We all know energy is scarce and expensive and more so, when the country is facing energy shortage. Demand management and energy efficiency, therefore, are the new-age mantras for the power sector. The strategy developed to make power available to all by 2012 includes promotion of energy efficiency and its conservation in the country, which is found to be the least cost option to augment the gap between demand and supply.
Considering the vast potential of energy savings and benefits of energy efficiency, the Government 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. The Government has set a target for energy savings equivalent to avoided capacity addition of 10,000 MW during the XI five year plan (2007-12). The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) an autonomous body under the Ministry of Power has initiated 6 national schemes to achieve this goal targeting different sectors which are: Commercial Buildings; Standards for end use; Equipment & Appliances; Agricultural & Municipal Demand Side Management; Small and Medium Enterprises; Lighting; Energy Conservation Awards for Large Industries.
All the schemes have been duly approved by the Government and are under implementation. Another important role assigned to BEE is to strengthen the institutional capacity of energy efficiency set up at State level to monitor these schemes through the State Designated Agencies (SDAs). The objective is to encourage SDAs to take up implementation of energy efficiency measures, monitor and verify savings of energy achieved by their interventions and implement the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act 2001, in their respective States.
Achievements in 2008-09
The energy savings related to the various energy efficiency programs of the government amounted to about 5.1 million tones oil-equivalent in 2008-09, or about 1% of the total energy supply in the country. The electricity savings were 6.6 billion units, i.e. 1% of the national electricity consumption, and equivalent to avoided generation capacity of 1505 MW. This avoided generation capacity is more than the peak demand in 20 of the 35 states and Union Territories of the country; and equal to the combined peak demand of Uttarakhand and Chandigarh.
These savings have resulted from the increased sales of BEE star-labeled refrigerators and air-conditioners, enhanced energy efficiency in industry, and government-driven CFL programs. In 2008-09, approximately 75% of the refrigerators sold were star-labeled compared to less than 50% in the previous year. For air-conditioners, the percentage of labeled products sold in 2008-09 was 50% compared to 12% in the year before. These two products alone accounted for savings of 2.12 billion units of electricity.
The savings were verified by the National Productivity Council(NPC). The avoided capacity generation related to government energy efficiency programs was 621 MW in 2007-08, bringing the total for the first two years of the XIth plan to 2126 MW. The target for the current year 2009-10 is 2600 MW, and cumulative target for the XIth Five Year Plan period is 10,000 MW.
As DG BEE, puts it, energy saving indeed is a national cause and all of us will have to join hands and make all out efforts in making India an energy efficient economy and society. (PIB Features)