SDG 7 - Team Discussion

Lady Doak College

Lady Doak College
by Manju Muraleedharan - Saturday, 19 May 2018, 12:21 PM

Hello, please share your ideas here

Topic questions

  1. Share your own understanding of SDG 7, regarding to some practical cases of how the energy are becoming cleaner and more affordable at multiple geographical levels (in your local community, in your country, and in the region).
  2. According to your group’s specific context: What are the most critical issues, significant factors and major principles that have had, are having or will have great influences on transforming future paradigm of energy production and consumption? (For example: technology innovations on both ends; workable business model and financing strategies; flexible governance mode, institutional settings and policy packages; citizen’s sustainable mindsets and lifestyles changing; etc.)
  3. From global to local, as well as from local to global. What are the success experiences from all over the world that can be learned and adopt in SA and SEA? How could your diversified local practices enrich and provide more opportunities to the world in a sense?
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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Maheswari Bala - Saturday, 19 May 2018, 12:29 PM

SDG 7  - CLEAN ENERGY  we have few solar panels at our campus. Comparatively to other forms of energy, solar energy is quite affordable.

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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Krishna Bahadur Khadka - Tuesday, 29 May 2018, 2:04 PM

Hi Maheswari, 

That sounds great. In Nepal government is also replacing all the street light with solar lights. 

Solar Street Lights Used in Kathmandu

Additionally, the most amazing part is that one private company did a partnership with the metropolitan city to install Solar street lights along advertisement section on it. They have installed 1285 solar lights in the city and will take care for another 10 years in their own cost and after that Kathmandu Metropolitan City will takeover on it. I have shared a link on this as well where you can know in more details.

I think this is also an innovative idea for involving private sectors and developing the solar energy at the same time.

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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Maheswari Bala - Tuesday, 29 May 2018, 5:46 PM

Hi Krishna, 

Thanks for sharing this with us. Solar Street Lights sound really great. I appreciate the effort taken by a private sector along with your government to make this possible. This exemplifies the importance of common man, private sectors and the government joining hands with one another to make dreams come true for a Sustainable Earth. 



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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Maheswari Bala - Saturday, 19 May 2018, 12:37 PM
But it is essential to find an alternative for solar panels since the raw material is sea sand which we cannot afford to use in the long run. Also, it is required to use distilled water for the cleaning process of solar panel which again is not affordable.
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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Brant Knützen - Tuesday, 22 May 2018, 4:58 PM

Hi Maheswari,

I must admit, I thought silicon solar panels were made from sand too, but I did a bit of research today and found this 2008 article that says:

"But sand is not the source of silicon metal, the precursor of the ultra high purity 'electronic' grade silicon, which is required for the creation of silicon photovoltaic solar cells"

"Silicon metal, from which the ultra-pure silicon used for photovoltaic cell construction is ultimately derived, is made in a process that begins with the minerals, quartz or quartzite, which are relatively pure forms of crystalline silicon dioxide"

The article goes on to detail the process which does use a HUGE amount of electricity to melt the quartz and purify the silicon.

Then in 2013, researchers found that a cheap and readily available material called Perovskite can be used to make solar panels:

"One of the world’s top solar researchers, Martin Green of the University of New South Wales, Australia, says the rapid progress has been surprising. Solar cells that use the material “can be made with very simple and potentially very cheap technology, and the efficiency is rising very dramatically,” he says."

Finally, this 2016 article says that Perovskite-based solar panels are even more efficient than silicon-based ones, at over 20% efficiency!

"Perovskite solar cells are made of a mix of organic molecules and inorganic elements that together capture light and convert it into electricity, just like today's more common silicon-based solar cells. Perovskite photovoltaic devices, however, can be made more easily and cheaply than silicon and on a flexible rather than rigid substrate. The first perovskite solar cells could go on the market next year, and some have been reported to capture 20 percent of the sun's energy."

Read more at:"

This 2018 article explains how Perovskite panels are progressing currently, why they are so much cheaper to make, and how these cheap panels should help drive coal and nuclear power generation out of the energy market!

What do you think, doesn't this sound like good news for renewable, cheap, and clean energy?

Now if we can just figure out a way to keep them clean without using so much distilled water!


flexible solar panel

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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Soniya Suruli Raj - Thursday, 24 May 2018, 10:42 PM

We might be using different sources of energy today in order to fulfill our needs and also might be in the process of finding or inventing new sources in order to substitute the earlier sources of energy which we have been using till today. But I think it is essential and it is our prime duty to reduce the use of energy in order to preserve the existing natural resources (reduce,reuse,recycle process must be strictly followed). It not only  favours our posterity but also the entire living organisms of our mother Earth. Because when we talk about the term "better living", it includes the better living of every living organism from microscopic to macroscopic level ,we shouldn't disturb the bio-diversity in the process of so-called development,so it is essential to use energy efficiently. Before bringing any invention into process we must remember and thoroughly check that the existing natural resources will not be wasted because of that. Being in a world of technology we shouldn't be the reason for the extinction of our natural resources. 

