Decarbonization of coal heavy electricity grids: Insights from India
The falling costs costs of renewable energy and battery storage technologies has created significant and new opportunities for deep decarbonization of electricity grids. This seminar will present our recent analysis on assessing the technical feasibility and economic impact of deep decarbonization of coal-heavy electricity grids in emerging economies with a case study of India. I will particularly discuss three factors that create certain unique opportunities and challenges for decarbonization in the emerging economies, especially India: (a) rapid economic growth implying majority of the energy infrastructure is yet to be built, (b) industry dominant electricity load that is seasonally and diurnally more uniform - which requires significant base-load support, and (c) large potential for demand response, especially from the agricultural sector. I will also briefly discuss the implications for other sectors such as transport and industry.
Energy/Environmental Policy Research Scientist/Engineer, International Energy Analysis Department, Energy Analysis & Environmental Impacts Division
Dr. Nikit Abhyankar, a Scientist in the International Energy Analysis Department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is also an Affiliate and Senior Scientist at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Abhyankar has conducted extensive research and policy analysis on a range of key energy issues such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and energy access in United States and key emerging economies such as India, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In particular, his research focuses on the following areas: (i) renewable energy resource assessment and grid integration, (ii) electricity markets and policies, (iii) technology and policy / program assessments for appliance efficiency improvement, (iv) impact of transport electrification on the grid, and (v) technology solutions for expanding energy access.
Dr. Abhyankar has published over 40 peer reviewed journal papers, research reports, and conference papers, and his research has been widely covered in the media, for example - The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The Verge, The Hindu, Fountain Ink, Outlook India, Live Mint , InsideClimateNews, DailyEnergyInsider, NewsWise, Down to Earth, Listening Brief etc.
Prior to joining LBNL, Dr. Abhyankar worked with Prayas Energy Group in India where he analyzed the prevalent regulatory and policy issues in the Indian power sector such as reforms, rural electrification, tariff design, and RPS, etc.
Dr. Abhyankar received a PhD from Stanford University in Environment and Resources. He has a master’s degree in Economics and an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering.