GTEC’s MD, Griff Thomas, was a speaker at a webinar hosted by the British High Commission in New Delhi on the 23rd March 2021.
He was there to talk about the important role that high quality renewables training will play in India’s ambitious plans to decarbonize its cities over the coming decades.
Britain is keen to play a part in the decarbonisation of India and joint working groups have been running since 2017 to create sustainable models for the future.
As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has given India’s clean energy revolution his backing and supports moves to use energy from wind and solar, as well as biomass, to meet his country’s climate change obligations.
The webinar began with an introduction by government representatives from Britain and India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
Then there was a detailed summary of a study by KPMG, based on the Punjabi city of Patiala where biomass and solar photovoltaics (SPV) are generating energy to power the city’s needs.
Action not words
There’s a focus on action in India’s plans for decarbonisation, with priorities to develop concrete solutions to the challenges of energy production and air quality across the whole country. It’s hoped that the Punjab study will be seen as a blueprint that can be rolled out to across the country.
In Patiala, the large biomass plant uses food and agricultural waste, including surplus crop residue, to produce energy. This residue is paddy straw from rice crops, which traditionally would have been burnt off by the farmers, leading to serious air pollution.
Brownfield sites in and around the city are being earmarked for solar panels – as are thousands of city rooftops.
Collaboration and the sharing of ideas
India is looking at the potential of twinning with cities in the UK where advances in green energy production are already cutting carbon levels. One such place is Aberdeen, which declared itself a Climate Positive City in 2020.
Aberdeen’s Lord Provost, Barney Crockett outlined the city’s plans to change from a largely oil and gas based energy economy to a more sustainable one in the future, relying chiefly on offshore wind turbines which produce hydrogen at scale.
He showed the delegates photographs of Aberdeen’s new hydrogen-powered convention centre and pictures of a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses and municipal vehicles, some of which are being used to collect waste, others for private transport.
Next up was James Rundell from Qube Renewables, an innovative engineering company, which is helping countries across the globe find ways to safely and sustainably change waste into green energy.
GTEC at the webinar
With 20 years’ experience leading renewables training in the UK and worldwide, GTEC is well positioned to provide guidance on large-scale renewable training programmes. GTEC is already involved in several biomass and SPV projects in India, which has given Griff invaluable experience on the ground.
Griff picked up on the theme of job creation, which was outlined in KPMG’s report on Patalia, where it is anticipated that the green energy economy will create between seven and eight thousand new jobs, some aimed specifically at women.
Griff explained why skills training should be seen as a vital part in the supply chain delivering the decarbonisation programme; the necessity to clearly define training objectives and the importance of identifying the skills gap as well as a potential new workforce.
He went on to explain the value of strategic planning and logistics to ensure the successful delivery of training, down to the tiniest detail. He outlined routes to best-practice, emphasizing the importance of high-quality, standardized and accredited training across the board to ensure consistency.
The development of clearly defined learning outcomes and aims, forming a bespoke training framework and a formal qualification with national or regional recognition, so that once trained, learners feel invested in and committed to the work they are doing.