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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Soniya Suruli Raj - Thursday, 31 May 2018, 11:30 PM

Here is a link describing how renewable energy sources are used and what are the Challenges we face in that process. 

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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Maheswari Bala - Friday, 25 May 2018, 9:22 PM

Hi Mr. Knutzen

Perovskite, the alternative for silicone in the production of solar cells, sounds extremely good. Thanks for sharing about it with us.

 Still, the problem of cleaning solar panels using less quantity of distilled water remains unaddresed. Especially when water scarcity is yet another a threat to the world, it needs a quick solution.

I did a quick search over the internet and came upon an automated cleaning system called Eccopia E4, which cleans solar panels without making use of water. The following link shows how it works:

This system does not need water and it operates by using "controlled air flow" over the panels to remove the dirt. It has an "on-board solar module" which allows it to get charged quickly. It is "sensor-enabled", making it work based on weather conditions. It has an auto-cleaning system as well. You can read about it further using the following link: 


Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Manju Muraleedharan - Thursday, 31 May 2018, 3:55 PM

Hi Brant

I would like to add to your discussion by pointing out the possibility of “Low cost photovoltaic cells.”

Thin sheet made up of semi-conducting elements that are collectively called “CIGSS” is cost effective rather than their silicon counterparts.

It is used as a photovoltaic ink! Thin solar panels made of these photovoltaic cells can be built into the roof of houses.


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Re: Share your own understanding of SDG 7
by Brant Knützen - Thursday, 31 May 2018, 4:50 PM

Hi Manju,

I think building solar panels into roof tiles is a great idea!

So does Elon Musk, owner of Tesla:


Re: Lady Doak College
by Manju Muraleedharan - Friday, 25 May 2018, 2:15 AM


Solar Power Plants, Wind Energy Farms, Natural Gas Power stations, and Solid Waste-to-Energy Plants are the affordable alternative clean energy sources feasible for India. 

Delhi Municipal Corporation launched the country’s largest waste-to-energy plant that will generate 24 mega watt of energy per day from 2,000 metric tonnes of waste.

K.S. Sivaprasad, an engineer from India implemented the idea of a factory that accepts city trash and ignites them to create electricity.  His plant gives 5.5 megawatts of electricity from 700 tons of garbage a day.

“Production of natural gas is at present at the level of around 132.83 million metric standard cubic meters per day (MMSCMD). The main producers of natural gas are Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), Oil India Limited (OIL), JVs of Tapti, Panna-Mukta and Ravva and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) which has discovered gas in the Krishna Godavari basin at its KG D6 block in the east cost of Andhra Pradesh. Out of the total domestic production of 132.83 MMSCMD of gas about 43% is produced by Reliance Industries Ltd. (as of December 2009) and approximately 57% of the gas is produced by others.”


The developing nations overuse their resources in an unsustainable way to meet their requirements both at the domestic and international platforms.  In order to solve this problem there should be an equitable and just international economic system.

India has a full-fledged Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).  MNRE organises various programmes such as harnessing the renewable power, tender renewable energy to rural areas for lighting, cooking and motive power, entertain the use of renewable energy in urban, industrial areas.  It also supports research, design and development of new and renewable energy technologies, products and services.  Each state has State Renewable Energy Development Agencies that implement the Extension programmes of the MNRE.

MNRE has set up a Solar Energy Centre near Delhi for the testing of solar thermal and solar photovoltaic materials, devices and systems. It offers the platform for applied research and training. 

There is a Centre for Wind Energy Technology in Chennai for providing technical support to the Ministry regarding the implementation of wind energy programmes.  Research  and  Development programmes  are  sponsored  in research  institutions,  national  laboratories  and  in industries,  both  public  and  private  sectors.

The financing institution called the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) is developed in the public sector for market development and financing of renewable energy projects.


“India aims to triple its renewable power capacity by 2022 to 175 gigawatts by drawing on new solar and wind energy sources. The country is No. 4 in the world in terms of new solar power, No. 4 in the world based on cumulative wind power capacity.”

Electricity can be produced by creating steam out of the recycled waste water with the help of geothermal energy.  The steam is used to move the turbines to produces electricity.  Geothermal energy is produced by the heat of the earth and is often associated with volcanic or seismically active regions.  In India this is possible in very less number of places like Deccan Traps in Maharashtra; Barren and Baratang in Andaman Islands. 

