By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 19 Feb: UPES organised a ‘Conference-Workshop’ at its Bidholi campus on 13 – 15 February. The 2nd International Conference-Workshop on ‘Energy Innovation Initiatives In Attaining Sustainable Development Goals’ was organised by the University under the aegis of NITI Aayog, in association with the Arizona State University, USA, and IPE Global. The three-day event focused on challenges and opportunities in attaining the 2030 Agenda of UN Sustainable Development Goals such as using Energy as an Enabler. Dr VK Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog, was the ‘Chief Guest’ and Dr Deepak Vohra, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Lesotho and Guinea-Bissau and to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils, Kargil and Leh as the ‘Guest of Honour’.
Briefing on the event, Arun Dhand, Sr Director, Public Affairs, UPES, said that this first-of-its-kind event, which attracted participation of Scientists, Academicians, Entrepreneurs, Policy Makers, Bankers, Thinkers, Social Scientists, Technocrats and Consultants from 10 countries across the globe was based on the understanding of the concept of ‘social value of energy in Socio-Technical- Financial arrangements’. “The event witnessed global participation of around 90 delegates from Indonesia, Brazil, USA, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kenya, etc., who had gathered in UPES to share their experiences,” he disclosed.
The Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and Dr Clark Miller, Associate Director, School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS), Arizona State University, jointly inaugurated the event. Welcoming the participants, Dr Deependra Jha, UPES Vice Chancellor, shared the aims and objectives of the conference-workshop. “Energy innovations are fundamental to achieving a majority of the sustainable development goals,” he opined while speaking about some of the major challenges in energy innovations which included deeply embedded political-economic structures, associated variabilities with gender, ethnicity, language and geography, and issues around sustainability and financing, which make the process of attaining sustainable development goals highly subjective and uncertain.
In his address, Dr Kamal Bansal, Dean, Academic Development & Innovation, UPES, said that the event had been organised around the need for sustainable development in future using energy as an enabler across the globe and to achieve meaningful progress in meeting the SDGs. Dr SJ Chopra, Chancellor, UPES, gave his blessings to all the delegates.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr Saraswat presented the Indian scenario regarding energy innovation initiatives for attaining sustainable development goals while emphasising on the long-term goals, as India has projected to produce 56% of its power from clean sources by 2026-27. The other keynote speaker, Dr Clark, explained the various sustainable development goals while emphasising energy as the core of achieving these goals and enunciated the takeaways of the 1st Conference organised at Arizona State University on ‘Poverty Eradication Through Energy Innovation’.
The event presented the delegates with an opportunity to learn from power talks, roundtables and expert panel discussions. The participants deliberated on “Role of Energy Innovations in Implementing Sustainable Development Goals”; “Barriers in Energy Innovations“; “Social Value in Energy Innovation” and “Financing Energy and Ownership Models” to attain SDG. Energy policy and SDG linkages were also discussed. A thematic play on “Energy Innovations“ dedicated to Chamoli village turned out to be the main attractions of cultural evenings. In her facilitated talk on “Challenges and Opportunities: Energy Innovations for Attaining SDGs in Himalayan Region”, Dr Nalini Chhetri, Professor – SFIS, ASU, described the social value of energy. The case studies of organisations such as AVANI Bioenergy, SPECS and Global Himalayan Expedition working in Uttarakhand and other Himalayan regions were appreciated by the international delegates.
Eminent members of the expert panels on various aspects included Dr Umakant Panwar, former Principal Secretary – Energy; Salil Dutt, Chief Technical Adviser – UNIDO; Dr Madhu Bala, Director – DIBER, DRDO; Monish Ahuja, MD – Punjab Renewable Energy Systems; John Kimani, Renewable Energy Specialist – UNDP, Indonesia; Dr Pedro Ivo Farraz Da Silva from Embassy of Brazil.
Dr Veena Dutta, Registrar, UPES, said that such events provided opportunities to collaborate in attaining a sustainable future. The core organisers were Dr Pankaj Sharma, Dr Prasoom Dwivedi, Dr Sudhir Joshi, Dr Madhu Sharma, Dr Saurabh Kumar, Dr Pankaj Badoni, Yogesh Kumar, Natraj Mishra, Dr Shival Dubey, Dishant Beniwal, Suraj Meshram, Nilanjan Bharadwaj, Jhalak, Geetanjali Raghav and Ishan Aggarwal.
By OUR STAFF REPORTER