R.K Singh inaugurates INSPIRE 2018, recognizes four pathbreaking innovations

With a focus on enhancing grid management, eMobility, and financial instruments and technologies for energy efficiency in India, the second edition of the International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2018) kicked off in New Delhi, on Sunday.

The three-day symposium is being organised by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and World Bank. Based on the theme of Innovation, INSPIRE 2018 honoured four pathbreaking innovations in clean energy and energy efficiency as part of #InnovateToINSPIRE, a first-of-its-kind energy innovation challenge.

Towards supporting investments in new, innovative and scalable business models, EESL and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement for a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of USD 13 million to establish an Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund (EERF). EERF aims to expand and sustain investments in the energy efficiency market in India, build market diversification, and scale up existing technologies.

INSPIRE 2018 was inaugurated by  Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy, Raj K Singh in the presence of senior dignitaries including  A.K. Bhalla, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India;  S.N. Sahai, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India; Dr. Junaid K. Ahmad, Country Director, The World Bank (WB);  Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB); and Rajeev Sharma, Chairman, EESL.

Speaking at the occasion, R.K. Singh, Minister of Power, New & Renewable Energy, (I/C), Govt. of India said, “Platforms like INSPIRE 2018 bring together stakeholders to deliberate upon the solutions for India’s energy ambition. The symposium will encourage the cross-stakeholder partnerships needed to accelerate our efforts towards advancing universal access to power, energy security and sustainability. I also laud this initiative for its focus on innovation. Combined with resources available through the Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund, solutions identified during INSPIRE 2018 and the #InnovateToINSPIRE challenge could redefine the future of energy consumption in India.”

Hon’ble Minister also recognized winners of the #InnovateToINSPIRE challenge, which was organized by EESL and World resources Institute (WRI) between 21 August 2018 and 12 October 2018 in the run-up to INSPIRE 2018. The challenge invited participants to submit sustainable and scalable solutions to seven specific challenges spanning grid management, eMobility, energy efficient technologies and financial instruments. From 94 entries, four winners were selected by an eminent jury comprised of Indian and international experts in the field of energy. The winning entries will receive an award of INR 5 lakhs, each, along with mentoring and guidance from EESL to help them bring their solutions to market.

“For India to achieve its climate change commitments of reducing carbon intensity by 33-35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, the large-scale energy efficiency and clean energy programs that EESL is pursuing will play a significant role,” said Shri Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India. “Energy efficiency is one of the strategic pillars of our engagement in India, and includes a recently-launched program with EESL, to help scale up the deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors, strengthen institutional capacity, and enhance access to commercial financing. Beyond our direct lending we are working towards mobilizing US$25 billion commercial financing for clean energy globally,” he added.

INSPIRE 2018 has been organised in collaboration with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI). The event is bringing together policy-makers, influencers, innovators, thought leaders, researchers, leading energy-efficient companies, government agencies, business leaders and other stakeholders to deliberate on key energy policies, market transformation strategies, and sustainable business models that will help leverage the full potential of energy efficiency and bring its multiple co-benefits to the fore.

 Rajeev Sharma, Chairman, EESL said, “Innovation is the most important enabler for resolving environmental problems while reducing costs. We believe that with scale and financial support, innovative solutions can drastically transform markets, economies, societies, and nations. With this thought, we embarked upon this year’s INSPIREI am confident that the next two days will not only see fruitful deliberations on the various aspects of sustainability but also come out with pertinent recommendations and suggestions to support the policy landscape in energy efficiency.

During INSPIRE 2018, EESL and GAIL, a wholly owned subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited signed a MoU to develop natural gas based cogeneration and trigeneration projects in Commercial & Industrial Sectors in India. This MoU is set to benefit industries such as Hotels, Hospitals, Airports, Commercial Malls, Commercial/Government Buildings, Integrated Residential Complexes, Educational Institutions, Data Center, among others, with the advantages of Combined Heat & Power technology.