Indian Journal of Science and Technology
Year: 2011, Volume: 4, Issue: 3, Pages: 249-254
Department of Economics, Presidency College, Chennai–5, TN, India
Electricity has a peculiar characteristic that it cannot be economically stored in large quantities. Electricity demand is the fastest growing form of energy consumed worldwide and it is predicted that the world’s net electricity consumption will double by 2030. Therefore its generation and consumption need to be matched at all times. Demand side management (DSM) refers to the ability to alter end user electrical consumption in response to system conditions. It aims at improving energy efficiency through reduction of Kilowatt hours of energy consumption for the same service or activity. Other benefits of DSM could include higher end-use energy efficiency, improvement in quality and reduction in cost of power. Energy-efficiency improvements can slow the growth in energy consumption, save consumers money and reduce capital expenses for energy infrastructure. Innovative and efficiency improvements through DSM programmes have been carried out in a more open energy market. At the same time, government intervention has also been strengthened by the worsening of environmental situation and the need to significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. DSM programmes are used to eliminate or reduce the need for additional peak or base load generating capacity and/or distribution facilities. Losing this opportunity to build efficiency into new economies would have serious financial, environmental and social consequences in the future. India is the world’s sixth largest energy consumer. The power generating capacity increased from 66086 MW to 97846 MW during 1990-91 to 1999-2000 at an annual rate of 4.5%. The installed capacity of the power sector increased 60 fold between 1950 and 2000 at an annual growth rate of 8.5%. The per capita electricity consumption in India increased from 354.75 kWh in 1999-2000 to nearly 704.00 kWh in 2007-2008. The CO2 production in India has been showing an increasing trend in the new millennium in consonance with the rate of growth of Indian economy. Emissions per unit of electricity supplied from fossil fuels are estimated at 167 tonnes of carbon per GWh in 2005. In India power plants burn mostly coal with approximately 10-30% excess air. The national inventory of green house gases indicates that 55% of the total emissions in India come from energy sector. While public is interested in using energy more efficiently, there are several market barriers that prevent it from making rational investments in efficient technologies and practices. As the economy develops, households switch over from traditional fuels to modern and cleaner energy. Hence it is certain that household consumption of electricity is expected to increase rapidly with the increase in the growth of the economy and rise in per capita income. Urbanisation and increased flow of income call for ever-expanding sets of diverse needs. If those appliances are used efficiently, they will augment electric supply. Energy conservation potential for the economy as a whole has been assessed as 23% with maximum potential in industrial and agricultural sectors. At present new rare-earth phosphors have been developed to provide a warm light that is close in quality to the light of an incandescent. The new phosphors improve the colour of fluorescents with the same efficiency. Electricity for lighting represents approximately 34% of Indian peak power and roughly 17% of the electrical energy consumed. Incandescent lighting is estimated to constitute at least 17% of the peak demand, and roughly 10% of the national electricity consumption (135 TWh in 1984-85). Experts suggest that transferring subsidies from electricity to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) is a good proposition. Energy labelling provides information in a form that is objective and easy to understand for customers. The specified products are required to supply and declare energy data that has been determined when tested to the relevant Standard. The operating cost is also known as the ‘second price tag,’ and can help customers choose between models. Both energy labelling and standards stimulate technological change or innovation. This paper aims to examine electricity production and consumption at the All-India level and analyse the social and environmental aspects of electricity in the household sector.
Keywords: Electricity, energy-efficiency, green house gases, urbanization.
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