Symposium on Sustainable and Affordable Energy Challenge for the World

Symposium on Sustainable and Affordable Energy Challenge for the World

Sunday May 8, 2016

9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Davis Auditorium in Shapiro Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY [1]

2016 event jointly sponsored by

Department of Mechanical Engineering, SEAS, Columbia University

IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation & IITB Alumni Association of Greater New York


The last few years have brought global energy issues to the fore. At the recently concluded COP21 in 2015, the tensions arising from the contrasting high consumption and emissions of the wealthy on one hand and the need for affordable growth and access for the bottom two billion were quite apparent. Those two billion still cook on primitive wood fires and live with poor or unreliable access to electricity, while the consumption of the wealthiest two billion alone is a major contributor to climate change. This contrast has put many countries in a technologically and financially challenging position where they want to rapidly accelerate deployment of renewables while also addressing the energy access and growth imperatives.

India is a classic case, with a goal to deploy 160 GW of solar and wind by 2020, when last year’s average power consumption was 120GW. At the same time 20% of Indians have no electricity access. Similar conditions exist in many other developing economies.

This one-day symposium will address issues of integrating high fractions of variable power into the grid. Are there novel ideas on edge of the grid infrastructure, demand side measures, prepaid smart metering, and new ways to manage variable sources on the grid, that can take advantage of a growing economy that is willing to tolerate less than perfect reliability and lack of legacy players? Perhaps affordability can be achieved through disruptive innovation that can emerge in lower income countries through scale and new business models. We will also try to understand the potential of synthesizing fuels from sunlight and CO2, a tantalizing addition to climate management toolkit if it can be made to work.

The symposium will allow speakers to share their views with an engineering audience both at the depth and breadth that the subject demands.

Breakfast and Lunch will be provided and is included in the ticket price


Morning Session


9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast Lobby
9:30 Columbia University and IITBHF Opening Remarks and Welcome
9:45 Prof. Himadri Pakrasi Sustainability and Bioenergy: Challenges and Opportunities
10:15 Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno Nuclear Energy: Growth Opportunities/Challenges from Fuel Cycles and Small Modular Reactors.
10:45 Prof. Vijay Modi Pathways to Full Electrification in Emerging Markets
11:15 Prof. Deepak Divan Energy Needs for the Emerging Markets

Lunch 11:45 to 12:30 pm

Afternoon Session

Integrating Renewables into the Grid

12:30 Pramod Khargonekar, National Science Foundation, Director for Engineering Perspectives on Evolution of Electric Energy Systems – Developed and Developing Economies
1:00 Mike Waite and Vijay Modi, Columbia University Background Results: NY State Grid and Deep Renewable Penetration
1:30 Audrey Zibelman, Chair, NYS Public Service Commission Electricity: Regulation and markets. NYS Perspective
2:00 Nathan Blair and Silvia Romero (NREL/World Bank) System Integration and Utility Regulation for Variable Resources
2:30 Panel: Divan, Zibelman, Modi, Blair

Moderated by Khargonekar

Integrating Renewables into the Grid
3:30 D.C.Agrawal, President, IITBAAGNY Closing Remarks

[1] Enter at 116th street on Amsterdam Avenue or Broadway and walk to Shapiro Hall.

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