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The Search for Game-Changing Energy Technologies for the Developing World
Video by Mark Shwartz
In May 2013, GCEP and Reliance Industries Ltd. co-hosted a workshop on the challenges of creating and applying new energy technologies in the developing world. This special event was held at Reliance Corporate Park in Navi Mumbai. Reliance Industries is India's largest energy company. Leading thinkers and practitioners from academia, industry and non-governmental organizations came together to discuss global energy needs, potential applications of state-of-the-art energy technologies and collaborative approaches to advance research on practical solutions for supplying energy to developing countries.
The seed for the workshop was planted by Ajit Sapre, Reliance group president of research and technology, during his talk at the 2012 annual GCEP Research Symposium at Stanford. Sapre discussed an innovative approach to global energy challenges, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, called "Gandhian engineering of inclusive innovation." The concept - the brainchild of R.A. Mashelkar, former president of the Indian National Science Academy - is that sustainability can be achieved by eradicating poverty through the development of energy-efficient technologies that are high quality and affordable. Mashelkar elaborated on the Gandhian approach in his May 15 keynote address at the Mumbai workshop.
A few days earlier, GCEP got a firsthand look at the energy and sustainability challenges facing rural India with a tour of four remote farming villages with Reliance Foundation pilot programs designed to improve agricultural yields and provide access to cleaner energy.
Video by Mark Shwartz
In addition to talks by Sapre and Mashelkar, the workshop featured presentations by GCEP staff, including Director Sally Benson and researchers Charlie Barnhart and Jennifer Milne. Stanford faculty members Banny Banerjee, Bruce Clemens, Lynn Orr and Mark Thurber also discussed a broad range of topics, from cooking needs in the developing world to cutting-edge advances in renewable energy.
Other speakers from India included Anil Gupta (Indian Institute of Management), Sydney Lobo (Tata Power Company), Anil Rajvanshi (Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute), Homi Bhedwar (DuPont) and Vinay Jammu (GE).
The workshop also included breakout sessions that focused on the needs for breakthrough energy technologies, criteria for their successful implementation and identification of opportunities in the developing world for specific energy areas. The meeting concluded with a discussion of collaborative approaches and next steps that should be considered moderated by Pete Hanik (Reliance Industries). Click here to see videos of the workshop presentations.
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