Ram Krishna, Ex DDG (FA), TEC

For a better energy efficiency, worldwide objective is to expand the perspective of energy efficiency beyond the traditional measures of reduced energy demand and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by identifying and measuring their impact across many different spheres. By revealing the potential of energy efficiency to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy–system security, and help build prosperity, this work repositions energy efficiency as a mainstream tool for economic and social development.

Energy efficiency offers all of the benefits of a clean, domestic energy source for emerging economies. These benefits include improved energy security, higher productivity, and enhanced economic development. Given that energy demand in emerging economies is projected to grow significantly over the next decades, improving energy efficiency is more important than ever.

The IEA's prediction that the thrust of energy demand will switch decisively to emerging economies such as the People's Republic of China and India, driving global energy use one-third higher under the New Policies Scenario. Emerging economies capture a growing share of global energy consumption today and in the future. 20/20/20 commitment established by the European Union is a commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent, reduce energy consumption by 20 percent through greater energy efficiency and, finally, promote the use of renewable energies until it reaches 20 percent. Many countries around the world are developing new technologies in order to mitigate climate change and between all and create a sustainable future.

Emerging Trends

Natural gas and coal. In traditional coal-fired plants, only about 35 percent of fuel consumed is converted into electricity. Natural gas is temporarily overtaking coal as the predominant fuel in the power sector and gas will remain a very competitive fuel. Natural gas and renewable energy show strong growth while coal consumption falls as it loses share in electric power. The development of large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) or refined petroleum products exports in America speaks volumes in this regard.

Renewable energy. The energy revolution that is needed can be characterized by the improved energy efficiency, widespread introduction of carbon capture and storage, increased deployment of renewable energy, nuclear energy, continued fuel switching, and support for new and enabling technologies. The third-largest share in the carbon emission reduction after improved energy efficiency (38 percent), widespread introduction of carbon capture and storage (19 percent) is due to increased deployment of renewable energy. By 2050, almost half of total electricity generation would need to be from renewable energy sources. Wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), biomass and hydro, in particular, will all have an important role to play.

Digital technology in power generation, transmission, and distribution. Digital technology has increasingly been making its way into the power generation, transmission, and distribution sectors. This will be driven by its increasing availability and sophistication, as well as by power plant managers' growing awareness of the role it can play in optimizing operations and reducing unplanned outages. These trends should be seen in the context of the ongoing energy transition to a less carbon-intensive global economy.

Big Data. We are living in the age of information and communication. A huge amount of data, of every kind, is now uploaded to the Internet. With so much information around, the Big Data approach consists of recording as much information as possible and then processing it so that it can be analyzed and acted upon accordingly. With the technological advances in energy analysis; companies, utilities, businesses, and homes now have complete information about their consumption and its behavior. New technologies are therefore being developed that apply the Big Data approach, enabling us to perform an energy analysis with the aim of reducing consumption, thus improving energy efficiency.

Distributed generation. For there to be a shift toward energy efficiency, it will be necessary to move from centralized generation to distributed generation. Up until now, electricity has been generated in power plants and transmitted to cities along high-voltage lines. As more and more industrial, commercial, and even residential consumers install their own generation – be it roof-mounted solar panels, gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants, or even conventional diesel backup generators – they get the opportunity to sell power into the grid. Each source may be small compared to generation by centralized power plants, but, just as a large population is made up of individual people, aggregate enough sources and we have a game-changer.

Smart cities. As far as energy is concerned, the public authorities and utilities use tele-management systems to collect consumption data from users and use this to generate an energy demand curve, thus increasing energy savings. There are also smart remote control systems, used for street lights. Thanks to these, the amounts spent on electric energy consumption by the cities and towns in which we live are reduced.

Distributed generation is a key part of a Smart City and it consists of generating electrical energy in the very point where it is going to be consumed. By generating and consuming at nearby points we reduce transmission losses, while improving the management and quality of the grid.

The electric vehicle. The introduction of electric vehicles (EV) represents a massive shift away from mobility as we have known it until now. It not only offers numerous advantages, such as a reduction in air and noise pollution, better air quality in cities, reduced energy dependency, etc., but it also enables the use of electric energy management systems (EMS), which in turn enable smart charging, thus improving the overall efficiency of the electrical system. Another of the benefits of integrating EV in cities is the energy storage function. At times of maximum demand, the EV could deliver energy back to the grid if necessary, thus optimizing power generation infrastructures and electrical networks.

Development of Key Indicators of Energy Efficiency

From the industry perspective, development of indicators is of key importance. Improvement of energy efficiency reduces the need for energy, reducing the energy cost and increasing the competitiveness and profits of the plant. Detailed indicators such as residential sector indicators, services sector indicators, industry sector indicators, and transport sector indicators can help identify areas for energy reduction within their production process. EMS can help develop, track, and improve energy indicators within businesses. An established EMS can help set and prioritize energy efficiency targets and define strategic energy efficiency upgrade projects.

Energy Efficiency: India's Perspective

India has an estimated renewable energy potential of about 900 GW from commercially exploitable sources solar power (750 GW), wind (102 GW), small hydro (20 GW), and bio-energy (25 GW). The renewable power has a share of about 15 percent of the total installed capacity as on 31.10.2016 (i.e., 46.33 GW installed renewable power capacity against the 307.27 GW installed power generation capacity from all resources). India had rolled out large-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. India has set a target of 175 GW renewable power installed capacity by the end of 2022.

On the demand side, efforts are being made to efficiently use energy through innovative policy measures. The UJALA scheme, executed by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a super-ESCO under the Ministry of Power, Government of India, which distributes energy efficient LED lamps at one-third the market price through an innovative business model. To date, EESL has distributed over 100 million affordable LED lamps across 14 states and 120 cities in India. UJALA has delivered tangible multiple benefits like energy savings, avoided carbon emissions, reduced consumer bills, and stimulated the LED bulb manufacturing in India.

Way Forward

In the year 2017, we see significant opportunities for energy efficiency. If these trends continue over the next several years, energy efficiency will grow and serve customers, vendors, and utilities well into the future. In short, this is just a glimpse of some of the biggest trends for this year in the electrical energy efficiency sector. The sector is moving toward information control and management, as well as improving how we use the energy at our disposal. Telecom industry is investing time and money every day to play its part in these improvements.


 1 feb


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