In order to remain fittest, every industry needs to undertake all actions at its command for optimisation of productivity and efficiency on different fronts, particularly, on major inputs. One of the most important ingredients in industrial development anywhere is energy. We all know that electrical energy is significant among the commercial energy mix and this can be made available on a commercial scale by suitable usage of various fuels. The need today is of reliable and quality energy available continuously at lowest cost. In order to realise it, we need to have a corporate approach for the same, i.e. corporate approach for energy efficiency. The necessity of a well-planned corporate approach is further heightened by the fact that in the third millennium, every countrys progress will be intricately linked with its energy resources.
Energy does not come in one form alone. It comes in several forms:
· Fossil fuels comprising of coal, oil and natural gas
- Hydroelectric, photovoltaic, solar, tidal and wind energy
All these forms of energies have their own advantages as well as shortcomings. Fossil fuels are comparatively easier to use. In the world, it is fossil fuels which account for as much as 70% of energy produced. By 2020, the fossil fuel will cater to 73% of the worlds energy needs. It is estimated after taking into account the current and expected consumption rates that the reserves of coal will last for nearly 200 years, oil for 40 years and natural gas for 60 years. Unless newer reserves are identified and savings to available energy are preserved, we will be in serious trouble on this front. It is a known fact now that coal, oil and natural gas reserves are fast depleting and that the fossil fuel era is gradually coming to an end. Consider the fact that in India, 95% of the total commercial energy utilised for industrial and domestic purposes comes from fossil fuels.
A dominant role, as is being played by fossil fuels in the energy sector is quite apparent. 95% of commercial energy in India comes from fossil fuels with coal contributing nearly 60%, oil and natural gas 35%, and balance 5% met by hydroelectric and nuclear power generation.
Coal: As per the study and estimates of Geological Survey of India, in 1992, the total reserves stood at 1,93,800 million tonnes and proved reserves were of 64,800 million tonnes, which is about 6% of the worlds reserves. The coal production in India is expected to peak between 2040 to 2080 AD and this is true on a global level also.
Oil: Consider the annual consum-ption, domestic production and import of crude over the years. In 1951, the consumption of petroleum products was only 3.89 million tonnes, most of which was imported. In contrast, the consumption was 17.59 million tonnes in 1970, 30.90 million tonnes in 1980s, and 57.9 million tonnes in 1990 with most of the products being refined in India. From 1951 to 1970, the annual increase in the consumption was about 8.3%, from 1970 to 1980 it was 5.8%, while from 1980 to 1990 it was 6.5%. In 1951, the domestic production of crude oil was only 0.27 million tonnes. It rose sharply in 60s with the discoveries of oil on shore in Assam and Gujarat and was a little over 7 million tonnes from 1971 to 1974. Again it increased considerably with offshore discoveries in Mumbai High and was 33.3 million tonnes in 1990. Proved recoverable reserves were estimated to be 366 million tonnes in 1980 and to be 758 million tonnes in 1990. The present indications are that the domestic production of crude may not increase much and India may have to increase imports of crude oil for refining and for meeting its demand. This import shall cost the country thousands of crores of rupees every year. In the event no substantial new discoveries are made, the position will become rather serious. The present domestic production cannot be sustained for more than 25 years.
Natural gas: The annual production of natural gas in India commenced from 1969 onwards. In 1969, the production was only 0.516 billion cubic metres. The annual increase in production has been rather quite large and has an average value of 18.2%. Proved recoverable reserves of natural gas were estimated to be 252 billion cubic metres in 1980 and this rose to 868 billion cubic metres in 1990. Major gas fields have been discovered in the 70s and 80s and the prospects of finding more gas reserves appear quite good. One of the major problems concerning natural gas is that a significant amount is in the form of associated gas, which often flares because facilities for using it have not been developed yet.
Hydro electric power
The installed capacity of hydroelectric power, at the beginning of the first five-year plan in 1951, was 560 MW only. Over a span of four decades, it has increased at an average rate of 9%. In the 90s, the capacity went up to nearly 18,590 MW. The estimated potential for installed capacity to go up is nearly 41,000 MW. This potential may further increase to about 80,000 to 1,00,000 MW, if power is harnessed in collaboration with neighbouring countries like Nepal.
From the overview of the existing sources of energy above, it is evident that fossil fuels have been bearing the brunt of the burden of catering to the power supply needs of the industries
In India. The other sources are fledglings and are serving as mere supplements to fossil fuels. With fossil fuels getting exhausted rapidly in the wake of the rising power supply demand and the non-conventional sources of energy currently not having the potential to fulfill all the energy requirements of the industry, energy conservation is of paramount importance. The non-conventional sources of energy require some time to develop and mature to figure as efficient replacements for fossil fuels in the future.
Energy demand scenario
Having had an overview about the reserves for energy, let us now have a look at the energy demand scenario. One of the most important ingredients in industrial development anywhere is electrical energy, which can be made available by the use of various fuels, as described earlier. The demand for energy in the 20th century shot up enormously and it is still continuing to increase. Energy supply levels are not at all able to cater to this demand. Indias power sector, like those in many advanced developing countries, faces an acute scarcity of capital for expansion on the massive scale required for maintaining Indias historical industrial expansion rates. The industrial sector account for more than half of the total energy consumed in India (industry 70%, agriculture 22%, and domestic 8%). From the statistical data of peak demand and availability of energy on an all-India level from 1992-93 to 1996-97, you will also observe projections of demand on energy as well as peak load. Out of this 20-35% of energy in industry, transport, agriculture and domestic use is allowed to go waste.
Need for energy efficiency
It is therefore vitally important that measures for energy efficiency by upgradation and conservation are undertaken at a faster pace. In keeping with the demand for quality energy at cheaper rates, an urgent need exists for us to explore:
· Developing alternate sources of energy
· Resorting to conservation in the use of fossil fuels for maintaining their availability
· Energy management to prevent irreversible consequences
· Incorporating efficiency improvements as part of business strategies
Now let us take up these aspects, one by one.
1. Development of alternate source of energy: This could cover development of nuclear, solar, wind, tidal waves, etc. Energy could also be harnessed from geothermal and chemical reactions. However, all these avenues are in the infancy stage and shall need extensive research and development before they could be put to commercial use.
2. Resort to conservation in use of fossil fuels: This is the need of the hour and should be done as much as possible so that we can maintain and prolong their availability. The latter two aspects of energy management and end use efficiency improvement are of great significance for sustainable development.
With the opening up of Indian market and the setting in of economic liberalisation process, the concept of optimum utilisation of inputs to remain competitive has acquired great significance. One of the most important aspects in this context is optimum utilisation, management and conservation of energy. The dictum "Each unit of energy saved is each unit of energy produced" should be effectively applied in realisation of this objective. Instead of continuing the business-as-usual approach, improving the efficiencies with which energy is consumed at its point of end use, should receive our utmost attention.