Worldwide, buildings use about 40% of energy and they emit approximately 1/3rd of GHG emissions. In India, residential and commercial buildings account for 31% of the electricity consumption2 and is increasing at a rate of 10-12% a year. Prayas Energy Group (PEG), Pune and Greentech Knowledge Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (GKSPL), New Delhi are collaboratively working on identifying the opportunities and avenues to overcome the challenges in realizing the potential of onsite renewable energy generation and use in buildings. In this regard, PEG and GKSPL organized a half-day stakeholder discussion on October 20, 2016 to share the initial findings of this study and to get inputs on understanding key challenges, opportunities and action points in further increasing the effective use of RE in buildings.
Pune has been selected under the GoI’s Smart Cities Mission and one of the important areas of focus under this initiative is to substantially increase the use of solar power, especially Rooftop Solar PV (RTPV) within the city. To further accelerate the pace of solar deployment in the City, newly formed PSCDCL (P U N E Smart City Development Corporation Ltd.) launched the ‘Pune-Maximum Solar City’ initiative on 10th May 2016, as a first step towards facilitating Solar in Pune. PSCDCL in collaboration with city based national think tanks; PEG (Prayas Energy Group) and PIC (Pune International Centre) organised a citizens and media awareness programme. The event was attended by over 100 citizens and 30 rooftop solar developers from Pune.
The coal sector in India is about to undergo some significant changes. Prayas (Energy Group) organized a round-table discussion in New Delhi on December 1, 2014 on the possible future options for the Indian coal sector by bringing in various stakeholders such as representatives from the coal and power sectors, researchers on socio-environmental issues, trade union leaders and energy policy analysts. The event was attended by over 25 people and featured rich discussions on the various issues faced by the coal sector.
Prayas organized a lecture by Prof. Kirk R. Smith (University of California, Berkeley) on the issue of cooking energy access and related health impacts at Pune, India.
Prof. Smith reviewed the latest evidence on the health effects of cooking with solid fuels and discuss ideas for a new framing of this energy access problem to supplement past approaches to clean cooking by not only trying to make the "available (biomass) clean", but also doing much better to make the "clean (gas/electricity) available". Both approaches can benefit greatly from the actions of community groups and NGOs, although in somewhat different roles. Advances in clean cooking fuels and an understanding of their full benefits make them more attractive than in the past. There are some difficulties, such as cost, and policy options can be explored to overcome these.
Prayas (Energy Group) organised a round table on “Gender and Electricity” on the 26th of September 2014 at New Delhi. The objective was to explore how a specific focus on gender in grid and grid interactive systems can improve electricity supply and end-use. There were 23 participants representing grid and off-grid electricity, water and livelihood sectors and gender studies. Discussions were on developing a gender perspective in electricity service delivery,experiences in other sectors and lessons from other countries towards arriving at implementable ideas for the Indian electricity sector.