DISCOMs need to take the lead
With the governments’ increasing stress on using renewable energy, primarily solar, and with various initiatives already in place, one needs to first understand why such measures are required in the first place. India’s demand for electricity is growing and there are ever increasing resource, environmental and social constraints on increasing the supply. Hence, improving end use energy efficiency is critically important. Several studies have also shown that improving energy efficiency is often the most economical measure to meet the demand.
Various state level authorities like the state governments, regulatory commissions and DISCOMs have an important role to play in facilitating end use efficiency improvements. Not only is energy efficiency important in reducing the overall demand, but it can also alleviate the financial stress of DISCOMs. Further energy efficiency appliances help the DISCOMs manage their investments into power infrastructure much more profitably. Thus not only are energy efficient appliances helping better manage consumer power demand but are enabling better resource management for DISCOMs. It is hence a financially prudent decision for every DISCOM to promote energy efficiency.
These benefits have spurred various activities related to Demand Side management at the state level in recent years. Regulators are notifying regulations and issuing directives to DISCOMs, DISCOMs are conducting different Demand Side Management (DSM) programmes, and state governments are appointing designated agencies to improve energy efficiency and DSM activities in states.
Through DSM programs DISCOMs are better able to handle peak demands, improve their operations, reduce their power purchase costs, lower their investments into infrastructure becoming more efficient themselves and thus growing profitably. It is thus the need of the hour for every DISCOM in this country.
Promoting energy efficiency – win win scenario
DSM incorporates measures that aim at promoting the installation and use of energy efficient products/equipment that consume less power without any decrease in the quality of output. One often hesitates to switch to more energy efficient devices, with various factors, like the initial investment required, longer return period and the ease of transition from conventional to energy efficient devices contributing majorly. But the main cause is the lack of knowledge/awareness about such products/services. In most of the cases, the consumers are unaware about the benefits of switching to energy efficient devices and they continue to rely on the conventional-high power consuming appliances in their households.
In present scenario, energy efficiency assumes even greater significance because it is the most cost effective and reliable means of mitigating global climate change. Identification of potential for energy efficiency in energy intensive equipment and processes can open vast reserves of savings in terms of cost and available renewable resources. This will also lead to control of future carbon dioxide emissions and hence sustainable economic development.
Ceiling Fans – An overlooked appliace
Ceiling fans are the most common electric appliance in Indian households and offices after electric lamps, consuming about 20% of the electricity in the domestic sector. According to a survey, about 70% of the fans in 2020 will have been added after 2009. This needs market transformation and product awareness measures to increase the penetration rate of 5 Star rated energy efficient BLDC ceiling fans in the market. The technologies options available for ceiling fan category are:
· Ceiling fans with single phase induction motor
· Ceiling fans with Brushless DC motor (BLDC Motor)
Among the above mentioned technologies, single phase induction motor based ceiling fan is the most widely used technology. Thus, by replacing ordinary fans with energy efficient BLDC fans, coupled with energy efficient LED lights, one will/can contribute directly towards improving the overall system efficiency at the very basic level, contributing to a greater cause. The estimated savings show the potential and reason for the use of energy efficient BLDC ceiling fans in place of standard ceiling fan, with the investment in energy efficient technology becoming more cost effective with increase in the operational hours. BLDC fans can easily save upto 65% of the power consumed by a traditional fan.
While the industrial level solutions for implementing energy efficiency, which can contribute significantly to meet the demand, are being explored and implemented, one can, through proper awareness and adoption not only help elevate the current scenario with a minimal investment and can act as a boon to the state regulatory bodies and DISCOMs in managing the demand and utilising the available resources judiciously but also play a pivotal role in driving India towards an environmentally sustainable path with energy efficiency at its centre.