Energy Efficiency vs. Renewable Energies : Strategic Decision Making [Part 1] - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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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:

  1. Most people view Energy Efficiency as desirable but do not warrant any urgent attention to the same.
  2. Implementing Energy Efficiency can be a costly affair.
  3. 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.
  4. Energy Efficient devices cannot be implemented without the implementation of a Smart Grid first.
  5. Operational down-time in retrofitting pre-existent low efficient buildings
  6. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. Implementing stringent energy efficiency in the design of new commercial building can result in savings in energy as high as 40%.
  3. Similarly super-efficient appliances or SEAs can consume 40 to 50% less energy than average appliances available in the market today.
  4. 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.


Actionable Areas:

  1. The greatest energy savings can be derived from implementing energy efficiency in new additions in industrial, commercial and residential categories.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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