India’s Energy Needs by Dr. KR. Thooyavan

An Article From
Our Building & Construction September 2014

The high cost of energy, inadequate infrastructure and the environmental impacts
of energy consumption place enormous stresses on the developing world.

These problems are especially serious in the world's megacities (10 million-plus population), two-thirds of which will be in the developing world by 2015.

Fossil fuel combustion in megacities is already causing significant health problems
and posing major challenges for municipal governance. Further, cities in general are major
contributors to global climate warming, emitting about 70 percent of world's green house
gases but occupying only around 2 percent of global land area.

Cost-effective energy service..!

Reliable, cost-effective energy service is also key to improving the quality of life in
rural areas of developing nations where there is little or no access to electricity; adding
or enhancing such access either through conventional grids, micro-grids, or other distributed
systems will provide not only electricity but also benefits such as potable water,
health care, transportation options and other services that promote economic development
and enhanced quality of life.

Developing new strategies for designing low-cost energy technologies and enabling
their use by the world's poorer nations remains one of the large challenges for the 21st
century. Enabling organic growth and evolution of energy systems over time while tapping
local resources and talent are key aspects of providing robust, reliable energy to the
developing countries.

Economic growth is most needed for developing countries, and energy is essential for
economic growth. However, the relationship between economic growth and increased
energy demand is not always a straightforward linear one. For example, under present
conditions, 6% increase in India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would impose an increased
demand of 9 % on its energy sector.
 Dr. KR. Thooyavan
Energy on GDP growth..!

In this context, the ratio of energy demand to GDP is a useful indicator. A high ratio reflectsenergy dependence and a strong influence of energy on GDP growth. The developed countries, by focusing on energy efficiency and lower energy-intensive routes, maintain their energy toGDP ratios at values of less than ONE (1). The ratios for developing
countries are much higher

When we look at the plan outlay, 18% of the total five-year plan outlay is spent on the energy sector.India is one of the largest economies in the world, consuming a large quantity of energy. Buildings account for more than 30% of the total electricity consumption in India, the second
highest share of consumption after industries.

Energy efficiency practices..!

Estimates reveal that total built-up area will increase rapidly, as nearly 66% of the commercial yet to be built in 2030. Adoption of energy efficiency practices and cutting edge technologies can help to shift towards low-carbon economy.

Energy consumption in the building sector is a function the type of construction, usage pattern, the climatic region and the energy consuming devices installed in the buildings.

Different types of energy end-use in buildings such as lighting, space heating, space cooling, plug-in loads and appliances all together account for the overall energy consumption pattern of the building. Energy consumption, not only depends on the type of the end use appliances but also on the operational efficiency and maintenance of these end use appliances.

Energy consumption pattern..!
Building design and material can have a significant impact on the energy consumption levels of a
particular end-use application. For instance, the overall energy consumption pattern of a typical home depends heavily on appliance efficiency.

In a commercial building, the overall energy consumption of the building gets significantly affected by the design and selection of the building material and glazing along with the choice of appliances and HVAC systems.

The building sector in India is experiencing a very high growth about 8% per year due to emergence of IT sector. The commercial building sector currently contributes to about 659 Million m2 and even at conservative growth rate of 5% to 6% per year.

The commercial building space is expected to grow to 1932 Million sqm. by year 2030 at the rate of 38 million m2 per year. While construction sector is one of the key drivers of modern economy, energy intense buildings are the ambassadors of modern world. Energy consumption in these buildings has been forecasted to rise consistently. With population over 1.2 billion, India, is consistently adding floor space in a big way. India’s zooming economy was spurred by its liberalization policy introduced during 1996.

India is a leading destination for IT and IT-enabled services. Many software companies, software consulting firms and business process outsourcing firms have established their offices in India, making an important destination for multinational companies (MNCs). Demand for office
space in India is fuelled by its rapid development in IT sector combined with
massive migration to cities has dramatically increased the need for energy to
supply to its growing population and businesses.

Bureau of Energy Efciency..!

Realizing the potential savings that the energy efficiency that would bring,
Government of India brought in Energy Conservation Act (2001) and established the Bureau of Energy Efciency (BEE), a National-level bureau that is responsible for establishing energy efciency labeling and standards for appliances and for establishing energy conservation standards in building codes. It is estimated that Energy Conservation Building Code compliant buildings may consume about 40% less energy than conventionally practiced buildings in India and nationwide enforcement of the building code is warranted.

In this context, we hope that the architects, planners, builders, contractors and all the stakeholders in building and construction devote themselves to promotion of energy efficient buildings.

About the author
Dr. KR. Thooyavan is Editor in Chief at  Our Building & Construction

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