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TOPIC: General Studies 3
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
- Infrastructure: Energy
- Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Climate change concern the population as well as economic growth. There are two alternatives for having less carbon footprints:
- Alternate energy sources
- Energy Conservation
These are the two main ways in which government across globe, specifically in India need to be concentrating upon. India is a growing economy and hence it has the choice of consuming energy as well as protect environment with sustainable policy goals.
The natural resources at disposal are limited. The primary energy sources- coal and other fossil fuels constitute 85% of India’s energy. Remaining comes from nuclear/water/other renewable energy resources.
The primary sources are converted either into heat energy or electrical energy through a process. While transferring energy, there is loss of energy which is called as transmission and distribution loss. It is estimated that if 1 unit of electricity is saved, it translates into saving of 1.2 units of electricity.
As per Energy Conservation Act 2001, BEE was established to make policies and implement it, which includes among others, creating awareness and disseminating information on energy efficiency and conservation. In 2015-16, by taking various energy efficient or conservation methods, India was able to save equivalent to 9500MW capacity of power, i.e. 1900 crore units of electricity, thereby saving carbon emissions of four crore tonnes. Thus, importance of energy conservation is self-evident.
Thus, the conservation drive is pushing people to adopt energy efficient methods. This is also backing up centre’s efforts in promoting renewable energy development.
Waste of energy
However, despite publicity, IEC campaigns, huge commercials, lot of electricity is wasted whether it is in industry or in household or offices.
Efforts have to be made at all levels to save energy:
- Enhance productive efficiency of the plant where more electricity is generated from same plant.
- Alternative sources of energy should be developed on priority basis.
- Government should give incentives to conserve energy. For example, saving of electrical energy can be incentivised as it is most precious and most useful form of energy
- There should be increased use of energy efficient sources such as LED lights instead of CFL. It consumes 10-20% less energy. With smaller light intensity and longer lifetime, it should be encouraged to be used at industries and agricultural fields apart from households. It can be done through reducing cost and increasing distributive mechanism.
- Taxation incentive should be given in using LED bulbs. The production cost of bulb is Rs. 65 but after adding taxes, the final cost arrives at Rs. 85-90 which deters people to make such useful investment.
- Maximum saving of electricity can be done during summers by households by keeping AC temperature within premises at 25-27 degrees instead of 16-18 degrees which consume more energy. Also, switching off appliances when not in use will help a lot.
- With decreased temperature, a simple water cooler may also help to cool down the surrounding temperatures.
- BEE star rating on appliances should be made more visible and also educate people about such rating. The meaning of more the rating, less the energy consumption should be made understand to people and advertise in a manner that people ask only for higher star appliances. This will make selling of more energy saving devices than rest.
- The consumers have to be convinced that it shall be one time investment and combination of higher technology and tax incentives will make it affordable in linger run. Yet if one time investment is much to ask for from extremely poor families, then the cost of investment can be distributed with electricity bill- for example, Rs. 10 per month in the bill is added. Thus, the cost can be recovered without much burden and energy saving can also be done.
Energy saving will lead to decrease in rate of climate change.
- Fuel saving whether on road or in diesel pumps for irrigation in agricultural fields through more efficient machines can be used. Solar operated pumps can also be used.
- The automobile industry can also enhance efficiency of automobiles through emission norms. Bharat IV norms should be upgraded to Bharat VI norms at the earliest.
- Public transport should be encouraged to save energy.
- The extraction techniques of coal mines can be improved to make the coal mining a technologically efficient technique. The coal plants can use new technology such as super critical and ultra critical boilers which can convert 50% of raw material into electricity as against sub critical boilers which have only 36-38% efficiency. It means that out of 100Kal generated, 36% converted into electricity and rest goes into atmosphere. It has been proved that even if plant efficiency is increased by 1%, 1 million tonnes of coal can be saved.
What lacks is awareness regarding critical importance of energy efficiency which can be gained by adopting new technology. Certain percentage of penetration of energy efficient devices in public, particularly in cities where lot of electricity is consumed can spearhead motivation even in rural areas.
Renewable energy development plays an important role in providing sustainable sources of energy. Hence, the people should cooperate with government’s efforts to introduce more renewable resources of energy.
Saving energy is going to be beneficial for generations to come as well as be a part of healthy lifestyle which is required in this times of excess pollution.
Clean energy choices will support the economy to grow at a more sustainable pace than rampant energy usage for short term development goals.
Connecting the dots:
What is the essence of ‘energy conservation’ in today’s time period? Examine the role of energy in one’s life with respect to sustainability of that source.
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