Energy demand is going to be the major constraint for India’s development agenda. If India grows at 7-8 per cent annually in the next decade, Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. understands its energy demand is surely going to rise. The nation’s capital is the world’s second most populous city and during hot and humid summers that power demand soars to near about 6,000 MW (Source: Economic Times). That’s more than the combined power demand of Mumbai and Kolkata. That’s not all, Delhi consumes more electricity than any other state such as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Bihar. If we combine the power demand of the entire seven north-eastern states, Delhi consumes three times more electricity than them. Research suggests that per capita consumption of electricity in Delhi is 1600 units which is double than that of the national average. There are about 400 million people (80 million households) in India who do not have access to clean commercial energy.
Looking at the current scenario, the present government has rightly highlighted the need to move towards use of renewable energy. Apart from rural electrification, it also needs to focus on making the cities smart and energy efficient. Starting from the national capital, the government plans to build 100 smart cities across India. It is expected that these smart cities will have uninterrupted power, water, proper sanitation, efficient solid waste management, decongestion of roads, improved road connectivity and effective use of ICT. Many countries such as United States, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Sweden, Singapore, United Kingdom and Hong Kong along with MNCs have shown interest in India’s ambitious smart city project. It is expected that Chandigarh might become India’s first smart city. However, the road ahead, towards building 100 smart cities, is challenging requiring huge amount of investments. Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. believes the private sector will play a crucial role in this developmental journey.
Energy efficiency through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model and CSR environment projects can be the optimal solution for meeting the energy demands of smart cities. The government should adopt this model starting from the national capital to rest of the Indian cities. One of major examples of this kind of initiatives is of Madrid in Spain where the Dutch lighting and medical equipment maker, Philips plans to supply 225000 new lights, switching to an energy-efficient system that will reduce the electricity bill by more than 40 per cent. Similar projects are being carried out in Argentina, Sweden and the Netherlands. Delhi can be the first mega city for this kind of initiative in India. Supplying new LED lights to 35 lakh households and energy efficient street lighting in Delhi will help Delhi progress towards becoming a smart city. This can be one of the major technological revolutions that the city will ever see. Delhi can become more sustainable and more livable. It is believed that the financial cost that will be incurred can be recovered with the reduction in energy consumption eventually. Through CSR Campaigns the corporate sector can create awareness among the community to adopt energy efficient practices. The Delhi light system can be controlled from a central command panel that will allow the officials to regulate lighting across the city of 25 million people. The challenge of transforming Delhi into a smart city should be looked by the government as an opportunity, encouraging investments and innovation.
Mobilizing and channelizing funds for developmental projects through CSR projects in India is the need of the hour. Innovative and energy efficient initiatives can be implemented at the ground to reduce the energy demand. The people of Delhi want to see sustained development over the next few decades and the growing expectations and demand of the people needs to be fulfilled in order make the nation’s capital a world class city.
Media Team – Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd.
Press Conference Cities of the Future
Image by World Economic Forum
Oliver Cann, Director, Media Relations, World Economic Forum, Imad Elhajj, Associate Professor, American University of Beirut, Lebanon; Global Agenda Council on Artificial Intelligence & Robotics and Anil Menon, President, Smart+Connected Communities and Deputy Chief
•Globalization Officer, Cisco Systems (India), India; Global Agenda Council on The Future of Smart Cities
at the World Economic Forum – Summit on the Global Agenda 2014 in Dubai, Copyright by World Economic Forum / Jakob Polacsek