Why are Energy Audits, Water Audits and Renewable Energy Generation need of the hour?

With the US and China ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement, there is a big pressure on India to ratify the agreement and join the signatories.

India faces the challenge of sustaining its rapid economic growth along with addressing its energy security, coupled with global threat of climate change.

Where do we stand:

Realising the challenges India was facing, a national strategy was needed to tackle these issues. National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was formed to address the various challenges, keeping in mind, its ecological and economic goals in the forefront.

The National Action Plan on Climate Change has eight National Missions at its core:

1. National Solar Mission

India is a tropical country and receives long hours of sunlight, providing a natural advantage for growth of Solar Power Generation. Solar power provides another benefit to our country, in terms of providing decentralised distribution of energy, there by helping it to overcome the issue of providing power to areas without a grid connectivity. Solar energy has the potential to provide clean power and enables storage of power.

2. National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)

The Energy Conservation Act, 2001 set a legal mandate for implementing energy efficiency measures through the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) along with the State Designated Agencies (SDAs) in each state. The NMEEE intends and has initiated a few initiatives, which aim to strengthen the  market for energy efficiency.

Initiatives of NMEEE are as follows:

(A) Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) – A market based mechanism to improve energy efficiency, poised to reduce the energy intensity through trading of energy saving certificates, EScerts.

(B) Market Transformation for Energy Efficiency (MTEE) – Aimed at encouraging shifting to energy efficient appliances in designated sectors, by innovative programs and making the products more cost effective. A few programs under MTEE are:

(i) Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY) – BLY set the ball rolling with CFL and now its institutional structure will be used to promote LEDs.

(ii) Super Efficient Equipment Program (SEEP) – SEEP has been designed to accelerate the development of energy efficient appliances by providing financial assistance at critical point of intervention. The goal is to support introduction and development of efficient technologies by providing incentives to the manufacturers.

(C) Energy Efficiency Funding Platform (EEFP) – A mechanism, that would help financing in demand side management programmes, by capturing future energy savings. Its a platform where, Financial Institutions (FIs), ESCOs and Government work together for the development of energy efficiency market.

(D) Framework for Energy Efficient Economic Development (FEEED) – Framework for development of fiscal instruments to promote energy efficiency. Two funds have been created under FEEED (i) Partial Risk Guarantee Fund for Energy Efficiency (PRGFEE) and (ii) Venture Capital Fund for Energy Efficiency (VCFEE) to provide partial coverage of risk involved in extending loans and equity respectively.

3. National Mission on Sustainable Habitat – This mission aims at making habitat sustainable through improvements in energy efficiency in buildings, management of solid waste and shift to public transport. NMSH will promote energy efficiency in urban areas through 3 initiatives. (i) Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), (ii) Recycling of Material and Urban Waste Management, like producing power from waste, R&D in bio-chemical conversion, waste water use, sewage utilisation etc., (iii) Better urban planning and modal shift to public transport.

4. National Water Mission – Aims at conservation of water, minimising wastage and ensuring equitable distribution across and within the states. Following goals have been set under the National Water Policy:

(i) Enhancing water use efficiency by 20% (ii) Recycling of waste water to meet large part of water needs of urban areas (iii) Adoption of new and appropriate technologies such as low temperature desalination for coastal cities (iv) Basin level management strategies such as rain water harvesting, etc. (iv) Improving efficiency of existing irrigation systems, recharging of ground water sources and adoption of large scale irrigation programmes.

5. National Mission for Sustaining the Himalyan Ecosystem – The mission focuses on sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan glacier and mountain ecosystem through various measures.

6. National Mission for Green India – Green India focuses on enhancement of carbon sinks and afforestation and increase the forest cover from 23% to 33%.

7. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture – Aims to make agriculture sector more resilient to climate change by identifying and developing new varieties of crops, capable of withstanding harsh extreme weather. Monitoring and recommending changes in agriculture practices.

8. National Mission for Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change – Broadly this mission aims at funding of high quality research and establishments of dedicated climate change related academic units in Universities and research institutions.