ZerO-In Dialogue #2 on Emerging Technologies in G-NZEBs

Emerging Technologies in G-NZEBs

Growing electricity demand, the emergence of multiple peaks, distributed power, electric vehicles, infrastructure constraints, and an increasing share of renewables in the network are a challenge for the utilities in India and South Asia. As the electricity grid becomes increasingly complex, flexibility in demand plays a vital role in ensuring its efficiency and stability.

Grid-Interactive Net Zero Energy Buildings provide flexibility by reducing energy waste and balancing energy use during times of peak demand through climate responsive design, appliance and equipment efficiency, interactive technology, and integrated renewable solutions. This dialogue focused on emerging and innovative technologies that enable tapping on to the demand flexibility offered by buildings and appliances, in turn empowering utilities with improved demand management.


  • Introduction to ZerO-In Dialogues 02
    Apurva Chaturvedi (Senior Clean Energy Specialist, USAID India)
  • Understanding Grid-Interactive Net Zero Energy Buildings
    Nidhi Gupta (Associate Director, EDS [MAITREE])
  • Address – Moving towards Net Zero Emissions
    John Smith-Sreen (Indo Pacific Office, USAID)
  • Demand Management and Distributed Energy Resources – A Utility Perspective
    Mona Chandra (Distributed Energy Resources, National Grid, Waltham MA)
  • IoT for Interconnected Intelligence in Grid-Interactive Buildings and Smart Cities
    Amrita Chowdhury (Co-founder, Gaia Smart Cities)
  • A Case for Innovations in Technology for Continuous Energy Optimization in Buildings
    Arjun P Gupta( Founder and CEO, Smart Joules)
  • Smart Grids for Smart Buildings
    Atul Bali (Chief General Manager, National Smart Grid Mission)
  • Q&A
    Tanmay Tathagat (Director, EDS [MAITREE])

1. John Smith-Sreen (Director, Indo Pacific Office, USAID)

John is serving as the Director of the Indo-Pacific Office since October 2021. Until recently, John served as the Economic Growth Office Director in Bangladesh and as Deputy Mission Director in Karachi, Pakistan. From 2016-18, John was the Director of the Afghanistan Division in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs (OAPA) in Washington, DC. A member of the Senior Foreign Service, John joined USAID in 2000 and has now served in seven Missions including India, Jordan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya/East Africa, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Over the years, he has worked with CARE, Catholic Relief Services, the American Red Cross, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

2.Atul K Bali(Chief General Manager, National Smart Grid Mission)

Atul Bali is an Electrical Engineer who has over 28 years of rich experience in the power sector. His experience spans design, engineering, monitoring, and successful implementation of SCADA/EMS/DMS projects. He has worked in NHPC, POWERGRID, and PFC, the Navratna Public Sector Undertakings of Ministry of Power, Government of India. He has been associated from concept to commissioning of the Unified Load Despatch & Communication Scheme and has also supervised the implementation of IT-based distribution reform projects under the prestigious Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (RAPDRP).

3.Mona Chandra(Distributed Energy Resources, National Grid, Waltham MA)

As an architect, a strategist, specializing in energy efficiency and smart technologies, Mona is passionate about sustainability and design solutions that can transform our environment, and address our future energy needs and climate change. She now manages a team responsible for developing a transition strategy to move customers towards Net Zero by 2050., by implementing Gas Demand Response programs that reduce gas usage during peak periods and alleviate the need to build new gas infrastructure in Massachusetts and New York.In addition to her Architectural Degree, she has a Masters in Science in Building design.

4.Amrita Chowdhury(Co-founder, Gaia Smart Cities)

Amrita is a business strategist, engineer & innovator. She brings a unique understanding of business growth, technology, digital spaces, and brands. Previously, Amrita served as President & CEO of DY Works (Future Group); Country Head South Asia for Harlequin; and Associate Director, Education for Harvard Business School for South Asia. Amrita provided Board assessments and strategy consulting with AT Kearney in USA and Oppeus in Australia for clients in the mining, tech, automotive, professional services, and government sectors. She started her journey in innovation and product development with Applied Materials in California.

Amrita holds 7 US patents for semiconductor manufacturing. She is an Independent Director on the Boards of Simmonds Marshall, Nesco, and Mahindra Lifespaces Developers Ltd, and on the Board of Drishtant, a tech startup for the social sector.

5.Arjun P Gupta (Founder and CEO, Smart Joules)

Arjun is on a mission to eliminate India’s need for fossil fuel-based energy. Arjun started Smart Joules in 2014 to drive substantial energy efficiency improvements across India’s businesses and factories, based on the belief that efficiency is the quickest, cheapest, and most scalable way to tackle energy inequity and climate change. Under Arjun’s leadership, Smart Joules has executed multiple energy efficiency retrofit projects in Hospitals and has won national and international recognition and financial support for its work. Arjun was recognized in 2014 as one of India’s top Young Leaders by the Economic Times newspaper, in 2015 as an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, in 2016 as Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Business Standard and Climate Strategies Accelerator Fellow by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.

6.Apurva Chaturvedi (Senior Clean Energy Specialist, USAID India)

Apurva is a clean energy professional currently working as Senior Clean Energy Specialist in the energy division of the Indo-Pacific Office in USAID/India. She has over 15 years of experience in the clean energy and power sector. She has experience in designing, leading, and managing several clean energy programs at USAID. Her area of expertise is strategy formulation and program design & management. She is currently leading the distribution utilities, smart grids, e-mobility, and energy efficiency portfolio of USAID’s clean energy program in India. Prior to USAID, she worked for British Council, British High Commission, as Project Manager-Climate Change for four years. She has done her Masters in Microbiology with a specialization in Environment microbiology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights.

7.Tanmay Tathagat (Director, EDS [MAITREE])

Tanmay leads the Environmental Design Solutions [EDS] team of consultants working on climate change policies, energy-efficient building design, building code development, energy efficiency policy development, energy simulation, and green building certification process. Tanmay has extensive experience in green building design, energy simulation, architectural and mechanical design, and green building certification process. Since 2002 EDS has worked on over 200 green building and energy efficiency projects worldwide. Tanmay hails from New Delhi. He completed his M.S in Building Design from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA in 1996.

8. Nidhi Gupta (Associate Director, EDS [MAITREE])

Nidhi is passionate about projects and programs that inspire behavioral change toward creating a harmonious life on our planet. Her professional experience includes corporate sustainability portfolio advisory, green building rating development, performance evaluation & benchmarking, green dashboard development, program design and implementation for scaling up of affordable, energy-efficient, and healthy strategies, etc. She has worked with several architects, developers, and corporations on the implementation of sustainability initiatives in the domain of built environment. Currently, she is working towards integrating environmental thinking, approach, and processes into government programs and policies.

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