Energy Conservation Techniques and Government Initiatives

Energy conservation features as a significant aspect of power and energy sources. This is mainly because the purpose of the energy sector is not only to provide and transmit clean energies but also to plan a sustainable development of energy worldwide.

India as a developing nation maintains the standards and protocols of sustainable energy conservation. This article discusses the importance of energy conservation and how India conserves its energy resources through schemes and initiatives.

It also proposes the various factors responsible for the conservation of energy as well as its impacts on individuals and communities.

Energy Conservation Techniques

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Importance of Energy Conservation

Energy conservation is essential for the following twin reasons:

Sustainable Development

  • It refers to the process of not only producing sufficient sources of energy for the present but also incorporates the saving of energy sources to meet the needs of the future.
  • To accomplish this, one must try using more renewable sources of energy.
  • It is important to switch to efficient methods of pollution control such as using wind and solar energies.
  • Finally, the government suggests industries to reduce wastage and opt for efficient energy sources.

Global Warming

  • In addition to sustainable development, global warming must be reduced to conserve energy.
  • Global warming occurs primarily due to the combustion of fossil fuels.
  • This further leads to the release of gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.
  • The penetration of these gases into Earth’s atmosphere engenders an increase in the global temperature.
  • This increase in temperature curtails the principles of energy conservation and results in the massive wastage of energy sources.
  • The major global warming contributors are industries, transportation, electricity and heat production, and agricultural activities.

Different Ways of Conserving Energy

Energy can be effectively conserved through the following means:

Improving Energy Efficiency

  • Energy efficiency could be improved through some technological upgradations such as
  • Using LED lights instead of incandescent lights. This is because LED lights save about 25% of energy as compared to incandescent lights which save only 10%.
  • Using CNG enabled vehicles to avoid causing air pollution.
  • Replacing Conventional coal plants with supercritical ones as the latter are 45% more efficient than their basic counterparts.

Wastage Prevention

  • Switching off electricity and appliances when not in use.
  • Substituting old sockets with new ones.
  • Using smart grid technologies.
  • Prefer commuting through public transports and opt for carpooling to reduce air pollution.

Optimum Utilization of Energy Resources

  • Appropriate infrastructures of industrial, office, or private buildings.
  • The right selection of building materials.
  • Green buildings optimization for renovating residential areas and environmental surroundings.
  • Reduction in energy and water usage via green building initiative.

Green Cities Certification

Nowadays, the government is trying every possible means to conserve energy and make it sustainable. For this, its green city project has been well received by the population. Some of the features of green cities are mentioned below:

  • Keep the development density higher at the centre of the town instead of the peripheries.
  • These high-density areas must be adequate water and transport facilities.
  • The outskirt areas should not have major constructions.
  • The building should be constructed as per the rules and regulations of the green buildings project.
  • The inhabitants must exercise eco-friendly lifestyles and abide by green city instructions.
  • All inhabitants must practice the art of energy conservation.

Use of Clean Technologies

Energy conservation can be achieved through the following technological advancements:

  1. Cogeneration: It refers to the industrial process of utilizing the processed steam out of the electricity generation plants. This steam can be reused for heating purposes.
  2. Off-grid renewable power: In this, use wind, biomass, and hydel energies for conservation.
  3. Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT): It is a financial service that allows industries to trade energy saving certificates and increase their cost-effectiveness.

Using Renewable Sources of Energy

To conserve energy, it is best to use resources that can be iteratively reused and replenished. In fact, India plans to set up 175 GW of renewable energies in the country which includes:

  • 60 GW of wind power plants.
  • 100 GW of solar power plants.
  • 10 GW for biomass efficient energies.
  • 5 GW for hydropower plants.

Wind Energy

  • India is the 4th largest wind energy-producing country in the world
  • The country and around 5400 MW of power to this energy source
  • National Offshore Wind energy policy plans to harness wind power across the 7600 km long coastline.
  • The National Wind Energy Mission proposes to add 60 MW of wind energy by 2022 and achieve a target of 4000MW wind energy in states
  • Draft National Solar Wind Hybrid policy aims to integrate the nation with one grid, one power network to achieve enhanced grid stability

Biofuels

  • National Policy on Biofuels brings about accelerated development and promotion of the cultivation, production, and use of Biofuels to substitute petrol and diesel for transport.
  • Bio-diesel production will be taken up from non-edible oil seeds in waste/degraded / marginal lands.
  • An indicative target of 20% blending of biofuels, both for biodiesel and bioethanol, by 2017 has been proposed
  • The major thrust is being given to the development of second-generation Biofuels
  • An Indo-US MoU has been signed on Biofuels with focus on joint R&D, particularly on second-generation biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol and algal biodiesel

Small Hydro

Large hydropower projects are environmentally unsustainable due to its

  • Effect on the natural flow of rivers
  • Inundation of large area under the reservoir, including forest lands, which causes increased methane emissions
  • Problems of deforestation, siltation, etc
  • Issues associated with relocation and rehabilitation of human settlements

Small Hydro Power (SHP) projects(up to 25 MW) are preferred in place of large projects.

