Auroville has been active in renewable energy generation since the early years, starting with windmills for water pumping and stand-alone solar PV systems with battery banks. In 2012 Auroville pioneered rooftop grid-connected solar energy by proposing to the Tamil Nadu Government that pilot projects may be undertaken in Auroville with grid-connectivity.
To transition Auroville towards a net zero carbon electrical energy future will require accelerating deployment of renewable energy sources and implementing comprehensive energy efficiency programs. Distributed, locally installed renewable generation capacity, energy storage solutions, demand side management programs and an IoT integrated electrical distribution infrastructure are needed to facilitate this transition.
The deployment of distributed, locally installed, renewable energy system has the potential to reduce Auroville’s overall electricity cost, improve supply quality and reliability and contribute to a more resilient energy system. A 100% sourcing of Auroville’s electricity demand from renewable sources can be achieved by 2030.
The Auroville Renewable Energy Sourcing plan explores different 10-year scenarios to accelerate Auroville’s progress towards a renewable energy future. This plan considers only the ‘on-campus’ electricity consumption, which is the load currently connected – or expected to be connected in future – to Auroville’s internal distribution network.
Load centres outside the Auroville masterplan area or in the green belt of Auroville are not part of this exercise. Its objective is to estimate future electricity demand based on population and electricity consumption growth assumptions and energy efficiency load reduction strategies and to present 6 different sourcing strategies.