An online, open-source tool, the Calculator will help guide future planning in the energy sector.
Collaboration is at the heart of every great relationship. So naturally, I was honoured to join Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at his residence on August 9, to launch the Karnataka 2050 Energy Calculator. This makes Karnataka the fourth state to obtain one, a significant step towards collaborating and tackling two serious global challenges: climate change and energy security.
An online, open-source tool, the Calculator will help guide future planning in the energy sector. It has been designed for use by state policymakers, academics, schools and the general public, to discuss and develop strategies for the State to meet its long-term energy needs. It will also allow Karnataka to identify cleaner energy solutions to help India meet its carbon emission targets under the Paris Climate Change Accords.
Originally developed by the UK for the UK, the Calculator is now being used in several countries apart from India. Niti Aayog developed a version for India and state versions have now been rolled out in Karnataka, Assam, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The national tool was being used to develop India’s climate change targets and to inform India’s draft National Energy Policy. The UK-Karnataka energy and climate partnership goes back a long way and continues to thrive. It is an extensive partnership, covering policy, design, technology, awareness creation and capacity building. Karnataka has made steady progress and should be congratulated on becoming the Indian State with the highest installed renewable energy capacity, which it achieved through additional solar capacity at the Pavagada Solar Park.
The Project was supported by the UK through the provision of a Detailed Project Report, a piece of technical and commercial analysis which allowed developers to understand the investment attractiveness of the project. It is great to see the project up and running and meeting early expectations. On the policy side, the UK has been working with a group of committed MPs and MLAs from Karnataka (our Climate Parliamentarians!) to raise awareness of climate change issues within policy-making and their constituencies. The UK has supported a renewables toolkit to make it easier for the state to adopt low carbon technologies.
Companies engage with each other too. Cyan Connode, for instance, a Cambridge-based smart metres company and Bengaluru-based Enzen Global Solutions, have been working with Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (CESC) in Mysuru to install 21,000 smart meters and associated hardware and software to better manage the community’s energy needs. This project is the first of 14 smart grid pilots under the Smart Grid Task Force in India, which is funded by India’s Ministry of Power. Another UK / Karnataka Company, Carbon Masters, is the first company in India to convert organic waste into bio-CNG cylinders or Carbon Lites. These are used by restaurants, charities and IT companies in Bengaluru to replace LPG gas with a cleaner renewable fuel.
There are also city-to-city partnerships. Recently, climate leadership group C40 Cities, working through the London Mayor’s office, launched a Bengaluru / London initiative with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to improve air quality in Bengaluru. The approach is through installing air quality monitoring stations and adopting other best practice solutions specific to Bengaluru’s needs. C40 Cities will work with up to 20 other global cities to develop solutions to the international air pollution crisis. Results from London’s new air quality sensor monitoring trial will be used to better target policies and engage citizens to clean up London’s air. Lessons learnt in London will be shared with Bengaluru andother global partners.
It doesn’t stop there. Future projects will focus on electric mobility,
energy storage and energy grid management and will share best practices, policies and technologies available in both the UK and Karnataka. The UK is committed to adopting electric vehicles by 2030. We will be hosting an International Zero Emissions Vehicles Summit in Birmingham on 11-12 September and have invited experts from Government of India, Government of Karnataka, industry and think-tanks to attend. Karnataka has taken a state lead in electric mobility and this will be a great opportunity to showcase state initiatives to an international audience. This is a snapshot of our climate/energy partnership with Karnataka. The UK will continue to work with the State to support and develop its climate and energy needs.