“Calpine Corporation is America’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources with robust commercial, industrial and residential retail operations in key competitive power markets.”

“California, with its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," has 25 Known Geothermal Resource Areas (KGRAs), 14 of which have temperatures of 300 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.”

 “Naturally occurring steam field reservoirs below the earth's surface are found in the Mayacamas Mountains, located north of San Francisco.  The Geysers, as it is known as the largest producer of geothermal electricity in the world drawing steam from than 350 wells.”

Geothermal energy power plants can be used in other Asian countries that have more volcanic active regions. 


Re: Lady Doak College
by Manju Muraleedharan - Friday, 25 May 2018, 12:07 PM

*To produce electricity 

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Re: Lady Doak College
by Maheswari Bala - Saturday, 26 May 2018, 12:05 AM


It is possible to acheive 'clean energy' only by the reduction of carbon and other such emissions. As far as we use fossil fuels, there would be no reduction in carbon emission and the alternative would be to switch to renewables and nuclear energy. Though nuclear power has been fatal to human lives and the environment in the past, yet it is believed to have less fatalities in generating a unit of energy in comparison to "other major sources of energy generation" such as coal, pertroleum, natural gas and hydroelectricity. Hence, the combo of 'renewables' and 'nuclear energy' might pave the right path towards 'clean energy'. As far as India is concerned, solar energy would be the best. 


Transport and electricty are the two major areas where energy demand is high. Thus, these are the two areas responsile for high carbon emission.

India comes under the major countreis that face 'fuel poverty'. Most of the families in rural areas do not have access to grid electricty and rely on biomass. Though biomass is "carbon-neutral energy source", yet overusage of it leads to deforestation (one of the main reasons for climate change). In India 57% households are energy poor in rural areas and 28% in urban areas. In stead of thinking in terms of gving access to grid electricity to all these households, decentralized system of energy would be the appropriate solution. Some of decentralized technologies which uses renewable energy are,

  • huge biogas plants 
"clean gaseous fuel" can be generated out of organic substances like cattle–dung, and other bio-degradable materials such as biomass from farms, gardens, kitchens and night soil wastes etc.

  • solar street lanterns, solar home lighting systems, solar water heating systems, solar cookers, Standalone solar/ biomass based power generators, Wind pumps, Micro-Hydal plants are a few other decentralized energy technologies

As far as transport in India is concerned, E-vehicles, with incresed focus on renewable energy would be the hope for future.


Developed countreis like US enjoy clean energy at larger scale. A survey shows that 20% of the world's population (developed countries) use 80% of world energy. But it becomes impossibe for these developed countries to reap the benefit of them using NCO2 energy due to "the negative environmental spillovers produced by countries with low clean energy shares". The point here is disparity in equitable share of clean energy. When the disparity is reduced, the dream 'clean energy for all' might become true. 

On the whole, the focus should not be there only on 'generating clean energy' but also on the wise usage of the already existing energy. People remain insensitive to the latter. It is essential to create awareness about efficient usage of energy amidst all strata of people.

Re: Lady Doak College
by Manju Muraleedharan - Saturday, 26 May 2018, 1:38 PM

Hi Brant

We prepared a ppt regarding affordable renewable energy for everyone.  We found a document very useful and prepared the ppt based on it.  We have given the links too.

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Re: Lady Doak College
by Madhavan Parthasarathi - Thursday, 31 May 2018, 1:13 PM

Hi Manju

There is a game developed by Stephen Pacala, the Princeton University Professor. He says the wedge theory offers solutions to reduce carbon emissions. It is interesting. The Wedges Game! 


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Re: Lady Doak College
by Madhavan Parthasarathi - Saturday, 26 May 2018, 4:27 PM

1.      Clean technology is developing gradually in India.  People are aware of star rated energy efficient electronic appliances and they started buying them.  The major problem that still prevails in India is that majority of the people who have the access to electricity are unaware of energy saving management.  Eg.  Not following the manual while charging mobiles and laptops, not switching off the electronic devices after use.

2.  There are so many villages in India that have no access to electricity.  Privatisation of energy sector is not helping India.  The solar thermal power stations and wind energy industry are controlled by the private firms. Nationalisation of these industries will lead to cost effective production of renewable energy.  Using Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant as an alternative energy source is not a bright idea.  Transforming the already existing energy sources to green energy is the need of the hour. Alternative energy sources should not tamper the environment.   

3. Solar energy is the affordable clean energy which India can rely on.  The silicon tetrachloride waste produced during the making of solar panels should be properly used or disposed. The biggest challenge is finding an efficient way to handle the toxins and harmful by-products that cause both health and environmental issues. 

