Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Cities: Assessing Potential for District Energy Systems (DES) in Indian Cities

ICLEI South Asia has initiated a project on 'Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Buildings & Cities: Assessing Potential for District Energy Systems (DES) in Indian Cities' with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under their District Energy in Cities Initiative.

The initiative was launched to provide technical assistance and undertake capacity building activities for local governments and stakeholders in India to develop a replicable modern district energy approach, particularly for district cooling that can be scaled up in the country. The objective of the project is to assist Indian cities to accelerate their transition to low-carbon and climate resilient societies through modern district energy system.

District Energy Systems produce steam, hot water or chilled water at a central plant. The steam, hot water or chilled water is supplied through pipes (usually underground) to individual buildings for space heating, domestic hot water heating and air conditioning. District Energy Systems can make use of waste heat sources (from industries or power plants) and free cooling sources (such as lakes, rivers or seawater) to provide cooling and heating. Thus, District Energy Systems are much more efficient and use less energy to heat and cool buildings than if the individual buildings were to each have their own air conditioners and chillers or boilers and furnaces.

Under the project five cities in India will undergo rapid assessments to understand their potential for implementing district cooling initiatives, with a view to developing a pilot-scale bankable, viable district energy project proposal. During the rapid assessments a technical team involving the project partners will engage in interactions with city departments and other key stakeholders to gather information to assess the current situation with regard to the potential, opportunities and barriers for deployment of district cooling systems. Probable sites for implementation of district cooling system will also be identified during the rapid assessments.

The results of the rapid assessment will be presented in a workshop which will engage key stakeholders in the technical discussions on DES, scheduled to be held at Rajkot in May 2016. Based on the results of the rapid assessments, further detailed assessments will be undertaken in one selected project city to develop a pilot scale DES cooling project proposal. The rapid assessments will also feed into further discussions with the Government of India to develop a replicable approach that can be scaled up in other cities.

Cities Involved:
Rajkot, Thane, Coimbatore, Pune and Bhopal

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), Carbon Trust, Danfoss, Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (EMPOWER), International District Energy Association

Project Duration:
September 2015 - November 2019


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