As the world’s third largest energy consumer, India’s energy use patterns have far greater impact on the country’s and world’s economy than is apparent. Three studies co-released by the World Bank in New Delhi on Friday, on India’s energy efficiency markers have thrown up interesting facts on how different parts of the country are making efforts to make the best use of the limited energy available to one of the fastest growing economies of the world.
The reports are not just a summation of the policies in place, or lacking, but also hope to steer India’s plans for attracting investment in various sectors.
The reports have been prepared by the World Bank in collaboration with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) — a public sector undertaking — and PwC.
What the study says
Key findings of the report show that Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala are the top five states in terms of energy efficiency (EE) implementation readiness.
The study also says that Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu reportedly have energy efficiency investment promotion schemes for MSMEs. With respect to energy-efficient street lighting programmes, states that have started implementing them include Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.
The study says that most of the state designated agencies (SDAs) are vested with other non-EE missions even though they are not fully equipped and prepared to deliver all these missions. It points out that although some of the states have constituted the State Energy Conservation Fund, the full potential of the financial support line is not realised at the state level. There's also an absence of EE policy or legislation in some cases.
Why focus on energy efficiency
“Energy efficiency should be considered as the first fuel, which is one of the cheapest. It has multiple benefits and we need models to achieve it. This readiness study has done an assessment of Indian states and has come up with recommendations,” said Ashok Sarkar, senior energy specialist at World Bank and co-author of the study.
First of its kind in India, the "State-level Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness" study evaluates the EE implementation readiness and development status in states and gives recommendations for improving their performance.
The study developed an evaluation framework and comparative analysis for assessing the readiness for EE implementation in various states under three broad readiness categories: Policy and Incentives, Market Maturity and Institutional Capacity.
While, in India efforts to conserve energy and increase EE have been through adoption of LED technology for street lighting, use of LED lamps in houses and use of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) rated (star-rated) electrical appliances and consumer durables, the study focusses on policy intervention, planning by the states, financing mechanism of EE activities, incentives, etc.
A case in point is the EESL’s successful flagship programme for replacing 770 million incandescent bulbs across the country with energy-efficient LED bulbs in households and on streets.
Saurabh Kumar, managing director of the EESL, said, “The street lighting programme has already achieved installation of over 1 million LED street lights across India. EESL is also supporting the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to replace around 1 million appliances including lights, fans and ACs in government buildings.”
Added Kumar, “The findings and recommendations will give direction to the states in not just raising their energy efficiency but also in becoming investment destinations, by keeping regulatory mechanisms and policies in place.”
A few recommendations
The study has come up with a set of recommendations for effective implementation of energy efficiency. It calls for the adoption of achievable energy savings targets against the identified energy efficiency interventions and set a time frame to pursue these targets. The study also says that states should endeavour to bring sector-specific energy efficiency policies with definite goals and time-bound action plans. This can be reinforced by introducing necessary legislation, it said.
Among the recommendations, the study pushes for a dedicated agency with adequate resources (including budgetary) and expertise for steering energy efficiency action plans.
Policy-level actions, it says, should consider providing a clear, unambiguous, and explicit clarification so that demand-side resources can be an alternative resource option for utilities. The study also recommends issuing regulations and guidelines on examining the cost effectiveness of DSM programs.
Keeping in mind the growing urbanisation in India, the study recommends that each state should develop a group of experts on Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), consisting of BEE and ECBC experts, architects, engineers, town planners, and representatives of the state urban development department (UDD). The group of experts, it says, will be responsible for addressing the technical challenges related to ECBC implementation and for amending the code.