Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) is collaborating with Industry and Academia in Denmark for various research projects in areas of climate change mitigation and enabling green transition.
A total of four projects were announced today (1st March 2023) at an event at IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP) in the presence of HRH the Crown Prince of Denmark, Mr. Lars Aagaard, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Government of Denmark, and Mr. Freddy Svane, Ambassador of Denmark to India, among other stakeholders.
Three projects are in the realm of Energy and focus on IIT Madras Energy Consortium's vision of enabling energy transition towards a low-carbon future. They will specifically help in
- Accelerating technology development through industry-academia-government partnerships, and
- Collaborations with global partners to develop technology solutions that once deployed at scale in India will essentially become technology solutions for the world.
Speaking on 'Next generation fuels and energy systems', Mr. Lars Aagaard, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Government of Denmark, said, "Today, Denmark is paving the way for investments in new technologies, which must scale. We see great potential in sharing mutual knowledge with India and its bright engineers, which can help in implementing these technologies."
Mr. Lars Aagaard said, "Since the 1980s, India has established 40 GW of Onshore Wind, which is truly a lot. India has also presented an ambitious plan to establish 140 GW of Wind Energy by 2030, of which 30GW would be offshore and rest onshore... In January 2023, India presented a plan which aims to convert India to a global green energy production hub."
Mr. Lars Aagaard added, "Tamil Nadu has identified 15 offshore locations to establish wind turbines. Denmark is collaborating on a plan to establish the first wind farm offshore in Tamil Nadu. I have a strong belief that we can support one another in developing these technologies while learning how they can be implemented in different contexts."
A fourth project in the realm of water was signed to promote cooperation in engineering education and scientific research between Danfoss, Denmark and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras).
Addressing the event, Mr. S. Krishnan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Industries, Investment Promotion and Commerce, Government of Tamil Nadu, said, "Today, we are on the cusp of an important relationship between Tamil Nadu and Denmark - on the areas of clean energy and how to tackle climate change. Tamil Nadu continues to be the leader in renewable energy. More than 50 per cent of the installed capacity in Tamil Nadu are from renewable energy sources with potential for expansion in Wind, Solar and green hydrogen. All of this needs to come together in a way that works for the local economy of Tamil Nadu, India and the world at large."
Further, Mr. S. Krishnan said, "The Hon'ble Chief Minister Thiru. MK Stalin had announced a few months ago that Southern Tamil Nadu would be developed as a Renewable Energy Hub with a focus on wind, solar and various other ways of storing this energy including green hydrogen. There is considerable interest from a number of companies to establish facilities here."
Mr. S. Krishnan added, "Danish Companies have been engaging with Tamil Nadu and we are very keen to support this enterprise. We are working closely with the Government of India in this area...Tamil Nadu has a Renewable Energy Installed Capacity of 20 GW of which 10 GW are in wind. There is potential for another 13 GW of Wind Energy onshore and 20 GW of offshore. The most promising offshore locations in India are off the Tamil Nadu Coast - The Gulf of Mannar."
A panel discussion on 'next generation fuels and energy systems with Indian and Danish Industry Leaders and Experts' was moderated by Kristian Jensen, Green Power Denmark with the Indian Panelists including Mr. S. Krishnan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Industries, Investment Promotion and Commerce, Government of Tamil Nadu and Dr. Nikhil S Tambe, CEO, The Energy Consortium, IIT Madras, among others.
India and Denmark have taken another important step in delivering on the ambitions of the Green Strategic Partnership with the selection of highly qualified projects under the Indo-Danish bilateral research call on green fuels. Administered jointly by Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD), and Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, IIT Madras will collaborate with Danish researchers on the following two out of the total four projects awarded:
- ECoGrif [Efficient Cost saving Grid Friendly] Power to X Converter (Focused on Hydrogen economy)
Partners: IIT Madras, Aalborg University, University of Southern Denmark, Danfoss
Lead Institute & PI: Prof. Krishna Vasudevan, Faculty, IIT Madras,
- Tomorrow project! (Focused on Cement decarbonization)
Partners: IIT Madras, FLSmidth, Technical University of Denmark
Lead Institute & PI: Prof Varun Kumar S., IIT Madras
As part of a long-term commitment on collaborative research to aid and accelerate energy transition to low carbon fuels, FLSmidth has joined as founding member of the Energy Consortium, IIT Madras.
And, to promote cooperation in engineering education and scientific research Danfoss and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) will undertake joint work on Drinking water for coastal regions using renewable energy.
The MoUs were exchanged with Prof. Manu Santhanam, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras.
Delivering the welcome address, Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, President and Institute Professor, IITMRP, said, "Climate change is increasingly hurting the world and very little time is left to reverse it. India's per capita emission is ranked 103 in the world but in absolute terms, the nation is only behind China and the U.S. India has a large number of low-income people in the world who suffer when there are climate change-related events. India and Denmark need to go much farther than R&D collaboration and take it all the way to commercialization. Every technology needs to have a Return-on-Investment as it scales. India needs highly affordable technologies as it has a low per-capita income."
Elaborating on the Research Park, Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala said, "The IIT Madras Research Park was set up 12 years ago with support from Government, Alumni and bank loans. Now, the loans have been repaid with interest and the Park is financially independent. Besides setting up R&D units with corporate firms, we have incubated nearly 300 companies, most of them started by youngsters under 25 years of age. Many of these are deep-tech start-ups."