The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras Research Park is collaborating with University of St Andrews (UoSA), U.K., to aid India in achieving 100% of the country’s energy requirements through renewable energy.
The project – funded by the UK government – is aimed at sharing knowledge and understanding of low-carbon energy systems and showcasing examples of low-carbon energy in practice.
The partnership has already resulted in two successful joint seminars on the theme of ‘Towards 100% Renewable Energy - Routes to Net Zero’ held in June 2021. The sessions led to discussions on different approaches and strategies to deliver low-carbon solutions. The joint collaboration will be further supported through leveraging the expertise of IIT Madras researchers.
Alex Ellis, the British high commissioner to India, said, “Technology, research and innovation are at the heart of the UK-India relationship. I saw the partnership in action when I met researchers and entrepreneurs at IIT Madras Research Park who are already at the cutting edge of India’s clean growth transition. The research partnership has great potential to develop world class energy systems and products as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Highlighting the key aspects of this collaboration, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, institute professor, IIT Madras, and president, IIT-M Research Park, said, “Greenhouse emissions are a serious problem for the whole world. India has to do its bit. Commercial complexes such as IITM Research Park (IITMRP), industries and high-income group urban housing need to take a lead and commit to use only green electricity and green hydrogen over the next decade. Technologies are available and innovative work cannot just make it more than economically viable.”
“IITMRP is working to move close to 100% renewable energy by wheeling in solar and wind-based electricity and creating chilled water and Battery Storage for energy. At the same time, we work with other IITM faculty and researchers from other places on all other technologies, which would make India Green,” Jhunjhunwala added.
Objectives of this partnership include:
- To jointly undertake research, share knowledge and understanding of low-carbon energy systems,
- To share research and delivery expertise in the application of low-carbon technologies as part of an overall energy system, and
- To work together to develop a model for low-carbon innovation ecosystems.
Speaking about this partnership, John Irvine, professor, The University of St Andrews said, “Collaboration across borders is essential to tackle the challenges of climate change. Our work with IITM will help us to develop low-carbon solutions for energy storage, and support both our countries in meeting their ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions.”
The major outcomes envisaged from the collaborative project are:
- An increase in knowledge and understanding: Both countries are developing national policies towards net zero. This project would bring focus on a greater understanding of regional and national policy and delivery.
- Development of ready-to-implement technology solutions: The work undertaken in IIT Madras and UoSA are complementary in nature and offers significant potential for replication across geographies. The visit would enable participants from both sides to observe the work happening on either side and further strengthen the collaboration.
- Building a platform for ongoing dialogue and cooperation: India and the UK have taken up ambitious efforts in moving towards renewable energy-based systems. A platform to promote collaboration would further provide an opportunity to find answers and solutions.