‘Unpacking India’s energy transition’: A Lecture by Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Director, IIT Delhi

ReNew Centre of Excellence, IIT Delhi, organized a lecture by Prof. Rangan Banerjee on the topic ‘Unpacking India’s energy transition’. Hosted at IIT Delhi on 20th Oct 2022 as part of their Lecture Series titled “Energising a Sustainable Future”, this lecture was attended by around 300 participants, including virtual and in-person attendees.

In his lecture, Prof. Banerjee talked about the various aspects of India’s energy transition, including the driving forces, the different types of energy transition, the commitments made towards the Paris agreement, COP 26, and also shed light on the changes that one can expect to see in the energy sector going forward.

He said that the future energy systems are anticipated to be quite different from the current ones, with renewable energy and electrical storage systems taking up a prominent share of this space. Prof, Banerjee also spoke in detail about the challenges of becoming a Net-Zero nation, including dependency on other countries for materials/technologies.

He remarked that with an evolution in energy systems, there would arise a need for a completely different education and curriculum. This was followed up with an assurance to the audience that IIT Delhi was equipped to handle the requirements that come with this change and has designed its programs and curriculum to fulfil the future educational needs within the streams of energy sciences, climate change, and policy.

Some of the programmes being offered by IIT-Delhi are

  • MTech in Energy Studies
  • MTech in Energy & Environment Technology and management
  • MTech in Renewable Energy Technologies and Management
  • MTech in Electric Mobility
  • MTech in Atmospheric, Oceanic Science and Technology
  • Masters in Public Policy etc.

Prof. Banerjee presented in detail the research work undertaken by academicians at IIT Delhi, and some of the highlights are as follows:

  • Development of High Efficiency, Shadow-less, and Portable Solar PV Towers for Power Generation
  • Design and Development of Innovative Non-mechanical tracking Solar concentrator for multipurpose sunlight harvesting
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station with in-built solar photovoltaic interface capability
  • Hydrogen fuelled Spark-Ignition Engine Generator
  • Development of Room temperature Sodium Sulphur batteries
  • Proposed institutional framework, as well as regulatory and policy considerations required for DSO (Distribution system operator)

He highlighted that the IIT-Delhi campus plans on being a Net Zero Campus, and an action plan as well as a task-force is already in place to ensure the implementation.

Prof Banerjee went on to speak about how the energy transition space presents both challenges and opportunities. Considering the fact that India is a large market, the development of competitive technologies within India will not only provide a technological solution customised for Indian needs but will also give a boost to the overall economy. He highlighted that this transition will present institutes like IIT Delhi with the opportunity to make a mark via their contribution to technology development, simulation and modelling, optimal control, material studies, and policy studies, among other areas.

On a closing note, he stated that partnerships with industries were extremely crucial as institutes like IIT Delhi have the capability and capacity to develop a well-engineered product, but when it comes to scaling up and commercialisation an industry insider’s help becomes critical.

He also prophesied that the energy, sustainability and climate change space would witness many changes in the future; and to adapt to and support this, IIT Delhi would provide leadership in detailing the research and the education agenda and install demonstrators of cutting-edge technology, thus providing a supportive advantage to the industry.