'Rational Use of Energy at Urban Level'

> Introduction
> Innovative Urban Management
: A brief project summary
> Workshop Events
> Conclusion
> List of Participants

We take this opportunity to thank all the participants for their kind presence and contributions to the workshop 'Rational Use of Energy at Urban Level', held on 25th and 26th of November 2002 at the Centre for Urban Research in Auroville.


The workshop brought to light the existing scenario of energy management in Municipal bodies in South India. It was efficiently coordinated by Prof. Mohanty, energy expert of Asia Urbs, adjunct faculty in Asian Institute of Technology and regional advisor at ADEME, who presented simple solutions and varied examples in India on effective energy management. The workshop welcomed also the active contributions from the participants from Auroville. They brought out various studies and researches conducted in Auroville. Site visits inside Auroville were part of the program and provided a good balance to the theoretical presentations.

Innovative Urban Management: A brief project summary

The project has created an Auroville Municipal Management Facility consisting of a building to contain the Centre for Urban Research, and the equipment and human resources where the activities of the present urban and regional development services of Auroville can be integrated, co-ordinated and enhanced in a more effective way. The project is subdivided into several activities of research, communication and exchanges, training, and direct action upon municipal and town planning services. All the actions are unified under a common vision aiming at the growth of Auroville and at the diffusion of the experience, know-how and the capacity acquired in the surrounding region and in India at large.

The Centre For Urban Research, Planning and Development constitutes a centre for exchange of experiences and communication between Indian and Europeans experts, technicians, administrators and students involved in the sustainable development of cities. It has a fully equipped conference room, a multimedia centre cum library with documentation on town planning, urban challenges in India, Asia and the world and offices for the planning/development urban services.
Within the scope of the project, the C.U.R. is undertaking the preparation of a 5-year detailed Master Plan for Auroville; the realisation of studies in water and energy management; the setting up of an environmental laboratory; the creation of a city nursery for the development of the green areas ; the training of young local residents in the fields of electricity, solar energy and green work.

Worshop Events

The complete activities of the workshop were divided into three sessions; two of presentations and one session on 25th afternoon for site visits in Auroville. The participants were asked to fill up a brief questionnaire to highlight the energy- based expenditures such as electricity for street lighting, pumping, vehicular expenses with respect to the population and the area of the city. The questionnaire also raised issues on management and environment initiatives taken by the civic body. The objective of the questionnaire was to enlighten the existing scene in the respective cities and also particularly for the coordinator Prof. Mohanty, who believed that the first step in urban management was that of the energy sector were positive initiatives and simple measures will directly reflect on the energy bills of the municipality.

Friday 25th October 2002:

The workshop started on Friday 25th October, at 9am. After a brief introduction and a participant's familiarization, the different presentations scheduled for the day took place.

  1. "Presentation of the workshop objectives"- by Brahmanand Mohanty
    'If you cannot protect your environment, your environment cannot sustain you' Mohanty elaborated further how on an urban level this means we need to take care of all our natural resources: water, soil, wood, energy. This workshop focused on "rational energy use at urban level", and different elements of this approach were to be presented: conscious planning, use of renewable energies, demand side management and more.

  2. "Introduction to Auroville's Master Plan: elements of energy conscious planning"- by Lalit Kishor Bhati.
    Lalit highlighted how energy is an essential and very strongly interlinked aspect of growth and development in the urban planning. Reasons for high energy consuming development approach in the past, and also in the present, include poor awareness and capacity to implement the concept of 'resource management', dependency on external resources, motorized transportation system, low public awareness and participation etc.. Auroville was presented as a case study and the highlights of energy conscious approach for integrated sustainable development were explained.

