Soujanya Mantravadi writes: The workshop was attended by 32 participants. Organised by three members of the Ecologise group and five resource people, the programme was intended to send out a strong message that the energy aspects of the city is goes beyond electricity. The workshop witnessed elaborate and edifying discussions between the participants and speakers.
Workshops for Sustainability and Equality in the City
REPORT OF WORKSHOP ON FUTURE OF ENERGY FOR HYDERABAD
Ecologise Hyderabad is a small group that aims to look at the ecological crisis of the city of Hyderabad. As a part of this programme, we focus on several issues such as water, energy, waste management, home composting, terrace gardens, transport, health, education etc. We plan to run several day-long workshops on each topic.
This time we chose the topic of ‘Energy’ and on Sunday, 24th July 2016, we conducted a workshop, ‘Future of Energy for Hyderabad’ at Lamakaan, Hyderabad. The workshop was announced on the Facebook page of Lamakaan a week in advance and we got a good response with a little less than 50 registrations. It was attended by 32 participants both registered and ‘walk-ins’. Organised by three members of the Ecologise group and five resource people, the programme was intended to send out a strong message that the energy aspects of the city is goes beyond electricity. The workshop witnessed elaborate and edifying discussions between the participants and speakers.
The workshop commenced with a welcome note from Sagar Dhara who introduced himself and the Ecologise group. (T. Vijayendra, one of the organisers, was not present at the workshop because he was ill). This was followed by a brief talk by Soujanya Mantravadi, the coordinator of workshop. She presented the energy situation of Hyderabad and tried to correlate the problem with that of the nation. As she stated, “Hyderabad city’s energy problems are directly related to the country’s energy scene. The power consumption of Hyderabad city is estimated to be increasing at the rate of 10% per annum but in the recent years, the rate at which Hyderabad is growing shows that the power consumption will increase at least at a rate of 18 %.”
Sagar Dhara, an ex-UNEP consultant and researcher in energy, energy transformations and risk analysis was the first resource person. He gave a talk about the ‘Myth of renewables’, thus setting the context for the whole workshop. He spoke about the history of energy, and also dwelt on how renewable energy cannot replace fossil fuels. The talk was very well received and had gone over the allotted 30 mins because people posed questions on the drawbacks of ‘green’ technologies.
The second session was conducted by Sai Bhaskar Reddy from Geoecology Energy Organisation. His talk was on ‘Cooking Fuel and Stoves’ and he introduced the non-electricity aspects of energy. He actively promoted the fuel-efficient stoves during his talk and gave insights to cooking fuel and emissions related to it. His talk consisted of case studies from his experiences as well as photographs portraying various types of these efficient stoves designed by him.
After a short tea break, the third session, an interactive talk on ‘Solar PV basics and installation guidelines’ was held by Harsha Yadav, Co-Founder of Zolt Energy. He gave insights into the inefficiencies of the existing grid and explained the practical working principles of solar PV installations. His colleague Rishub Agarwal joined him during the talk to demonstrate specific technical details. Their session too saw active participation from the audience members, who enthusiastically posed questions about metering, tariffs etc.
After lunch, an ‘Ice breaker’ session was conducted where the audience members introduced themselves and their interests. They were from diverse backgrounds like healthcare, anthropology, environmental and political activists and pharmacology, apart from research students, graduate students, assistant professors, government employees (BHEL) and homemakers.
Afterwards, Sreekumar N. of Prayas Energy Group, Pune gave a talk on ‘Energy Efficiency and Practices’. Sreekumar being an electrical engineer himself gave clear details about energy supplies and usage. He explained the importance of energy efficiency and certain measures to achieve it through LEDs, star labelling etc. He also displayed a smart device – the plug-in power meter – that he brought, demonstrating how it can be used as an extension to the appliances. After the session, he answered audience’ questions on smart meters, existing energy efficiency programs etc in great detail.
The last talk was on ‘Energy and Urbanization Challenges of Hyderabad City’, by Anant Maringanti, the director of Hyderabad Urban Lab and a geographer. With his thorough knowledge and experience on the issues related to Hyderabad city, Anant explained the geography of Hyderabad and how rapid urbanization is posing a threat to its sustainability. He also discussed transportation issues concerning the city, thus neatly wrapping up the workshop.
The workshop ended at around 4pm after an announcement from Sagar Dhara about the upcoming follow-up meeting and suggestions on how to take these efforts forward.
Ecologise Hyderabad wishes to take this work forward by continuing this participation in the future. Following the workshop, we have issued a call for the formation of an action plan for a sustainable Hyderabad. The announcement also included a brief note on objectives of the EcoHyd group.
As a part of following up, a workshop on ‘Carbon footprint calculations’ was announced for 7th Aug, 2016, and an invitation sent to all participants who attended the ‘Future of Energy for Hyderabad’ workshop.
A video recording of the workshop has been done. It will be edited by Mohit Garg and will be released shortly.
The organisers would like to thank Lamakaan for hosting and supporting our workshop, Future of Energy for Hyderabad.