Step up efforts to convert water, solar resources into energy: experts at CSIR-NIIST meet

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Kerala should focus on converting its rich water resources and availability of sunlight into financial resource by linking them with industrial and scientific sectors, opined experts speaking in a thematic session at CSIR- National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) here.

Opening the session on Energy Materials and Specialty Chemicals, titled Urja, Shri K R Jyothilal, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of Kerala, said developing technologies to manufacture solar panels and generation and storage of hydrogen are key areas where research institutions like CSIR-NIIST should focus, considering the growing demand for clean energy.

The session, titled Urja, was a key segment of the ongoing One Week One Lab (OWOL)programme, launched by Government of India to showcase the achievements of the constituent laboratories of CSIR across the country.

Speaking about the State’s availability of sustainable energy, Shri Jyothilal said, unlike states like Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, Kerala is rich in both solar and water resources. So, the State can easily become a hydrogen hub. Also, the State has a lot of potential in generating wealth from biomass, he added.

Shri Jyothilal urged the industries, academia and R&D institutions to work together to achieve skills for deploying technology to make the State a hub of green energy.

Presiding over the session, Dr C Anandharamakrishnan, Director, CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram, said the scientific and technological research and findings of NIIST are aimed at bringing benefits to the people.

Shri Anandharamakrishnan presented a NIIST compiled white paper on the status of building integrated photovoltaics in India at the session.

Dr K J Sreeram, Director, CSIR-CLRI, Chennai, noted that though the country is rich in availability of silica, silicon, the key element in photovoltaics is mostly imported from countries like China for making solar panels. With full-fledged programmes focusing on silicon semiconductor technologies the country will be self-reliant in manufacturing solar panels, he added.

Shri Rajesh Jha, MD and CEO, Adani Vizhinjam International Sea Port Pvt Ltd, said with its rich resources, Kerala has the potential to generate hydrogen energy equivalent to 22 Gigawatts, thus making hydrogen export possible for the State.

Mr Abhay Anant Gupte, CEO-Manipal Technologies Ltd stressed the significance of new technologies particularly in the area of dyes and pigments.

Participating at a panel discussion,Shri Narendra Nath Veluri, CEO-ANERT, Govt of Kerala, said the State is focusing on maximum utilisation of solar energy in every household.

“Last year solar panels were installed at 35000 houses and the government has planned to install the solar panels at one lakh houses that come under various projects during the next year”, he said.

Stressing the need to put a check on energy consumption Dr Harikumar R, Director, Energy Management Centre, Govt of Kerala, noted that the energy sector needs the help of the scientific community and researchers in creating awareness on effective management of energy consumption.

Shri Abhishek Padmanabhan, Vice President, Fenice Energy, SunEdison, Chennai also participated at the session moderated by Dr K N Narayanan Unni, Coordinator, Energy, CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram.

Prof. Javed Iqbal, Chairman RC, CSIR-NIIST, chaired a session on Speciality chemicals: Building Atmanirbhar Bharat with its focus on sustainability. The panellists included Dr Ganesh Yaddanapudi, AVP, Sailife Sciences Ltd, Hyderabad, Dr JoshyVarkey, MD, Biovastum Solutions Pvt.Ltd, Ernakulam, and Dr Shivananda Wagle, Head, R&D, Manipal Technologies Ltd, and Dr. S.K. Tiwari Senior Principal Scientist CSIR-NIIST. Dr C Vijayakumar, Coordinator, Speciality Chemicals, CSIR-NIIST moderated the session.

Dr P Sujatha Devi, Chief Scientist, CSIR-NIIST welcomed the gathering while Dr Joshy Joseph, Convener, CSTD Theme CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram proposed a vote of thanks

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