ClassStation Capacity in kW
Micro HydroUp to 100
Mini Hydro101 to 2000
Small Hydro2001 to 25000

The Small Hydro Project program in India is an essentially private investment-driven.

Solar Energy

  • Solar power capacity in India reached 10 GW in 2017
  • India has both large-scale grid-connected solar PV initiatives such as the solar park scheme and grid-connected solar rooftop scheme and specialized schemes such as defense scheme, canal-top scheme, Indo-Pak border scheme, etc
  • Solar Radiation Resource Assessment stations have been installed across India by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to create a database of solar energy potential.
  • (Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission described in the initiatives section)

Waste to Energy

  • Any organic waste from urban and rural areas and industries is a resource due to its ability to get degraded, resulting in energy generation.
  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) estimates indicate that India has so far realized only about 2% of its waste-to-energy potential
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is promoting all the Technology Options available for setting up projects for recovery of energy from urban wastes.
  • India’s largest waste-to-energy plant was inaugurated at Narela-Bawana, Delhi in 2017

Government Initiatives for Energy Conservation

Energy Conservation Act

  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BBE) played a pivotal role in the Energy Conservation Act (2001) implemented by the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • This statutory body assists the Ministry of Power in developing strategies and policies for energy conservation.
  • It also proposes to curtail the impact of energy expenditure on the nation’s economy and tries to foster efficient sources of its production and conservation.
  • For the above-mentioned purpose, BBE integrates with different agencies and organizations to recognize the available infrastructure and resources for energy conservation.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission

  • Its primary purpose is to reduce power consumption in the country through renewable energy.
  • For this, the mission plans to make India a global leader in solar energy usage.
  • It has proposed to install grid-connected solar power of 20000 MW a year and increase this power grid to 1 lakh MW a year by 2021-22.
  • This particular scheme is a sub-initiative of Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects.
  • It shall be administered by the Solar Power Corporation of India (SPCI).

National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency

  • This mission incorporates four key initiations economic initiatives:
  • Perform Achieve and Trade Scheme (PAT).
  • The framework of Energy Efficient Economic Development (FEEED).
  • Energy Efficiency Financing Program (EEFP).
  • Market Transformation for Energy Efficiency (MTEE).

Renewable Power Purchase Obligations

  • It refers to a certain threshold of power consumption through renewable energy sources.
  • Mainly applicable to distributors of electricity and some of its high profile consumers.
  • It creates a genuine market for renewable power.
  • It requires a Renewable Energy Certificate for trading for renewable power.
  • India has to achieve a target of 20% in this particular segment.

Biofuel Blending Scheme

  • To reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and the usage of crude petroleum, the government has come up with a biofuel blending scheme.
  • Under this scheme, a blend of petrol and ethanol is useful for conserving energy.
  • As per the National Policy, the petroleum industries can sell ethanol-blended petrol in the market.
  • The Indian government has proposed to make a blend of around 22.5% ethanol and 15% diesel for sale.

National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF)

  • Launched in 2010-2011, the scheme promotes:
  • The use of smart grid technologies.
  • Use of renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind, and hydel energies.
  • Use of clean fossils including coal gasification and coal bed methane.
  • Using energy-efficient LEDs and other technological impetuses.

Green Energy Corridor Project

  • The government has channeled interstate and intrastate energy transmissions and declared them as green energy corridors.
  • The length of the first green energy corridor was about 1800 km, stretching from Raigarh to Tamil Nadu. It was launched in May 2015.

Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME India)

  • A part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.
  • It encourages the use of eco-friendly vehicles.
  • The government offers incentives and on such vehicles under this scheme.

The Energies and Resources Institute (TERI)

Established in 1974, TERI focuses to promote:

  • Climate resilience.
  • Sustainable agriculture.
  • Pollution management.
  • Management of water resources.
  • Clean energy.

Petroleum Conservation Research Association

  • Motivates the conservation of petroleum and petrochemicals
  • Helps the government in drafting policies and schemes for this conservation program.

Energy Efficiency Services Limited

  • A Ministry of Power venture with the UJALA scheme (Unnati Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All).
  • Under this, the government plans to install LED street lights all over India.
  • It also promotes the use of LEDs at home instead of conventional incandescent lights.

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA )

  • It is a non-financial banking institution.
  • It furnishes financial assistance for setting up energy-efficient projects in the country.
  • IREDA is awarded a mini Ratna status by the Indian government.

International Solar Alliance

  • It features an international treaty between India and France in 2016.
  • This promotes the use of solar energy primarily for countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • It also fosters the use of solar technology in regions in both nations.

Conclusion

Altogether, energy conservation is a paramount topic to contemplate over. India has adopted and implemented multiple measures to propose this to date. However, we as responsible citizens of the country must practice eco-friendly ways of living and use energy in a sustainable manner.

Additionally, we must also adhere to the various policies and principles fostered by our government and opt for efficient energy sources.

In other words, let us make energy our legacy and let our future generations inherit this beautiful and secure gift from us.

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