Considering the vast potential of energy savings and benefits of energy efficiency, the Government of India enacted the Energy Conservation Act. The Act provides legal framework, institutional arrangement, and a regulatory mechanism at the Central and State levels to embark upon energy efficiency drive in the country. The Energy Conservation Act of 2001 facilitated the creation of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) that has served to appropriately elevate the importance of energy efficiency issues.
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. Nearly 25,000 MW capacity creation through energy efficiency in the electricity sector alone has been estimated in India. Energy conservation potential for the economy as a whole has been assessed as 23% with maximum potential in industrial and agricultural sectors.
BEE has successfully launched a complete pilot phase of program for energy efficiency in government buildings and prepared an action plan for its wider dissemination and implementation. BEE would train core group members in various departments to build capacities enabling them take up energy efficiency programs. To give national recognition through awards to industrial units for the efforts undertaken by them to reduce energy consumption in their respective units, the Ministry of Power launched the National Energy Conservation Awards in 1991. BEE provides technical and administrative support for the Awards Scheme.
The thrust areas under the long-term measures, include industry-specific task forces, notifying more industries as designated consumers, conduct of energy audit amongst notified designated consumers, recording and publication of best practices in each sector, development of energy consumption norms, and monitoring of compliance with mandated provision by designated consumers. A few examples characterizing the new initiatives are given below.
Standards and labeling program, identified as one of the key activities for energy-efficiency improvements, is expected to ensure the availability of only energy-efficient equipment and appliances. The equipment to be initially covered under S&L program are household refrigerators, air-conditioners, water heater, electric motors, agriculture pump sets, electric lamps and fixtures, industrial fans and blowers, and air-compressors.
Demand side management (DSM) together with increased electricity end use efficiency is expected to mitigate power shortages to a certain extent and drastically reduce capital needs for power capacity expansion. BEE is assisting five electric utilities to set up DSM Cell and has undertaken the preparation of investment grade feasibility reports on agricultural DSM, municipal water pumping, and domestic lighting.
Energy Conservation and Commercialization project (ECO) with USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) aims to design and test DSM projects in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. It is promoting market-oriented solutions to energy sector problems, particularly the need for increased energy efficiency, assisting in creating a policy, market and financing environment in India that would advance commercialization of energy efficiency technologies and services. If further
Electricity supply at 220 or 440 volts.
2Electricity supply at 11,000 volts or above.
endeavours to implementing pilot scale projects to test and validate DSM/EE design, planning approaches, and technologies in the Indian context.
Energy conservation building codes are under development for new commercial buildings. The Bureau has begun conducting energy audits in many prestigious state buildings in Delhi (such as Rashtrapathi Bhawan, Parliament House, South Block, North Block, Shram Shakti Bhawan, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Safdarjung Hospital, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Sanchar Bhawan, and Rail Bhawan).
Professional certification and accreditation procedures have been established by BEE, and relevant curriculum is being introduced in the school education programs.
A number of Pilot Projects/Demonstration Projects have been taken up for load management and energy conservation through reduction of T&D losses in the System such as Distribution network of West Bengal State Electricity Board; Distribution network of Kerala State Electricity Board; Installation of 2,370 LT Switched Capacitors in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Tamil Nadu; Installation of 3,000 Amorphous Core Transformers in the distribution network of various State Electricity Boards.
The BESCOM Efficient Lighting Program is the first large-scale efficient lighting project in India and South Asia. An unprecedented partnership of stakeholders—lighting vendors, consumers, utilities, retailers, financial institutions, energy efficiency service providers—have agreed to collaborate to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of efficient lighting systems.
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