President Sh Pranab Mukherjee has said that the key to energy efficiency and energy self-sufficiency lies in innovation and developing the appropriate technologies. Giving the example of the US, the President said that the US has turned itself from being a huge net energy importer to being self-sufficient through the discovery of shale gas, which has been possible because of a crucial technological breakthrough in efficient recovery of shale gas. Sh Pranab Mukherjee was speaking at the National Energy Conservation Awards function in New Delhi today. Highlighting the role of scientists and technologists, the President said that they have to engage themselves in the cause of making our country self-sufficient in energy. Policy making also has to be proactive to identify problems, highlight trends, develop scenarios, and recommend policy options, so as to avert any crisis, he added.
The President said that the demand for energy is increasing rapidly while its supply is limited. Therefore, the difficulty of the growth in energy demand vis-à-vis the growth of GDP has to be contained through improved energy efficiency. Energy conservation also implies the substitution of costly imported energy by cheap energy. This will help in reducing our foreign exchange outgo. Conservation of energy is a critical development imperative that has multiple positive spinoffs.
Mr Pranab Mukherjee disclosed that the Twelfth Five Year Plan recognizes the importance of evolving a low carbon strategy for inclusive and sustainable growth. A national target to increase energy use efficiency has been set. It will bring a twenty to twenty five percent reduction in the energy intensity of our GDP by 2020.
The President recognized the various innovative initiatives of Ministry of Power like Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT), Super Energy Efficient Program (SEEP) under National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency.
The President gave away the awards to several industrial units and other establishments for their innovative efforts in enhancing their Energy Performance. The awardees represented – Industries, Thermal Power Stations, Office Buildings, BPO Buildings, Hotels, Hospitals, Shopping Malls, Zonal Railways, Railway Workshops, Municipalities, State Designated Agencies and manufacturers of BEE Star Labelled appliances/equipment.
The President also presented the prizes to the winners of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for the National Energy Conservation Painting Competition of the Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The competition is held every year at the School, State and National Levels. This year, the competition witnessed a record participation of 45 lakh students from 98,000 schools across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Sh Jyotiraditya Scindia, MOS (Independent Charge) of Power, said that the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme under the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) has already helped to save 6.5 million tons of oil equivalent within a span of just a year. The scheme was launched in July last year. The scheme provides the option to trade any additional certified energy savings with other designated consumers to comply with the Specific Energy Consumption reduction targets. The Energy Savings Certificates (ESCerts) so issued are tradable on the two power exchanges.
The Minister added that there is now a global discourse to treat energy efficiency as a resource since it gives the same outcomes at a lower cost.
Mr Scindia added the Bureau of Energy Efficiency of the Union Ministry of Power is to take up as a project the whole cycle of technological development and research in the field of energy efficiency to its large scale deployment to achieve substantial energy savings. He said, the Indian industry has a great role to play in energy conservation because it accounts for 40% of commercial energy use. All industries should analyse their energy consumption patterns and make efforts to reduce the energy use. Energy efficiency and energy conservation are the way to save fuel, foreign exchange and scarce resources along with its many environmental benefits, he added.
The Power Minister hoped that the school children will be torch bearers of the energy efficiency campaign of the future.
Union Power Secretary, Shri P.K. Sinha, in his welcome address congratulated the Award Winners for their innovative steps to conserve energy. He said that the industrial units and other establishments which participated have been collectively able to save about 711 MW of equivalent avoided capacity.
In his vote of thanks address, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, appealed to all energy users of the country to conserve energy in all spheres of life.
The direct contribution of policies to reduce energy use during the five years of the Eleventh Five Year Plan period has yielded more than 10,000 MW of avoided generation capacity.