Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What is energy efficiency and technology doing to power demand?


What is energy efficiency and technology doing to power demand?
May be something to consider seriously
 P S Deodhar
 
 Energy efficiency measures and development of new energy efficient light sources like LEDs, energy efficient appliances and digital VFD for motors etc will certainly have a significant impact on electricity demand on an ongoing basis. Analysts have observed that this aspect is often ignored by countries in their power demand estimations.  
Currently many consider impact of these as less than 1% and often ignore the reality. Currently 30% or more power generated is used for lighting. Use of the LED lights alone save 80% of the energy needed currently for lighting. (See table) LED technology is now mature and LEDs costs are intrinsically lower that conventional lighting. If India was to focus on this technology, in just five years demand for lighting power will decline even though light output in Mega lumen will grow rapidly!     

Cost & Performance Comparison between LED Lamp, CFL and Incandescent Bulb

Type of Light
LED
Lamp
CFL
Light
Incandescent
Bulb
Light bulb projected lifespan
50,000 hours
(assumed 20K hrs)
2,000 hours
1,000 hours
Power in Watts per lamp
7W
14W
60W
Appro. Cost per light in Rs.
690
120
12
Energy Units used over 20K hrs
140
280
1200
Energy Cost: 20K hrs Rs 5/KWh (A)
700
1400
6000
Lamps needed for 20k hours of use
1
10
20
Cost of bubs for 20k hours (B)
690
1200
240
Total cost for 20K hrs- Rs (A+B)
1390
2600
6240
Total approx cost per month
(6 Hrs/day) in Rs
7.00
13.50
33.00
Mechanical Endurance
Non-breakable
Glass delicate
Use of risky chemicals
none
Yes
none
Effect of voltage fluctuation on light output
none
some
dimming
Ease of Replacement
LED Bulbs have same Bayonet base (B22) as used in India; just replace

Curtsey: Mitramax Energy GmbH

Today appliances like LED/LED TVs, Fans, Air conditioners using VFD compressors have 30 to 50% less consumption. Industrial drives too have significant power saving. As energy cost goes up further people attitude towards conservation will rapidly grow. Policy that allows marketing of only energy efficient appliances will also reduce the demand growth considerably. Conservation is behaviour is strongly driven by the energy cost.

Even in the US improved appliance efficiency and new building codes are making significant dent in load growth. Many countries have extremely aggressive demand-reduction goals. India to need such a goal since it has huge ramifications for the power sector even if we are partially successful.

As an uninformed observer, I’m a bit surprised to see no mention of these developments become a part of our power planning.

I see that the SEBs and private power producers act as partners in the monopoly they manage. Strategically India has to work towards to meet demand with reliable, affordable energy without blackouts and brown-outs. Also appropriately the planning now should be more sophisticated reflecting supply, cost, technology impact, appliance efficiency, environmentally sound, and perhaps others. The accountability will now come through new political leaders who, I trust, will ensure the Utility plans and energy strategy are appropriate. Basically the new government should put in place qualified and competent custodians of this public trust.

Wrong PV Solar policies need urgent correction. In December 2011, 350 million Indians today have no access to grid power for almost 70 years after independence! that is 70 million households. Taking grid power to them is a waste of resources. We need to power them with distributed solar, wind and biomass energy. It will cost much less and there would be self-reliance. Sun is a ideal energy distributor, why use grid? Ours is a land of animals and farmers. Let us not pollute these virgin lands and light them with alternative renewable energy resources. Solar lighted village home saves kerosene worth Rs.150 to 200 each month. He can certainly afford to buy solar if banks are used to give low cost loans for the capital cost; today as little as Rs5000/- for two lights as bright as 40w bulbs. Unfortunately only the smart and moral people will take that path.

 I believe that  times to come will be most interesting when the wave of creative innovations hits the power industry as high tech completely revolutionizes this sector.

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