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Energy Conservation

Better living standards, modernisation, industrialisation or development in all aspects is closely related with energy consumption. According to the International Energy Agency projections, world primary energy demand expected to exceed half between 2005 and 2030 with an average annual rate of 1.8%.

In the twenty first century, energy consumption is increasing at the fastest rate in developing nations due to rapid population growth, modernisation, urbanisation, industrialisation and economic development. According to IEA, projection, developing countries expected to contribute approximately 74% of the increase in global primary energy consumption from 2005 to 2030. India is also a very fast developing country. Like every country, India is also continuously increasing its power generation capacity. India has increased its installed capacity from 1362 MW in 1947 to 271,722 MW in 2015 with major portion (approx 70%) of thermal based generation.

In spite of such growth in generation, the imbalance between demand and generation of electrical energy is increasing every year. This imbalance in power generation and demand is because of India’s vast population of more than 1.28 billion, and limited natural energy sources present in India. The developing countries like India are obliged to maintain a certain growth rate for which energy is ingredient.

Japan and U.S.A. have lower energy intensity per unit of GDP compared to India. India has 3.7 times and 1.55 times energy per unit GDP in reference of Japan and U.S.A. respectively. This clearly indicates the inefficient use of electricity in India also responsible for imbalance between generation and demand. So there are two terms energy efficiency and energy conservation, which have their own significance in electricity sector.

The reduction in gap between demand and generation needs efficient use of energy and its conservation. Efficient use and conservation has its importance in view of the fact that if we save one unit of consumption reduces the need of generation from 1.5 to 3 times of it. Generation of additional electricity is costly and needs long time in establishment, but the energy conservation activities can be implemented in short time period – and will reduce the gap between generation and demand at comparatively low investment.

Energy conservation is nothing but a strategic use of energy in order to reduce the energy requirements per unit output. In India, for energy conservation and efficient use of energy, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) implements norms for appliances etc. BEE also started ‘Star Rating System’ for electrical appliances i.e. lamps, geysers, television etc. In star system, 5 star indicates that it gives highest efficiency in this segment.

Strategies for energy saving in industry sector

Energy conservation options available in industrial sector are as diverse as the industries themselves. Most of the industries mainly use electric motors, compressors, boilers, furnaces etc.

Half of the total energy consumption is due to motors used for processes in industry that may give sufficient options for financial savings from energy consumption. Remarkable savings can be achieved with regard to the selection and operation of electric motors by following four things: energy efficient motors, variable speed drives, correct size or rating motor, regular or routine maintenance.

The process of compressed air system generates considerable amount of heat. In many applications, excess heat or waste heat from the compressed air system can be used for space heating and/or in further process. In such cases, heat recovery from compressed air can increase the overall efficiency and can make the system more effective.

In many industries, plants operate with low power factors, which increase the per unit generation cost. Government also implemented policies/tariff for industry customers in terms of limit at operating power factor. Use of power factor device at user end of industry customers can help in improving the power factor of the plant.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is key to ensuring a safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy system for the future. It is the one energy resource that every country possesses in abundance and is the quickest and least costly way of addressing energy security, environmental and economic challenges.

Indian Scenario

Towards the end of 2016-17, India had saved enough through its energy efficiency measures to free up 10 GW of capacity during peak hours — there is 10 GW less load on the grid during peak hours. That is rich. A new 10 GW thermal power project today comes with a price tag of ₹70,000 crore.

These savings have mainly come from two of the many programmes of the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency — the ‘Ujala scheme’, which strives to achieve energy savings by replacing incandescent bulbs with LED, and the ‘Perform, Achieve, Trade (PAT) scheme’, which eggs on named industries to introduce energy saving measures.

Official data puts avoided generation under Ujala at 5,905 MW and under the PAT at 5,635 MW. The 10-plus GW of energy saving achieved is the early part of the learning curve, which involved a lot of mine-clearing. In a way, 2017-18 marks the beginning of ‘Energy Efficiency 2.0’, as both the schemes turn to new chapters.

Two institutions have been in the vanguard in the energy efficiency movement. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a unit of the Ministry of Power, which oversees the PAT scheme, has just taken the scheme into the second cycle. The Energy Efficiency Services, a for-profit entity owned by four power public sector companies, which implements the Ujala scheme, has just taken the scheme beyond LED lights to ceiling fans and water pumps, and has plans to bring several other appliances, like air-conditioners, under its fold. How these two schemes have worked is the heart of India’s energy efficiency achievement story.

Energy Efficiency

The primary energy demand in India has grown from about 450 million tons of oil equivalent (toe) in 2000 to about 770 million toe in 2012. This is expected to increase to about 1250 (estimated by International Energy Agency) to 1500 (estimated in the Integrated Energy Policy Report) million in 2030.

This increase is driven by a number of factors, the most important of which are increasing incomes and economic growth which lead to greater demand for energy services such as lighting, cooking, space cooling, mobility, industrial production, office automation, etc. This growth is also reflective of the current very low level of energy supply in India: the average annual energy supply in India in 2011 was only 0.6 per capita; whereas the global average was 1.88 toe per capita.

It may also be noted that no country in the world has been able to achieve a Human Development Index of 0.9 or more without an annual energy supply of at least 4 per capita. Consequently, there is a large latent demand for energy services that needs to be fulfilled in order for people to have reasonable incomes and a decent quality of life.

Government of India has undertaken a two pronged approach to cater to the energy demand of its citizens while ensuring minimum growth in CO2 emissions, so that the global emissions do not lead to an irreversible damage to the earth system. On one hand, in the generation side, the Government is promoting greater use of renewable in the energy mix mainly through solar and wind and at the same time shifting towards supercritical technologies for coal based power plants. On the other side, efforts are being made to efficiently use the energy in the demand side through various innovative policy measures under the overall ambit of Energy Conservation Act 2001.

The Energy Conservation Act (EC Act) was enacted in 2001 with the goal of reducing energy intensity of Indian economy. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was set up as the statutory body on 1st March 2002 at the central level to facilitate the implementation of the EC Act.

The Act provides regulatory mandate for: standards & labeling of equipment and appliances; energy conservation building codes for commercial buildings; and energy consumption norms for energy intensive industries. In addition, the Act enjoins the Central Govt. and the Bureau to take steps to facilitate and promote energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy. The Act also directs states to designate agencies for the implementation of the Act and promotion of energy efficiency in the state. The EC Act was amended in 2010 and the main amendments of the Act are given below:

  1. The Central Government may issue the energy savings certificate to the designated consumer whose energy consumption is less than the prescribed norms and standards in accordance with the procedure as may be prescribed
  2. The designated consumer whose energy consumption is more than the prescribed norms and standards shall be entitled to purchase the energy savings certificate to comply with the prescribed norms and standards
  3. The Central Government may, in consultation with the Bureau, prescribe the value of per metric ton of oil equivalent of energy consumed
  4. Commercial buildings which are having a connected load of 100 kW or contract demand of 120 kVA and above come under the purview of ECBC under EC Act.

The Ministry of Power, through the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), has initiated a number of energy efficiency initiatives in the areas of household lighting, commercial buildings, standards and labeling of appliances, demand side management in agriculture/municipalities, SME’s and large industries including the initiation of the process for development of energy consumption norms for industrial sub sectors, capacity building of SDA’s etc. The target of energy savings against these schemes during the XI plan period was kept 10,000 MW of avoided generation capacity. These initiatives have resulted in an avoided capacity generation of 10836 MW during the XI plan period.

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