  3. "Approach to urban energy management"- by Brahmanand Mohanty. Every city in the world nowadays depends on fossil fuels to fulfil its energy needs, with serious harmful impact on the environment. The solution lies in managing energy needs and changing energy sources. Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) are working together with local governments to use a comprehensive and strategic energy management approach that eventually leads to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    There are over 400 participating local governments in 63 countries. The five milestones of a CCP performance include? conducting an energy and emission inventory and forecast, adopting an energy and emission goal, developing a local action plan, implementing policies and measures, and finally monitoring and verifying the results. Case studies in the Philippines, Mexico and India were also presented.

  4. "Electricity demand management in Auroville" by Charles.
    Benefits of a demand side management can be seen from a customer perspective (lower bills, improved electricity supply), a national perspective (less import of fossil fuels, lower risk from supply vulnerabilities), and also from a societal perspective (lower environmental emissions). The Auroville case is illustrated: options for demand side management, electricity consumption, understanding of the tariff structure etc. Some examples on energy consumption patterns for lighting, refrigerators, fans and office equipments were also given.

  5. "Introduction of Auroville's activities related to urban energy management" by Tency Baetens.
    The presentation focused on Auroville's efforts, over the years, in building up urban management criteria that would respect the environment. The use of green energies like wind power and solar was addressed and in particular two main Auroville's project were presented: the solar bowl, a solar system that allows to cook daily for more than 1000 people, and the Matrimandir solar plant, a 36 kW installation of photovoltaic panels, unique in the world. Further topics included the use of ferro-cement as low-cost building material, the development of appropriate wastewater treatment and solid waste management systems, and the importance of trainings and education among technicians and people.

The afternoon was dedicated to site visits:
Solar bowl at the solar kitchen,
Vikas residential community,
Matrimandir, Matrimandir power plant,
Centre for Scientific Research (CSR).

Saturday 26th October 2002:

Saturday's session started again at 9am. The following presentations took place:

  1. "Energy-efficient designing and management of municipal buildings"- by Brahmanand Mohanty.
    Together with the application form for the workshop, the participants were asked to fill out a little questionnaire about the electricity consumption and the energy management in their municipalities. All the information collected was analyzed and the results shown during this presentation. For all the participants it was a very interesting way and an effective tool to compare their work with the other municipalities of south India. Particularly data like electricity used for lighting and for pumping-supplying water, and data of the costs connected to these operations were presented.

  2. "Green energy supply options"- by Hemant Lamba.
    The state of the world energy is that, we have big utilities, over centralized, often monopolies, politically dominating and distant from users. Changes for good in these past years have been caused by deregulation, bankruptcy (Enron), political debacles (September 11th) and also technical innovations. Rising scenarios focus on more distributed/decentralized power, energy service providers, smaller utilities and a closer relation between user and producer. The presentation focused mainly on the green resources: sun, wind, hydro, oceans, wood and waste. Emerging technologies were presented and Auroville's use of green power was given as an example of commitment to environment and ecology. Furthermore renewable energy options for urban India were discussed.

  3. "Solar energy in Auroville"- by Karen Stocker.
    The presentation illustrated the potential for solar applications in India, focusing on the Auroville case as a successful example. Two situations were mainly addressed: solar energy for pumping water and solar energy for charging batteries, presenting both their advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore a detailed cost analysis of solar compared to grid-electricity was presented and some advices on how to improve the overall performance of the system, how to reduce the water and the energy consumption were given.

  4. "Demand side management for utilities" by R.K. Iyer.
    In the energy management field, objectives of a demand side management (DSM) include technical loss reduction in distribution systems, customer education and service, improvement in supply quality and end use efficiency up gradation. By identifying problems, finding possible solutions ad educating the customer, DSM can be a very effective tool. The presentation illustrated a few case studies and showed how from an efficient DSM everyone wins: the customer, the utility and the Energy Service Company.

