Prof. Dhakal speaks to an invited talk to Asian and Pacific Center for Technology Transfer (APCTT) of UN-ESCAP on “Innovations and technology applications for clean and renewable energy transition in cities”

In an invited talk by APCTT of UN-ESCAPE, Prof. Dhakal argues that there is an utter lack of ‘systemic viewpoints’ and ‘comprehensive technology roadmaps’ for cities for enabling the evolving technologies for complementing towards clean and renewable energy based urban energy transition.

Urban energy system is dominated by ‘centralized and supply-centric’ approach, it is seen as just an extension of national energy system without due recognition of energy resources and their potentials in cities. Cities, by definition, have high population densities and compact urban fabric and RE is ‘not enough’ to feed a city’s energy demand, given limited city areas and thus cities’ must work with its hinterlands. Several promising supply-side (PV, solar thermal, waste to energy, biofuels, waste heat) and a large number of demand-side technologies exist but yet city’s renewable energy targets and climate mitigation commitments have yet not been able to rally ‘energy system integration’ in cities.

Prof. Dhakal speaks on transformative opportunities of urban system and infrastructure for zero-emission future in the context of Paris Agreement in a forum organized by APEC Sustainable Energy Center

The 7th Asia and Pacific Sustainable Energy Forum, 15-17 September, 2021

Energy Transition Solutions  Sub-forum

Energy Transition and Low Carbon Green Development

Beijing Time (GMT+8) 09:00-17:20, September 17, 2021

PowerPoint Slides are here.

Key points of presentation:

Global energy sector emissions growth has slowed in recent years and global share of fossil fuels is down from 73% in 1990 to 68% in 2018.

Expectations from energy sector in Net Zero Emission pathways is enormous.

Role of urban system and infrastructure in global emissions and future mitigation potentials is immense. Cities contribute, more than 54% of the global population, ~80% of global GDP, as a global economic engine, two-thirds of global energy consumption and more than 70% of annual global carbon emissions. Asian cities play a key part. By 2050 about 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. A massive growth in demand for direct urban energy in horizon, especially in the developing  world where per capita energy tends  to increase with urbanization. We also expect a massive growth in physical infrastructure thus impacting indirect/embodied energy use. Cities are key to  net-zero emission future. Decarbonisation of cities is a global priority, and it has special significance to achieving national commitments.

There are multi-dimensional ways of cities to influence energy and emission.

Opportunities for transformative change are enormous and multifaceted. These are: avoiding ‘lock-in’ in rapidly urbanizing regions, re-engineering the built cities, upscaling and addressing disruptive innovations, technologies and behaviour, recognizing digitalization as drivers for change early on, and bridging the mitigation potential’s policy and governance paradox.

However, key challenges needs to overcome such as: need to go beyond Incremental change to transformative change, system thinking looking urban as a holistic unit – instead of sectoral thinking, deploying far-reaching market-based solutions coupled with planning, such as pricing mechanism, overcoming the governance paradox and policy fragmentations, addressing energy and emission implications of cities to ‘outside’ its physical boundaries, smoothening the entry points: Demonstrating the best practice technologies, and local co-benefits of urban-scale mitigation actions.

Prof. Dhakal in Reuters news argues that Indonesia’s biodiesel and Electric Vehicle policies could work in tandem until next two decades.

In Reuters news below, Prof. Dhakal argued that Indonesia’s biodiesel and Electric Vehicle policies could work in tandem until next two decades for climate change, energy security and economic imperatives. EV penetration in light duty vehicle segment will not be overnight and take time. Biodiesel still makes strong sense for heavy-duty and freight transportation as a low-carbon option. EVs cannot meaningfully contribute to climate change mitigation immediately since almost 85% of Indonesia’s electricity supply comes from fossil fuel and yet, the future of clean electricity is not rosy. However, Indonesia MUST push EVs ahead as priority with consistent policies unlike some big economy like India that went back-and-forth in the past

The new is carried by global media in many countries.

Prof. Dhakal speaks to Reuters on G7 Climate Pledge and what it means to Asia

# After decades of rising emissions, just a statement on limiting coal-fired power by G7 (via) direct funding can hardly be seen as going far enough
# The commitment would have been stronger with a clear timeline for phasing out [existing] fossil fuel infrastructure
# But it could nonetheless prove a “game-changer” in Asia-Pacific where coal remains a mainstay for power generation
# The G7 decision to end new overseas coal funding will ratchet up pressure on Asian countries, from economic giants such as China to fast-developing economies like Bangladesh and Cambodia, to move away from coal
# Without Asia changing course, the world cannot meet any meaningful global targets