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India is making gratifying progress installing wind and solar power and launching grid and institutional improvements to harness them. These renewable sources are the cheapest new source of bulk power in India and nearly everywhere else, and India is often the low-price world leader. However, half the historic and at least half the prospective climate solution is on the demand side—using energy in a way that saves money—even before we count ‘integrative design’—a way to design buildings, vehicles, and factories as whole systems for multiple benefits.
Combining efficient use with new ways to integrate renewable supplies, keeping the grid reliable and resilient as it becomes renewable, can make India’s energy transition faster, easier, and less costly. That in turn can bring the security, economic, health, and environmental benefits of fossil-free energy to all India in our lifetimes. Whilst research will further expand our options, the whole energy space is already replete with remarkable innovations expanding rapidly. We already have enough technologies. What we need is more deployment and discernment, so we can scale the energy system we need, with speed, agility, equitiy, and humility.
The New India Foundation, based in Bangalore, uniquely matches public-spirited philanthropy with ground-breaking and relevant scholarship. Its activities include the granting of fellowships, the organizing of lectures, and the publication of books on the history and culture of independent India. The Foundation has endowed an annual New India Foundation Lecture, delivered by a distinguished scholar or writer on an extraordinary range of themes around modern India. The NIF Lecture was renamed in 2019 to the ‘Girish Karnad Memorial Lecture’ in honour of the late multi-lingual scholar and playwright.
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For five decades, consultant physicist Amory B Lovins has been advising firms and governments about the nexus of energy, resources, development, security, economy, and environment in more than 70 countries. Bridging numerous disciplines, he is widely considered among the world’s leading authorities on energy—especially its superefficient use and sustainable supply—and a fertile innovator in integrative design. He evolved that novel method over decades and has applied it worldwide in redesigning hundreds of buildings, over $50 billion worth of factories, and numerous road, sea, and air vehicles.
He has published 31 books and more than 850 papers, and won numerous awards including the Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, twelve honourary doctorates, the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood, [US] National Design, and World Technology Awards, and Germany’s highest civilian honour (the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse). In 2009, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world; Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers.
Nicknamed the “Einstein of energy efficiency”, Lovins, an adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, has been one of the world’s leading advocates and innovators of energy conservation for 50 years. He is co-founder and chairman emeritus of Rocky Mountain Institute, which he served as chief scientist 2007–19 and now supports as a contractor and trustee. His avocations include fine-art mountain and landscape photography, writing, music, linguistics, great-ape language and conservation, and Taoism.
Nandan Nilekani co-founded Infosys and is the Non Executive Chairman of Infosys from 24, Aug 2017. He is the Co-founder and Chairman of EkStep, a not-for-profit effort to create a learner centric, technology based platform to improve basic literacy and numeracy for millions of children. He was most recently the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of a Cabinet Minister.
Born in Bengaluru, Nilekani received his Bachelor’s degree from IIT, Bombay. Fortune Magazine conferred him with “Asia’s Businessman of the year 2003”. In 2005 he received the prestigious Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences and politics .In 2006, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan. He was also named Businessman of the year by Forbes Asia. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006 & 2009. Foreign Policy magazine listed him as one of the Top 100 Global thinkers in 2010. He won The Economist Social & Economic Innovation Award for his leadership of India’s Unique Identification initiative (Aadhaar). In 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from E & Y. CNBC- TV 18 conferred India Business leader award for outstanding contributor to the Indian Economy-2017 and he also received the 22nd Nikkei Asia Prize for Economic & Business Innovation 2017.
Nandan Nilekani is the author of “Imagining India” and co- authored his second book with Viral Shah, “Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations”.