Energy conservation-addressing the real issue
Energy conservation is a crucial part of energy planning and management. A comprehensive conservation program ensures power wastage is kept at bare minimum so that this precious resource is available for future. With a population of 1.324 billion, the challenge is to provide electricity to each and every household of the nation. Even today, there are large swathes of rural areas where people have no access to electricity and still survive with kerosene lamps. That has numerous hazards and creates roadblocks in development and progress of communities. Besides taking power to hitherto non-electrified areas and raising power generation capacity, it is critical to conserve energy. As a result, it is important for every individual to understand the gravity of the situation and to collectively start doing their bit along with the government.
Taking baby-steps towards energy conservation
According to some reports energy consumption in India is set to grow by 4.2 % a year by 2035. This calls for adoption of suitable and effective energy conservation measures to ensure sustainable development. It is important that people are educated and made aware about the importance of long term benefits of energy conservation. Citizens can follow simple yet effective steps which can bring in passive energy efficiency driving energy conservation– switch off lights when not needed, switch off electrical and electronic appliances when not in use, switch to more energy efficient sources of light like LED bulbs and keep wiring system robust. The government is also set to issue energy conservation norms for residential buildings. Further, there is energy conservation building code (ECBC), which will help advance building technology in order to reduce energy consumption and promote lower carbon emission. While the Government of India has introduced various policies to create awareness about the issues and address the same, the larger responsibility lies with the entire power/ energy ecosystem and people at large.
Many companies today have already put their best foot forward to come up with various innovative products and solutions, which increase overall energy and operational efficiency and eventually lead to conservation of power. One such solution is EcoStruxure by Schneider Electric that drives higher efficiency and brings down power consumption.
Taking the non-conventional route
Conservation and ensuring energy efficiency is one of the key challenges facing the power sector in India today. These problems can be addressed through digitization and integration with IOT which can drive active energy efficiency. Manual distribution processes, lack of decision making transparency, insufficient flexible distribution infrastructure, and lack of real-time information are some of the technical challenges that are resulting in delayed revenue realization, poor energy & operating efficiency, and high operating costs. That is why digital transformation is a key focus area.
Industrialization, urbanization and increase in population have led to a dramatic increase in demand for power. However, shortage of power affects the economic growth of the nation. Therefore, there is a need to fill the gap between demand and supply of power by utilizing the alternate/renewable sources of energy apart from oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear power plants. While the government is doing its share, there is a need for the country to have a dedicated research and development centre to develop, promote and increase the use of renewable source of energy. Renewable energy is not only environment friendly with minimal carbon footprint, some of the sources of renewable power like hydro can also be recycled.
-Prakash Chadraker, Vice President – Energy Business Schneider Electric India