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PRESS RELEASE: 'RE Integration Could Help TN Cut One-Third Emissions by 2030'

  • WRI India releases paper on Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) for TN
  • TN could cut emissions by one-third if 60 percent of RE capacity is integrated into its electricity mix by 2030
  • Switching to energy efficient measures across sectors by 2030 could further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 17 percent

Nov 17, 2022, Chennai: While India doubled down on its decarbonization measures by announcing a slew of low emissions pathways at COP27 in Egypt, it would be among the largest consumers of power in the coming decades, underscoring the role of the country’s power sector in cutting Greenhouse Gas emissions. And high per capita power consuming states like Tamil Nadu (TN) would play a prominent role in India’s energy transition trajectory.

A highly industrialised state like TN, despite its growing energy needs, can reduce its emissions by 25-32% if the state integrates about 60% of renewable capacity, according to a Working Paper released at a two-day event titled Tamil Nadu Sustainable Energy Transformation Dialogues (TN-SET Dialogues) organised in the city this week.

Some of the sessions at the colloquium discussed various aspects of TN’s transition to cleaner forms of energy. These included strategies to ensure the financial stability of the state’s utilities; emerging renewable energy (RE) technologies best suited for the state; and understanding how best to serve its consumers’ future energy needs. 

Speaking at the event, Mr. Vikram Kapur IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Planning and Development, Govt. of TN said, “We must benchmark TN’s per capita power consumption to optimise capacity additions and avoid redundancies.” Mr. Kapur also said TANGEDCO’s financial health and the extra cost of RE integration are challenges to transitioning to cleaner forms of energy.

Ms. Sandhya Sundararagavan, Lead, Energy Transitions, WRI India, and the lead author of the Working Paper, Integration of An Energy Modelling Tool In a State’s Power Sector Planning Process – A Tamil Nadu Case Study said, “TN is unique in having both thermal and renewable capacities, with plans to add more of both generation sources. It is imperative for the state to prudently evaluate future capacity additions and its impact on emission levels and future generation mix in the medium and long term.” Ms. Sundararagavan said energy planning tools can prove useful in visualising supply-demand possibilities, designing emission targets and carving out various ways to transition toward low-carbon pathways for the state.

Reminding participants of the event’s timing and significance, Ms. Supriya Sahu IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of TN, (also present at the event) said, “TN is developing its own GHG inventory. It is important to get this done first as we develop the state's decarbonization pathways.” Stressing TN’s leadership of the fight against climate change, she said the state had declared 13 wetlands as RAMSAR sites in six months, up from just one.

Stressing on the importance of energy efficiency measures in the short term, Mr. Bharath Jairaj, Executive Director, Energy Program, WRI India said, “One of our scenarios looks at energy-efficiency measures including conversion to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, and increased penetration of energy efficient refrigerators, fans, televisions, and air conditioners in the residential sector. These measures, along with targets for sectors like commercial, industrial, and municipal infrastructure, could reduce the total electricity generation required to meet demand by 2030 by 9 percent compared to ‘business as usual’ and reduce GHG emissions by as much as 17 percent.”

TN-SET Dialogues is being organised by the TN-SET consortium which comprises World Resources Institute India (WRI India), Auroville Consulting (AVC), and Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG).

For media queries please contact: 
Kunal Shankar
(M) +91-98661-73803 

Ahona Datta Gupta
(M) +91-98180-55447

About World Resources Institute India
WRII is a research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. Know more:

About Auroville Consulting (AVC): Read here 

About Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG)
Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG), is a 37-year-old non-profit organization, based in Chennai, working towards protecting citizens’ rights in consumer, civic and environmental issues, and promoting good governance processes, including transparency, accountability and participatory decision making.

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