India’s installed power generation capacity crossed two lakh MW last week. However, there is little cheer as demand continues to soar.
The Central Electricity Authority indicates that against a peak demand of 130,250 MW, the deficit was 11.1 per cent or 14,458 MW for 2011-12.
For Mumbai alone, the peak demand in summer is over 3200 MW, which is said to be higher by 500 to 600 MW than in winter.
Come summer and the power sector keeps its fingers crossed. The gap between demand and supply continues to widen each year with a steep rise in demand, commensurate with the growing middle class in the country.
For consumers, higher consumption means spiralling power bills, especially for the middle-class.
“We know that energy saved is energy gained. Small amounts of energy saved on the home front add up to a significant amount of energy saved at the national level. Thus, it is very important that everyone shares responsibility in employing energy-efficient measures at the individual level. Tata Power has always been working to spread awareness on energy conservation, especially among children through various school programmes like Tata Power Club Enerji,” said Mr Anil Sardana Managing Director, Tata Power. To beat the heat and lighten the burden on the wallet, Tata Power has simple, but effective solutions, to reduce household electricity bills by 30-35 per cent.
The peak time for electricity consumption is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in major cities. During this time, a residential consumer will be unnecessarily charged higher for every unit of electricity consumed. It is advisable to run electrical appliances such as the washing machine during off-peak times.
Summer logs high sales of air-conditioners (ACs) and fans. Opt for Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) star-rated labelled ACs and fans as they consume 10 -35 per cent less energy. Five-star rated ACs cool and dehumidify a room in 30 minutes, so use a timer and leave the unit off for some time.
Clean the air-conditioner filter every month. In general, it may work out cheaper to buy a new energy-efficient AC than using an old inefficient one.
Use a ceiling or table fan as the first choice because the air movement will cool the room.
AC consumption can be brought down by 35 per cent by shading windows and walls in addition to keeping doors to air-conditioned rooms closed and leak proof.
Use blinds and drapes to keep away the sun. It is advisable to have shades for east and west facing windows.
Substitute incandescent bulbs with energy efficient tungsten filament tubes (TFL) or compact fluorescent lamps. They are highly energy efficient, long lasting and consume far less energy.
Switch to a gas-based geyser by extending the piped natural gas connection from the kitchen. A gas-based geyser is cheaper to buy and run.
Star labelled refrigerators have ratings from one to five. Higher the rating, the less energy they consume.
Keep the refrigerator compartment between two and five degree C and the freezer at -18°C.
This is adequate to preserve food and lowering the temperature only wastes power. Freezers should not be more than two-thirds full.
It is important that the refrigerator door closes tightly.
Place a piece of paper between the door and the gasket and if it can be easily pulled out when the door is closed, the gasket is probably worn out and needs to be replaced. The fridge and the door seal need to be kept clean.
Small appliances use less power than large ones. Save money by using a microwave oven rather than a regular electric oven or stove.
While building a new house, use white tiles on the roof as it helps reflect heat.
Opt for at least two electricity audits for homes, one during the coldest month and one in the hottest month. It will indicate how much power is being consumed and where one can save.
An International Energy Agency analysis says that the country’s electricity demand is to more than triple by 2035, indicating that over 650 GW of new capacity has to come in by then.
The Agency estimates India would need an investment of at least $135 billion to provide universal access of electricity to its population.
It expects India to add up to 1200 GW of additional power generation capacity by 2050.
Importantly, the technologies and fuel sources adopted might make a significant impact on global resource usage as also the environment. On the home front, the realisation for electricity supplies made by the State Electricity Boards is dismal.
For 2009-10, the average unit cost of power supplied to consumers was Rs 3.54, while average realisation was Rs 2.68, which includes supply to agriculture.
From agriculture alone realisation was Re 0.89.