Energy Efficiency at the moment is not in the priority list of the policy making. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has a miniscule staff of only 50, with a paltry annual budget of Rs. 350 crore, completely disproportional to considering it as a priority task.
There are various disproportions which exists within the realm of Energy Efficiency:
- Most people view Energy Efficiency as desirable but do not warrant any urgent attention to the same.
- Implementing Energy Efficiency can be a costly affair.
- It would be preferable to choose intelligent-power-off devices – which is cheaper to implement rather than devices which consume lower power during operation – which would require significantly more R&D and more expensive electronics.
- Energy Efficient devices cannot be implemented without the implementation of a Smart Grid first.
- Operational down-time in retrofitting pre-existent low efficient buildings
- Lethargy w.r.t. costs that maybe incurred and the effort necessary in retrofitting old installations – for example, replacement of an incandescent bulb by a CFL is easy; however switching from T12 tube- lights to T-5s with a change in the ballast may be more involved.
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Why is Energy Efficiency paramount at this juncture even surpassing the research and implementation of renewable energy services?
- With energy prices increasing sharply, and more burden falling on the consumer, energy efficient devices are going to play a critical role, if not now, sometime in the near future.
- Implementing stringent energy efficiency in the design of new commercial building can result in savings in energy as high as 40%.
- Similarly super-efficient appliances or SEAs can consume 40 to 50% less energy than average appliances available in the market today.
- Energy efficiency in industries and residences can result in considerable savings which would be the result of lower energy consumption thus offsetting high costs incurred in the purchase of higher efficiency devices as opposed to regular devices.
- The greatest energy savings can be derived from implementing energy efficiency in new additions in industrial, commercial and residential categories.
- It is best to first implement energy efficiency in new additions rather than retrofitting pre-existing ones. Savings which can be derived from implementing EE in new additions can be far greater and require less capital.
- The last actionable areas could include public installations such as railways and airports as well as agricultural water pumps. Public installations service a much larger society than the other setups as such the energy cost per-person using a public service is far lesser because of the larger population.
See also: an interesting emerging cleantech segment – Building Energy Analytics
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Commenting on the matter written above firstly I would like to bring to your kind attention that Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is a statuary body under Ministry of Power formed in accordance with Energy Conservation Act in order to perform some regulatory responsibilities and promote energy efficiency in India. There are State Designated Agencies (SDAs) which work in there respective states to towards energy efficiency and these SDAs are monitored by BEE. You don’t need a whole army or a treasury to perform these functions. Even though there are loopholes in S&L programs in areas of monitoring and implementation the program is successful as at least it gives assured saving in relative terms.
Further commenting on disproportions in realm of Energy Efficiency I agree that some Energy Conservation (ENCON) Options are costly but on the other hand client/Industry would be happy to invest as far they able to recover its cost and reduce its energy consumption. Further ENCON options are not only technological advancements/changes they also include operational suggestions where in the investment is NIL or MINIMAL and these changes result considerable amount energy savings. During an Energy efficiency study/audit set of readings are taken to gauge the present state of equipment and detailed analysis is done to find ways to reduce its energy consumption. Kindly don’t limit your view on Energy Efficiency study to a very limited domain.
I completely agree with your opinion that energy efficiency is more paramount than renewable energies, despite what congress may think. Renewable energy technologies are still in the process of being developed and improved before getting implemented to their maximum capacity. Whereas, the technology is currently available to make current appliances and power generation systems more efficient.
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