Pathways for a Sustainable Energy Future – Vikram Saraph
Humanity is facing an unprecedented challenge today. A challenge of preserving the ecological systems that it depends on for its very own existence. It is not just about climate change, resource depletion or growing waste; it is also about a paradigm shift, a behavioural shift and a collective effort on a global scale. There is no dearth of scientific studies, theoretical models and how-to guides that could likely help us address this challenge. However, it is also evident that most countries, regions and communities across the world are still struggling to implement impactful programs that support their intentions to tackle the challenge.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals, which have been adopted by most countries are no where near to being achieved by the year 2030 unless drastic measures are taken now. The increase in poverty and economic hardships is no longer confined to the developing nations, it is now a global phenomenon. Widespread ecological destruction and man-made conflicts are creating waves of permanently displaced and refugee communities. Hence, it is now, more than ever before, a must for everyone to join our collective journey to a sustainable and resilient future.
This session briefly introduces the founding elements of a sustainable future, such as – education, clean energy, perpetuity of capital, planning, life-centric policies and a strong ideology; and deep dives into the most critical element – Energy.
Energy is a key ingredient to drive any initiative. It drives industrial activity, fuels our economy and hence supports socio-economic development. It powers our homes, schools, hospitals, transport systems and our scientific endeavours. However, energy is also the primary cause of this global crisis and the demand is increasing. Our current systems of energy generation and consumption create significant levels of pollution and contamination and causes widespread ecological damage. The entire energy cycle is inefficient, wasteful and unsustainable. By addressing these inefficiencies, by converting waste into valuable resources, and by harnessing clean and renewable energy, we can not only address the climate change crisis, but also fuel our economic development more sustainably. This session discusses just how we can do this and explores emerging models of energy resilience that could be implemented to meet our future demands responsibly. Perpetually.
Global warming, air pollution and lack of sustainable energy are some of the major problems that plague humanity. Unfortunately, the economic progress with the present methods, or the status quo, is positively correlated with environmental degradation and the reverse is also true (amply clear from the worldwide lockdowns earlier this year). Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind provide sustainable solutions but integrating them with existing infrastructure is a considerable challenge. Energy storage in batteries is a promising option to enable greater penetration of renewables but the overall cost of these batteries is prohibitively large and likely to remain so without significant technological advances. There is a need for collaborative effort oriented more towards service and value rather than profits – and this is indeed possible, evident from the rapid progress in Covid-19 vaccine development that was fuelled by the spirits of togetherness, openness and kindness. The goal is clear: provide 100% renewable energy for electricity, transport, building heating/cooling, and in industry at all locations around the world. In this session, we will discuss the various pathways to achieve this goal, about what is being done and what can be done.
The Cellenium research team based in Bangkok consisting of Khun Krisada Kampanatsanyakorn, Dr Placido Spaziente, Prof. Suradit, Piriyathep Kanchanadul, Kanyarat Holasut and others have created a Vanadium Fuel Cell (VFC) that can store energy and thus remove the bottleneck in making renewable energy as the main base load. If poverty is to be permanently driven from the face of the earth, we need to adopt models of economic development which are based on energy-efficient habitats, widespread use of energy storage systems like VFC,a system of recycling all wastes, smart technologies for water purification,organic fertilizer production and other green energy technologies. We also need the support of a spiritual lifestyle that respects nature, values compassion, sharing and service.
An Entrepreneur and Futurist by passion, and an Architect and Planner by training, currently mentoring startups and exploring opportunities to converge design and business to bring the best ideas into this world. Presently working as Group Director (Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development) at Science and Technology Park University of Pune, India’s leading Technology Business Incubator. Responsible for selection of and mentoring startups, entrepreneurs and innovators, managing seed funding, product development and prototyping, entrepreneurship training, setting up new business incubators and prototyping labs, conceiving and implementing consultancy projects, design and master planning and government advisory work.
Vikram is also a Founding Partner at Transenviro Design Studios, an environmentally conscious architecture and planning firm that has delivered projects across a wide range of sectors in India and Australia. He is also a Founding Director at Makeithappen Centre for Invention, Innovation and Incubation at Pune, a not-for-profit business incubator and high-end industrial skills training institute.
Educated in India at Sir J J College of Architecture and later specialising in the field of sustainable development from the University of New South Wales, Australia, Vikram has a broad experience in the incubation, innovation, building construction and development planning sectors. With a proven track record in effective design and project management, entrepreneurship development, startup mentoring and business planning, Vikram’s portfolio contains technologies from waste management, healthcare, electric mobility and clean-tech sectors as well as design and master-planning projects from residential, corporate, museum, health and public sectors. He also has extensive experience in strategic planning, stakeholder management, government liaison work, policy framework formulation, feasibility studies and tourism development. He has a keen interest in the study and planning of sustainable and resilient futures, environmental protection, socio-economic development and education.
Dr Avishek Ranjan is Assistant Professor in the department of Mechanical engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. His areas of research include applications of fluid mechanics in energy & environment, geophysical & astrophysical flows, magnetohydrodynamic flow in engineering: liquid metal batteries, continuous casting of steel, aluminum reduction cells. One recent area of his research interest is studying the transport of sneeze/cough droplets so as to minimize the spread of infectious diseases in hospitals and public transport. Before joining IIT Bombay in 2018, he was a postdoctoral research associate in the department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, UK where he also completed his PhD funded by the Dr. Manmohan Singh scholarship from St. John’s College Cambridge. Before his PhD, he completed a MS (by research) from the department of Mechanical engineering, IIT Madras, India where he worked on biofuels for engines. He has also worked in the manufacturing unit of Tata Cummins Ltd. Jamshedpur for one year, after completing B.Tech. (Mechanical engineering) from NIT Jalandhar, Punjab, India with a Gold medal. Dr. Ranjan has published several papers in reputed fluid mechanics and geophysics journals such as Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Physical Review Fluids, Physics of Fluids, and Geophysical Journal International. He enjoys teaching courses on fluid mechanics at IIT Bombay.
Khun Krisada Kampanatsanyakorn holds a Master’s Degree MBA, NIDA University. He is the Chairman of Cellennium (Thailand) Company Limited and Thai Gypsum Metropolitan Company Limited.