Renewable Energy in Smart Cities – Rise of Solar Cities

The rapid urbanisation, changing lifestyle and economic development are increasing the demand for energy in Indian towns and cities. With rising urbanisation, the demand for modern fuels for cooking, lighting, transportation, cooling applications and more is set to increase. Given the continuing megatrend of urbanisation and the related energy demand in India, Renewable Energy including solar PV offers an excellent option of a climate-neutral source of energy that can be integrated into the urban space.

On request of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), GIZ India under the project “Integration of Renewable Energies in the Indian Electricity System (I-RE)” has initiated and executed several technical studies, training and pilot project implementations in the field of renewable energy planning and framework design for the dissemination of renewable energies, specifically distributed grid-connected PV. The project is part of the International Climate Initiative (lKI) and was commissioned in December 2014 by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Recently GIZ in coordination with MNRE has agreed to provide support to the four City Nodal Agencies (CNA) of Dwarka, Gandhinagar, Ayodhya and Amritsar for transforming the cities to 100% renewable energy cities. Under this project, GIZ plans to undertake the following activities:

  • City-level energy plans: Development of a detailed cross-sectoral city level energy action plan which would assist the city to follow a cleaner and greener pathway, to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and make use of climate related benefits while achieving other development goals. 
  • Roadmap for 100% Renewable Electricity: To develop a roadmap on how each of the four cities can meet their electricity needs with 100% Renewable Energy (RE). 
  • Potential Assessment of distributed solar PV applications: To assess the technical potential of distributed solar PV systems across the cities that can be installed on sites within or near the city limits, across all the categories of consumers including residential, commercial, industrial, public and governmental buildings/spaces. The estimation will not be restricted to PV on rooftops but will also include PV systems on parking areas, open spaces, water bodies, warehouses, agricultural lands (vertical PV) and other accessible/alternative innovative areas for PV deployment.
  • Demand Aggregation for distributed solar PV Systems: The collection and aggregation of demand for distributed solar PV which includes marketing, demand promotion and more, from prospective consumers for installation of solar PV systems is an important step to reduce the transaction costs during the project implementation. 
  • Development of a web-based Dashboard: Development of a national web-based dashboard to monitor and analyse the current status of the 100% RE initiative and to show further potential for increasing the share of RE. The dashboard will provide comprehensive information on relevant parameters and will act as a one stop source of information for relevant stakeholders.

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