Monday, 1 February 15:00 – 17:00 IST / 10:30-12:30 CET
The IWMI-led Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience (SoLAR) project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is organizing a series of six webinars between 1-5 February 2021. SoLAR project aims to generate knowledge to sustainably manage water-energy and climate interlinkages through the promotion of solar irrigation pumps (SIPs). The goal of the project is to contribute to climate-resilient, gender-equitable, and socially inclusive agrarian livelihoods in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan by supporting government efforts to promote solar irrigation.
Achieving progress in poverty reduction with minimal carbon emission is at the core of the climate and sustainability challenge. This need is particularly acute in South Asia, where further expansion of irrigation holds the promise of pulling smallholders out of poverty, but will also result in large increases in carbon emissions due to overwhelming dependence on fossil fuel-based groundwater pumping. SIPs offer a “climate resilient” solution, yet adoption is slow. Little is also known about the impact of SIPs on groundwater use. In this six-part SDC-IWMI webinar series, we will explore some of these larger questions around energy transition and SIPs in four South Asian countries.
The webinars will be 1.5 hour to 2-hour online events, and will involve speakers from all four countries, as well as speakers from outside the region and will be open to the general public.
In Webinar 1, we will set the scene to understand the larger systemic challenges on the road to clean energy transition in South Asia, and how SIPs can help in that transition
As a part of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitments, countries across South Asia are committed to reducing carbon emissions across multiple sectors, including agriculture. Irrigation accounts for 10 to 20 percent of total agricultural emissions in South Asia. South Asia has 25-30 million irrigation pumps. These irrigation pumps cumulatively extract roughly 250 km3 of groundwater per year, making South Asia the largest user of groundwater in the world. Replacing fossil fuel-based pumps (diesel or electric) with solar irrigation pumps (SIPs), is a promising way of reducing gren house gas emissions, while also delivering triple benefits of assured irrigation for agricultural growth and poverty reduction, better air quality and improved health outcomes. SIPs are a part of the larger energy transition in the region and face several challenges.
This webinar will explore the larger challenges in energy transition across South Asia and explore the role effective SIP policies and programs can play in that energy transition.
Moderator: Dr. Aditi Mukherji, IWMI, India
Speakers and Topics:
- Welcome address by Dr. Corrine Demenge, SDC and Dr. Mark Smith, IWMI
- Political economy of energy transition in South Asia: Dr. Rahul Tongia, Centre for Social and Economic Progress, India, and Brookings Institute
- Challenges in energy transition, with a focus on solar energy: Dr. Rohit Chandra, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
- Emissions from irrigation pumps in South Asia: The case of Black Carbon: Dr. Stuti Rawat, Education University of Hong Kong
- Indian DISCOMS and the lure of solar irrigation pumps: Dr. Anas Rahman, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)
- Mr. Dipal Barua, Bright Green Energy Foundation, Bangladesh
- Dr. Ram Dhital, Nepal Electricity Regulatory Commission, Nepal
- Dr. Tushaar Shah, IWMI, India
- Ms. Maha Qasim, ADB Institute, Pakistan
Register here on Zoom for Webinar 1
More information on the SoLAR webinar series here