  5. "Water-energy nexus, sharing Auroville's experience" - by Brahmanand Mohanty.
    In municipal operations, the electricity cost needed for water pumping represents usually 60-70% of the total cost. By starting from this statement, the presentation showed a few successful stories of different Indian municipalities, where efficiency improvement options led to save water by acting on the losses, to reduce the energy use without affecting the yield, and finally to reduce the peak demand charges in the electricity bill. The lesson learnt is that there is a significant energy efficiency improvement potential in the municipal water systems, with attractive benefits starting from modest investments. Beneficiaries include both municipalities and the customers.

  6. "Geographical Information System as an effective tool for energy management" by Jayanta Ganguly.
    Auroville GIS Centre
    has established a collaborative work between CAD and GIS engines, which allows to get a detailed spatial database of the area by using differential GPS and electronic theologise for survey-grade mapping, IRS satellite images for base map generation, and CAD to draft all the mapping works. Currently the database includes data revenue boundaries, wells, groundwater and meteorology, electrical distribution system, built-up infrastructure, resident's master list, natural resources (water bodies, forests, etc), derived structures (geomorphology, land-use/cover), regional administrative boundaries and settlements, and all India census. GIS is believed to be an effective tool for energy management, and more in general for urban planning.


We in Auroville's Future feel very happy about the workshop activities and outcome. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Brahmanand Mohanty who has been so helpful and instrumental for the success of this workshop. His interactive talks facilitated very participatory and enriching sessions. We also thank Mr. R.K Iyer, who made it to the workshop despite heavy engagements, to be with us and contribute his experiences in the field.
We thank also the complete team of Auroville for their valuable support.
We will take into consideration all the suggestions and issues rose by the participants for the forthcoming workshops.
While we thank again all the invitees to the workshop for their participation, we sincerely hope that their time with us has been fruitful and inspiring and that they take home from here what we believe it is the true spirit of Auroville, to learn and to share.

List of Participants

1. Mr. Muralikrishna -Kottayam
2. Mr. V. Marimuttu - Cuddalore
3. Mr. S.M.Chintha Matthar - Thanjavur
4. Mr. Timma Gowda- Mysore
5. Mr. A. Srinivasan - Salem
6. Mr. Venugopal - Trivandrum
7. Mr. P Chandrashekar - Tiruchirapalli
8. Mr. L. A Pappa - Ramanathapuram
9. Mr. Naveen Raj Singh - Hubli-Dharwad
10. Mr. K. Yedukondala Rao - Vijayawada
11. Mr. K. Periasamy - Madurai
12. Mr. C. Shivashankara- Bangalore
13. Mr. Shivanna Bangalore
14. Mr. Ramakrishnana Thirrussur
15. Mr. Govindan Thirrussur
16. Mr. Alphonse. S Pondicherry
17. Mr. Anbarasu- Pondicherry
18. Mr. V. Kalaichelvan Pondicherry
19. Prof. D.V.S Murthy- IIT, Chennai
20. Mr. G. Dattatri- Sustain, Chennai
21. Mr. R.K Iyer, Esco electronics Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore
22. Mr. Ashish S. Kelkar Auroville

Auroville Participants:
1. Mr. Lalit Kishor Bhati
2. Mr. Joyanta Ganguly
3. Mr. Charles
4. Miss. Karen Stocker
5. Mr. Hemant Lamba
6. Mr. Tency Beatons
7. Mr. Bramhanand Mohanty
8. Mr. Pashi Kapoor
9. Mr. Sauro Mazzetti
10. Mr. Luigi Zanzi

Support Staff:
1. Mr. Babu
2. Mr. Ponnuswamy
3. Mrs. Astrid
4. Mr. Sudhir Rao - Equipment
5. Miss. Rema -Travel
6. Mrs. Anandi Breton - Coordinator Administration
7. Miss. Sheril Castallino - Photography
8. Miss. Supriya. V - Coordinator
9. Mr. Tixon - Graphics
10. Mr. Guna - Graphics
11. Mr. Sakthi Vel - Data processor
12. Mrs. Devaki - Administration
13. Mr. Prabakar - Administration
14. Miss. Mayil - Tea/ Coffee Catering

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