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India’s power minister says Energy Conservation to be top priority for government

As Panchabuta has earlier mentioned, Dr. Manmohan Singh- Prime Minister-India has said that the Twelfth Five Year Plan will give energy efficiency and renewable energy special emphasis. The Plan will focus on specific initiatives needed to put our development on a path consistent with low carbon growth. Energy efficiency and exploitation of renewable energy sources will receive a special emphasis.

Leading cleantech-clean energy investors in India including Raja Parthasarathy, Managing Director, IDFC PE, have often said that a unit of energy converved is more than a unit of energy generated given the associated inefficiencies in transmission and distribution and Panchabuta is also of the same opinion. It is glad to note that the government has mentioned that  energy conservation and Energy Efficiency Improvement in Small and Medium Enterprises would be the top priority for the government in the power sector.

Stressing on the government focus in the next few years, Shri Sushilkumar Shinde, the Minister of Power has stated that the targeted reduction in demand as a result of these interventions during XI plan which was kept at 5%, translates into an avoided capacity addition of 10,000 MW and thereby an avoided investment in generation, transmission and distribution of around Rs. 1,00,000 crores. The achievement against this target from 2007-08 to 2009-10 is 4995 MW avoided capacity. Against a target of 2600 MW of avoided capacity in 2010-11 the achievement upto 31.12.10 is 2482 MW.  Against a target of 7327MW of avoided capacity during 2007-08 to 2010-11 the achievement is 7415.98 MW (verified) upto 31.12.2010.  The avoided capacity achieved during the last quarter of 2010-11 is 250 MW (provisional).  The target of 10000 MW of avoided capacity during the XI Plan is likely to be fully achieved. 

The major schemes as regards energy conservation  include:-

(a) Bachat Lamp Yojana promotes energy efficient and high quality CFLs as replacement for incandescent bulbs in households by leveraging Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) benefits. So far 2.08 crores CFLs have been distributed at the rate of an incandescent bulb. The scheme has been registered as a Programme of Activities (PoA) with the CDM Executive Board on 29.4.2010 under UNFCCC. This will enable the other states to join the umbrella project (PoA) without registration with CDM Executive Board which is time consuming.

 (b) Standards & Labeling Scheme targets high energy end use equipments and appliances to lay down minimum energy performance standards. . Labeling of air-conditioners, refrigerators, tubular fluorescent lamps (TFLs) and distribution transformers were made mandatory on 7.1.2010. Six other appliances have been covered under the voluntary programme (Geysers, Motors, Pump sets, Colour TV, LPG Stoves, Ceiling Fans).

 (c) Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) / Existing Buildings – ECBC sets minimum energy performance standards for new commercial buildings having a connected load of 100 kW. These codes define norms of energy requirement per square meter of area and takes into consideration the climatic regions of the country where the building is located. State Governments have the flexibility to modify the ECBC based on local and regional requirements. Energy efficiency measures in existing buildings are also being carried out through retrofitting. 45 ECBC expert architects have been empanelled. Investment grade audits have been initiated in 35 Central Government buildings and in 400 buildings in the states. 89 Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) have been empanelled and accredited. The star rating programme for office buildings, BPOs and shopping malls have been launched. 136 buildings have been found eligible for awarding the BEE star label.

 (d) Agricultural and Municipal DSM targets replacement of inefficient pumpsets, street lighting, etc. The pilot activities under the scheme have been initiated in five states viz. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. The pilot scheme in Madhya Pradesh and  Andhra Pradesh will be initiated in the second phase.

 (e) Operationalising EC Act by Strengthening Institutional Capacity of State Designated Agencies (SDAs). The scheme seeks to build institutional capacity of the SDAs to enable them to perform their regulatory, enforcement and facilitative functions in the respective states. Action Plans for 31 States / UTs are under implementation. The study on potential savings in the states has been completed. The results of the study indicates that the total consumption assessed in all States is 501003 MU of electricity. There is a deficit of 73093 MU and the total energy saving potential is 75364.08 MU. This is about 15 % of the total consumption. If this can be tapped it will take care of the deficit.

(f) Energy Efficiency Improvement in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) aims at stimulating energy efficiency measures in 25 high energy consuming small and medium enterprise clusters. Activities under the scheme have been initiated.

 The Energy Conservation Act was enacted in 2001 with the avowed goal of reducing energy intensity of Indian Economy. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was set up as a nodal statutory body on 1st March, 2002 at the central level to facilitate the implementation of the EC Act. The Integrated Energy Policy (IEP) lays emphasis on energy conservation and efficiency, particularly through Demand Side Measures (DSM) and estimates 15% saving of energy is possible by such interventions. In order to enhance the efforts to promote energy efficiency during the XI plan period and to achieve the target of reducing consumption by 5% (equivalent to 10,000 MW of avoided capacity) by 2012, BEE is targeting: House hold lighting; Commercial Buildings; Standards & Labeling of appliances; Demand Side Management in Agriculture / Municipalities; SMEs and Large Industries; and Capacity Building of SDAs.

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