We are all concerned with Energy, or rather the increasing lack of it. Demand for energy is already outstripping supply and growth of demand is faster than the growth of supply. For example, the installed power generation capacity of India stood at 147,000 MW whereas the total demand for electricity in India is expected to cross 950,000 MW by 2030 (Source: Wikipedia).
About 400 million people in India do not have access to electricity. This looks a little anachronistic when you’re told that India is also world’s 6th largest energy consumer.
It’s not impossible to give access to electricity to every Indian. No doubt, the Government has a colossal job in its hands. But, just consider this; transmission losses in our production system figure at an unacceptable 30-40%. There is so much theft and misuse of electricity in our country as well as distribution losses. Poor maintenance of the grid and sub-stations eats into the total power availability. All these lead to widespread power outages and chronic power deficits.
We’re obviously in a situation where more production alone is not going to solve all our energy requirements. Energy Management and Energy Efficiency are key to our survival as a planet. More conventional production means more exploitation of the earth, with all its attendant environmental and ecological impacts. Whenever energy is saved, you not only save money but you are also reducing the demand for exhaustible fossil fuels like coal, oil, natural gas etc. Less burning of fossil fuels leads to lower CO2 emissions, the main factor of global warming and pollution.
Consider a global campaign like Earth Hour. It is a dedicated thrust to highlight the energy issue by switching power off and demonstrates the force of numbers engaging in concerted action. It shows how actions of countless millions can translate into stupendous economies for countries and the planet.
There are innumerable ways to save energy and technology has provided us answers for optimized use of energy – Passive Energy Efficiency Solutions and Active Energy Efficiency Solutions. In passive, we fix the basics by using energy-efficient light bulbs, efficient motors, effective insulation etc. These measures can themselves spell 10% to 15% energy savings. In the active mode, we monitor and measure energy use and adopt automation solutions of Building Management, Power Management, Motor Control, Lighting Control etc. This enables another 10% to 20% economies.
So let us not underestimate the power of Unity – of Action. This is the new Law of Conservation of Energy.