Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) will launch a Global Energy Consortium to boost the transformation towards a low carbon future. The institute believes that the energy challenges of the next generation will require inter-disciplinary approaches across multiple domains and need a strong collaborative effort across academia and industry, which will be a key focus of this initiative.
Over 50 global faculty with significant expertise and contributions through technologies and highly cited research publications, will work in areas such as carbon capture and storage, gas hydrates and renewable energy systems. This includes applications in desalination and cold storage, electrolyser technologies for CO2 conversion and beyond lithium energy storage technologies.
The consortium will be launched at the IIT Madras Energy Summit to be held from December 14 to 16.
IIT-Madras has seven dedicated research initiatives working on the energy sector. These initiatives will form the core of the Global Energy Consortium, said Satyanarayanan Seshadri, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Mechanics and Convenor of The Energy Consortium at IITM.
“IITM is the first to do this in India as far as I know. A similar initiative exists and has been hugely successful in MIT,” he told BusinessLine.
The consortium will focus on research, development, and commercialisation support on technologies across the entire value chain: energy sources, conversion technologies, integration, and storage. This consortium is being established as a premier forum for intense collaboration between industry and academia for identification of research priorities impacting our sustainable energy needs and accelerated development of technology to meet them, he said.
The transition to net-zero and eliminating carbon emissions from energy systems requires sustained and translational R&D to build technology and human capital in India for the world. The consortium aims to become the centre or hub that catalyses this change, he said.
Rajnish Kumar, Department of Chemical Engineering, and faculty-in-charge of the consortium said, IIT Madras will invite Indian and global industries and organisations to join the consortium and take advantage of the research facilities at IIT Madras, and help in developing commercially viable solutions to achieve the target of net zero CO2 emission by 2070.
Speaking about the IITM Energy Summit, Kumar said it would be an in-depth and comprehensive summit on technology aspects related to the future of energy with participation from stakeholders from academia and industry. It will be a hybrid summit with options for both in-person and virtual attendance. The physical events will be hosted by the IIT Madras Research Park, he said.
Some of the discussion topics include what are the challenges to achieve 100 per cent renewables and what are potential choices of technology and avenues of research for storage incorporating earth abundant and renewable resources, he said.