03 November 2020 - Stakeholder national workshops

Co-creating India's mitigation pathways

The PARIS REINFORCE project hosted a virtual workshop, on November 3, 2020, to discuss the project’s Indian modelling pathways. The format of the event was to hold structured discussions on the Indian energy transition with experts from NGOs, academia, the private sector, and government. This was with the purpose of allowing modelling teams to develop stakeholder-driven modelling scenarios, as well as to co-create some of the core assumptions being fed into models.

The workshop began with a brief introduction from project coordinator, Prof. Haris Doukas (National Technical University of Athens). Following this, Dr. Ajay Gambhir (Grantham Institute, Imperial College London) gave an overview on what modelling studies have so far revealed about low-carbon transitions in India. Additionally, he offered an insight into what the modelling work of the PARIS REINFORCE project has so far achieved as well as the next steps it will take.

After these introductory sessions, participants were split into three breakout groups to allow for more intimate discussions. The themes of the three breakout groups were the Indian power sector, the Indian transport sector, and the theme of urbanisation in India. Each session was structured around gathering participants’ understanding of the key themes driving modelling results, i.e. are assumptions too ambitious, too pessimistic, or unrealistic/infeasible in other ways?

The power sector session was chaired by Dr. Alexandre Koberle (Grantham Institute, Imperial College London). Key themes investigated were:

  • The political feasibility of early retirement of coal plants in India. Particularly focussed on the chances of retirement during the period 2020-2030.
  • The target of 450GW renewable electricity capacity in India by 2030. Discussion centred around whether this target is realistic and the key support mechanisms that must be put in place to support such rapid renewable electricity deployment.

The session on urbanisation was chaired by Dr. Ajay Gambhir. Key themes investigated were:

  • The evolution of building cooling demand (e.g. demand for air conditioning). What are the implications of increased urbanisation and incomes for this demand?
  • Smart cities and the potential benefits of better public transport infrastructure and more energy efficient buildings that could result from them.
  • Key innovations or disruptive technologies that could influence the development of sustainable urban living in India.

The transport sector session was chaired by Dr. Shivika Mittal (Grantham Institute, Imperial College London). Key themes investigated were:

  • Feasibility of the government’s 30% electric vehicle share by 2030 target.
  • Implications for the electricity grid of a surge in electric vehicles.
  • The role for hydrogen in decarbonising India’s transport sector.

Following the breakout groups, representatives from each session informed the larger group on the issues they had discussed in their respective groups, coordinated by Dr. Georg Zachmann (Bruegel). An interactive sli.do voting session, managed by Mr. Ben McWilliams (Bruegel), then allowed participants to give their feedback on all topics before closing remarks.

The key outputs from the discussion, as well as the opinions expressed via the sli.do voting session, will now be used to design realistic yet stretching scenarios of how India’s low-carbon development could proceed in the coming decades.


Haris Doukas - Introduction

Shivika Mittal, Alexandre Koberle, Ajay Gambhir - Overview & insights