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[Sansad TV] Perspective: Energy Conservation

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Context

  • Recently, the National Energy Conservation Day was observed on December 14th by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).

UN Statistics on Energy

  • 13% global population lacks access to electricity
  • 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, waste for cooking and heating
  • Energy dominant contributor for climate change
  • Energy needs account for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions

What is Energy Conservation?

  • Energy conservation is a conscious, individual effort, and at a macro level, it leads to energy efficiency (most precisely Electrical Energy).
  • It involves the effort made to ensure that energy is used efficiently by either using less energy or reducing the use for a particular constant purpose.
  • The end goal of energy conservation is to reach towards sustainable energy.
  • It is different from the term ‘energy efficiency’, which is using technology that requires less energy to perform the same function.

Energy scenario in India

  • India is the third-largest electricity producer in the world.  Thermal, nuclear, and renewable energy systems are the major sources for generating India’s electricity.
  • Installed power generation capacities include:
  • Thermal: 60% (234.69 GW)
  • Nuclear: 2% (6.78 GW)
  • Renewable Energy: 38% (150.54 GW)
  • The overall capacity of about 392 GW is added into its electricity grid, as of November 2021. Perhaps this is insufficient to meets its total demand.

Various govt. initiatives

[1] Energy Conservation Act, 2001

  • Considering the vast potential of energy savings and benefits of energy efficiency, the GoI enacted the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • The Act provides for the legal framework, institutional arrangement and a regulatory mechanism at the Central and State level to embark upon energy efficiency drive in the country.
  • Five major provisions of EC Act relate to:
  • Designated Consumers
  • Standard and Labeling of Appliances
  • Energy Conservation Building Codes
  • Creation of Institutional setup i.e. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)
  • Establishment of Energy Conservation Fund

[2] National Programme for LED-based Home and Street Lighting

  • The initiative is part of the Government’s efforts to spread the message of energy efficiency in the country.
  • LED bulbs have a very long life, almost 50 times more than ordinary bulbs, and 8-10 times that of CFLs, and therefore provide both energy and cost savings in the medium term.
  • Under this scheme, Government aims to replace 3.5 crore conventional street lights with energy efficient LED lights.

[3] Standards and Labelling Programme

  • Standards and Labelling (S&L) programme has been identified as one of the key activities for energy efficiency improvements. The scheme was launched on 18th May 2006
  • Key objective of the scheme is to provide the consumer an informed choice about the energy saving and thereby the cost saving potential of the relevant marketed product.

[4] Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC)

  • The ECBC was launched by Ministry of Power for new commercial buildings in 2007. It sets minimum energy standards for new commercial buildings.
  • In order to promote a market pull for energy efficient buildings, the BEE developed a voluntary Star Rating Programme for buildings which are based on the actual performance of a building.

[5] UJALA scheme

  • UJALA scheme aims to promote efficient use of energy at the residential level, enhance the awareness of consumers about the efficacy of using energy efficient appliances.
  • It facilitates higher uptake of LED lights by residential users.
  • It may be noted that the scheme was initially labelled DELP (Domestic Efficient Lighting Program) and was re-launched as UJALA.

[6] School Education Program

  • Considering the need to make the next generation more aware regarding efficient use of energy resources, it is necessary to introduce children during their school education.
  • In this regard, promotion of energy efficiency in schools is being promoted through the establishment of Energy Clubs.
  • BEE has prepared the text/material on Energy Efficiency and Conservation for its proposed incorporation in the existing science syllabi and science text books of NCERT for classes 6th to 10th.

Way forward

  • Universal Access: There must be universal access to affordable energy with effective intervention by the government.
  • Awareness: More awareness programmes regarding green buildings should be held as there is a rapid expansion of urbanization.
  • Investments: More investments in energy-efficient infrastructure are required.
  • Storage: Li-ion batteries can be promoted and deployed with measures to manufacture indigenous lithium-ion batteries.
  • Clean Energy: A stable supply chain of renewable energy and cleaner fossil fuel technologies must emerge in order to achieve the ambitious energy targets.

Conclusion

  • India has taken strong strides on its clean energy transition.
  • While India’s energy needs are expected to grow, energy efficiency can help meet them cost-effectively while leaving a better environment for the next generation.
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