on current technology scenario and expectations. Dr. P. C. Maithani, Director, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Govt. of India (GoI) highlighted the fact that all the technologies related to wind energy have improved manifold, resulting in expansion of wind energy production. However, cost optimization and variability of wind speed still remains a problem. Integration of wind energy with conventional power grid is a challenge facing the wind energy experts and collaboration to reach the same is being tabled by the ministry.

Mr. P. Raman from TERI stressed that biomass provides smokeless and clean energy. He stressed that to make biomass more popular, small scale industries need slight modifications in their processes which in-turn will enhance village energy security through biomass, however, availability and procurement of raw material still remains a problem.

Dr. N. B. Mazumdar from TERI provided insights on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in India. Cases of harnessing methane from old dump sites and trapping landfill gas from existing landfill were shared. Waste to energy projects and their benefits were the main highlights at the session. Mr. Indra Guha from Ernst & Young shared the various methodologies present in MSW and their applicability. MSW has not been able to take benefit from CDM for long, but he expressed satisfaction that the sector is slowly picking up and expressed hope that the sector would see more CDM projects coming up.

In the small hydro sector Dr. Arun Kumar from IIT, Roorkee showcased various technologies available at the moment in India. He also focussed on hydro policy 2008.

Cleaning of trash and slit removal remains a problem. Financial issues related to small hydro projects and utility of CDM to meet the same were also highlighted.

CDM projects, especially the Indian CDM market from seller's perspective were highlighted by Mr. Balagurunathan from Senergy Global, who presented Senergy Global's portfolio of projects in renewable energy. As of now more than 200 renewable projects from India have been registered by CDM Executive Board (CDM-EB). Senergy Global has successfully provided consultancy to one of the largest wind power projects in India registered under CDM.

Mr. Vilhjalmur Nielsen from Energy Consulting Network, Denmark shared the status of renewable energy and its distribution in Denmark. He emphasized that the wind sector in Denmark is almost fully exploited and that the industries from Denmark are on lookout to expand by sharing their technology in other countries.

Covering the Biomass sector, Dr. Grassi Giuliano from European Union Biomass Industry Association (EUBIA) showcased various technologies present which could be applicable in Indian context. He also emphasized the need to make the technologies adapt to local needs. Ms. Ana Pipio from IST, Portugal shared the research findings on various renewable technologies undertaken in Portugal. Ms. Patricia Cardoso from Ecoprogresso shared the objectives of first Portuguese Carbon Fund - Luso Carbon Fund with the participant. The fund is making an entry into Indian Carbon market and looks forward to purchasing the CERs to help Portugal meet the targets under Kyoto Protocol. She looked forward to up-scaling the operations in India. The fund will focus on technology specific projects.

The workshop provided the participants with current scenario in renewable and CDM in India, besides providing the opportunity to liaison with European technology providers and CER buyers. It was a good platform of thought-sharing for the Indian companies and EU industries representatives with each other to take up further possibilities of collaborating with each other. There was a high interest amongst the participant to share technological inputs from Biomass industries and share their findings to take up further projects.

The Technologies at Work (T@W) project has been funded under the European Commission, Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to enhance penetration of the SET and know-how on emerging Carbon market through European Union-Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

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