Power is crucial for the growth and development of India. Developing countries, in particular, need to maintain a certain growth rate and energy security is essential to realize that. If the energy demands of the economy is not met, unemployment, inflation, and socio-economic chaos could result. Millions still have no access to electricity; over 40% households go without power. India loses billions of dollars due to shortfall in manufacturing productivity due to power crunch.
Moreover, fossil fuel reserves are scanty in India. Whatever is still left of fossil fuels will not last much longer. Oil imports account for precious foreign currency. Measures need to be in place to avoid any disaster. And the major thrust will have to come from industry as it consumes around 49% of the total power produced, as compared to residential uses that account for only 10%. Systems and procedures would have to be optimized without affecting growth.
Energy audit for industry would go a long way in conservation efforts
Industry should voluntarily undertake Energy Audit, which is nothing but an analytical tool for detecting energy wastage. For example, the system has entries on the total energy consumed through various forms such as electricity, oil, gas, etc. in a month. The other set of entries would list how that energy was used for various purposes such as air conditioning, lighting, heating, etc. Such a study would yield detailed ways and means of identifying areas where wastage is a concern and can pinpoint the scope for energy conservation.
At times, even simple measures such as adequate insulation can result in significant energy conservation, particularly for energy-intensive machinery. According to industry estimates, better insulation in furnaces and devices operating at high temperature could result in at least 10% reduction in energy expenditure, which is substantial.
Around 20–30% energy savings can be achieved by industry, if measures identified by energy audits and surveys are adopted. Additionally, around 10% energy savings can be made just by following good practices that don’t require any investment whatsoever. Even for measures that would require initial investment, they usually break even in around two years.
“In fact, energy conservation is the easiest way to achieve global business competitiveness as the overall costs of production reduce. It is also the most cost-effective way to close the gap between demand and supply,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global leader in cloud technology.
Time to conserve energy for a safe and healthy environment
With time, the importance of energy conservation efforts is set to increase not only as fossil fuels get depleted, but also as their deleterious effect on the environment gets magnified. We all know that global warming and climate change are assuming drastic proportions with time. According to figures by NASA, temperatures globally have gone up by over 1 degree since 1880, whereas 9 out of the 10 warmest years ever recorded have occurred after 2000. In 2012, the Arctic ice shrank to its lowest level. Globally, sea levels are rising at 3.4 mm per year.
Moreover, initiatives such as Digital India and Smart City depend on consistent power supply. The very concept of a smart city is based on adequate energy supply. If there is any intention of concretizing the grand plans, regular power supply is a bare minimum. Otherwise, what is the use of grand plans if the infrastructure to sustain and realize it is not there?