On our last day in India, we visited TERI(Tata Energy Research Institute) university, located in the south of New Delhi. TERI, is a research institute established in 1974, and its focus fields are energy, environment and sustainable development. The Institute’s Director General is Dr. R.K. Pachauri, who is also the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Before we head to TERI University, we had chance to visit TERI RETREAT and take a walk around beautiful trail and garden. I really enjoyed relaxing time of being out of honking while being around green that I had not had during the trip. After 30 minutes of introduction of TERI and its green buildings, we explored different parts of the site in order to study how TERI facilities are designed to be self-sufficient in terms of power supply and also to study the technologies that the institution develops. The facilities in TERI RETREAT use process that is environmentally friendly and resource-efficient throughout the life-cycle of the facilities. TERI RETREAT consists of a residential training facility for executives and research laboratories of various fields regarding environment and sustainability.
Our tour started with the residential complex. The building uses bio mass gasifier as the power source. The building faces south to maximize sun light gain and has solar panels on the roof, the energy from which is used to heat up water. The building maintains its room temperature at 20 °C in winter, 28 °C in summer through circulating underground air from 4 meters below as the temperature of underground air is around 26 °C all year around. The facility can save around 40% of energy with this air conditioning system compared to conventional way. The waste water management system cleans waste water from toilets and kitchens by using reed plants. The way that the complex utilizes plants and air conditioning system to minimize energy consumption was very impressive, and I was surprised by that fact that India ranked second globally for green building in terms of square feet after U.S because my first impression of India was far from ‘green’ after seeing loads of trash and untreated sewage every corner and breathing in polluted air in Chennai and New Delhi.
(Check out the news from The Hindu Business Line if you are interested in. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/economy/article3296791.ece?homepage=true&ref=wl_home)
Although it will be challenging to adopt the technologies used in the TERI complex in urban areas with limited space and dense population, I became more optimistic about environment in India after this tour.
After exploring residential complex, we moved to bio mass gasifier site as well as laboratories of oil zapper. Oil Zapper is basically bacterial strains that suck up oils and convert them into water and CO2. The product can be widely applied for oil refinery sites and oil splits caused by accidents. The product interested me because Korea had a massive oil spilt in Taean County in 2007. At that time, more than 1.8 million volunteer workers cleaned every stone in the beach by hands. Although effective microorganism products were used after much of work had been done by hands, it might have taken shorter time to revitalize the area if products like Oil Zapper had been applied in the earlier point.
TERI showed me whole different story of India, green technology. We traveled to TERI university campus and wrapped up our visit by attending lectures given by Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Dr. Srivastava of TERI and Professor Sundaram regarding climate change and business.