By Merlin Francis, Communications Officer.

At CSTEP, we believe that socially innovative ideas that leverage the power of technology will help India leapfrog its policy and developmental challenges. This belief forms the core of our work. In one of our recent projects, the Centre for Air Pollution Studies (CAPS@CSTEP) conducted a techno-economic assessment of pollution-control technologies for some of the most polluting sectors in Patna (Bihar). Our recommendations have been adopted by Bihar’s pollution control agency and, if implemented aggressively, have the potential to bring about a 69% reduction in Patna’s emissions. Here are some pictures from our launch event.

In another study, we are looking at Artificial Intelligence-enabled tools that can help primary health workers in the south Indian state of Karnataka track and manage the health of mother and child to tackle malnutrition. Here’s an article on what’s unique about SNEHA — Solutions for Nutritional and Effective Health Assessment — our solution.

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CSTEP is implementing a transformational idea to help India achieve its ambitious target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy (100 GW through solar) by 2022 (recently revised to 450 GW RE by 2030). We used Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to make 3-D representations of rooftops in Bengaluru. We used this information to build a tool (CREST — CSTEP’s Rooftop Evaluation for Solar Tool) that visualises the potential area available for installing rooftop photovoltaics and helps consumers assess the business case for the same. The tool for Bengaluru will be launched by the city’s electricity utility soon, and other states in India have shown interest in conducting similar studies. Subscribe to our newsletter PolicyMatters to stay updated on developments in this project.

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India is currently performing a balancing act: achieving various developmental goals while ensuring that we don’t tip the scales with regard to emissions and climate change while doing so. We felt that analysing sectoral and inter-sectoral interventions could help guide the country to achieve its developmental goals in a sustainable manner. To help policymakers do this balancing act, we estimated, in a bottom-up manner, the material and energy demands and the consequent emissions involved in achieving India’s developmental goals. What’s unique about this model (named SAFARI) is that it also considers water-, land-, and materials-based feedback on sectoral growth (driven by India’s goals). Here’s an article that has more on SAFARI — Sustainable Alternative Futures for India.

We are also evaluating the implications of India’s macroeconomic trade and sector investments on the future GDP growth and emission trajectories, using economy-wide computable general equilibrium and energy system models. This will help us understand the impact of economic development on long-term emission pathways. The reports from the initial phases of this economic modelling project can be found here.

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