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Re: Lady Doak College
by Soniya Suruli Raj - Thursday, 31 May 2018, 11:17 PM

Hi everyone, 

This is something which struck me today. 

We are finding so much alternatives for energy, but it is also essential to find ways to store it and use it effectively .This video explains certain negatives and also offers certain solutions. Do have a look at it. 

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Re: Lady Doak College
by Anish Shrestha - Friday, 1 June 2018, 3:31 AM

Dear Mahe, Lady Doak College Team and Brant,

Thank you all for your very fruitful and engaging discussions here.I today would like to share about the Renewable Energy Subsidy and Central Renewable Energy Fund (CREF) facility initiated under Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Government of Nepal by Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC).

The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) is a Government institution established on November 03, 1996 with the main objective of developing and promoting renewable/alternative energy technologies in Nepal.

The government through APEC is providing small subsidy grants to public for develop the renewable energy sector and encourage very poor households to use renewable energy.The subsidy amount is expected to cover 40% of the total costs; with around 30% coming from credit and around 30% from private sector investment and/or community or households contribution (cash or in kind).

The small subsidy grant primarily focuses on off-grid applications and provides subsidies for mini/micro hydropower, improved water mill, solar energy (home systems, mini-grids, grid connected), biogas, biomass energy, wind energy and wind-solar hybrids. Detail of the subsidy for each technology type is provided in the Renewable Energy Subsidy Policy document. The subsidy amount differs according to technology and the region - with higher subsidy being offered for remote areas. Selected examples are:

Solar PV mini-grid:

  • Generation – equip. (per kWp): NPR 175,000 to 150,000/kWp (USD 1640 to 1410).
  • Distribution (per household): NPR 32,000 to 28,000/household (USD 300 to 260).

Mini/micro hydropower

  • Generation – equip. (per kW): NPR 125,000 to 80,000/kWp (USD 1175 to 750).
  • Generation – civil. (per kW): NPR 80,000 to 20,000/kWp (USD 300 to 190).
  • Distribution (per household): NPR 35,500 to 28,000/household (USD 333 to 260).

For technologies producing electricity output, the subsidy is not only given for equipment and civil work but also, where applicable, for development and deployment of distribution infrastructures.

Subsidy will also be provided for installation of solar PV systems in grid connected areas with irregular supply. This includes subsidies for solar street lighting in urban and rural areas and for solar PV systems in households, public educational institutions, public health facilities and religious places.

However the institution has failed to attract private investment in alternative energy systems as the current installations are subsidised by almost 50%, and are heavily dependent on the government.The centre also has realised that subsidies provided by the government alone will not lead to progress on renewable energy promotion in the country. Therefore AEPC has now started providing credit to banks, and the banks now extend loans to those who want to invest in renewable technology. The recently established Central Renewable Energy Fund (CREF) is the coordinating body.

Multiple donors and government will put money to a central basket, and the CREF will then select partner banks to channel these funds in the form of credit to businesses that are willing to invest in renewable energy, but do not have enough funds.

The businesses will use these subsidised loans as seed money; when they pay back the loan to the central fund, it will then be used to encourage other such initiatives,” Multiple donors have agreed to put money into the fund and the government has announced that it will invest NPR 5 billion (USD 50 million) in the venture.

The government has stated that renewable energy is its top priority and has been trying to provide electricity to all. The current share of renewable energy sources is less than 1% of the total, and only 10% of the population receives electricity from renewables. The government has committed to increasing the share of renewables to 10% and those accessing this energy to 30% of the population by 2030.

Biggest investment is in solar energy

Giving a large boost to this initiative, the sole electricity production authority – the Nepal Electricity Authority – has also agreed to buy electricity generated from the renewable resources from any private producer at a negotiated rate to distribute through its system. Until now the NEA used to purchase power only from hydropower projects.

I hope my this information helps you all to know about Nepal initiative for clean and sustainable energy.The financial subsidy is being a great tool on promoting clean energy systems through out the country. I do not have any idea on what is going on in India and South Asia on similar kind of subsidy programme and practices for clean energy. I will be really happy to get learn about subsidy programme for clean energy in your country India and who is taking a lead for it like Federal or State Government and if states which particular states there.

Your's Sincerely,



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Re: Lady Doak College
by Samreen Khan Ghauri - Friday, 1 June 2018, 4:02 AM

Dear Soniya,

cheers! such an interesting video! I would like to share an insightful story that how Coal consumption for generating energy in Pakistan effects environment! hope it give us more point to discuss energy crises.

Video Journalist, Blogger, Media Person
Re: Lady Doak College
by Sonahri Shaikh - Saturday, 30 June 2018, 3:56 PM

very informative discussion I must say! This platform is truly amazing.