Cities need smart green energy solutions

The Nansen Center and the Nansen Environmental Research Center – India (NERCI) co-organized a two-day international conference in India addressing the future energy systems in cities in southern Asia.

The conference was a part of the URSA MAJOR project that the Nansen Center coordinates with funding from the Norwegian Research Council through the INTPART program. Project initiator Prof. Igor Esau (University of Tromsø and Nansen Center) underlined the need to think non-traditionally and “out of the box” to identify regionally adaptable solutions for cities being both consumers and suppliers of energy.

The mayor P. Anilkumar of Kochi Municipality – a partner in the 100 smart cities programme in India – opened the conference “Powering cities in the global south: How energy access for all benefits the economy and the environment” last week. He highlighted the renewable energy achievements in Cochin, where the airport is the first in the world being fully powered by solar energy.

Large cities worldwide do not have a lot of space for energy production. Much more creative solutions than installing solar panels along metro lines or above waters bodies are needed to meet future electricity needs. This was very well demonstrated with many actions from another Indian Smart City – the New Town of Kolkata. Future cities will be able to both consume and potentially generate energy.

Conference participants discussed the possibility for India to fulfil its pledge of becoming carbon-neutral in 2070, and that this will depend on Europe, US, and China reaching their goals for 2050 or 2060. India will then have 10-20 years to capitalize on technology and solutions implemented in other countries, making Indias goals achievable.

The minister of Law, Industries and Coir, Shri P. Rajeeve from the Government of Kerala, concluded the conference by stating that “we want to strengthen the ties with Norway in the fields of energy solutions and invites Norwegian industry to take part in this development.”


Våre framtidige sivilingeniører, økologer, arkitekter, ledere og administratorer trenger kunnskap om digitale nettverk, sensorer og automatiserte observasjoner for smarte og bærekraftige byer. I prosjektet «Urban sustainability in action: multi-disciplinary approach through jointly organized research schools» trenes disse til å ta opp praktiske utfordringer og lokale løsninger i ulike byer over hele verden der klimaendringene har størst påvirkning.

Oppdragsgiver: Norges forskningsråd