Lauding India’s leadership in mitigating the climate change challenges, Mr. John Roome, Senior Director – Climate Change, The World Bank, said that India is the “shining light” in the energy efficiency space. He added, “the recent successes have been impressive & have produced results & impacts that are being discussed around the world”.
Mr. Roome was speaking on the second day of the five-day international conference on energy efficiency – International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2017). The event has been organised by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), in partnership with The World Bank, and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).
The first two days of the international conference saw participation from over 260 national and international delegates from 13 countries, representing governments, multilateral organisations, financing bodies, industry, and academia. The two days witnessed deliberations on solutions for barriers and challenges in the energy efficiency space. Speakers from The World Bank, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), USA, International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, Clean Energy Ministerial, Asian Development Bank, India, International Finance Corporation, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China, Alliance to Save Energy, USA, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), USA provided a much-needed insight to improve on energy efficiency initiatives of the world.
From cutting-edge technologies, to innovative financing, skilling, and empowerment, a range of topics were discussed.
In his keynote speech, Dr. Amory Lovins, Co-founder and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, highlighted that energy savings are, “already the world’s biggest energy source, much bigger than oil.” He stated that that renewables will continue to accelerate, because they’re the best buy on the supply side, but energy efficiency can bring about massive returns. The Rocky Mountain Institute, which Dr. Lovins co-founded, is working with NITI Aayog to develop the Electric Vehicle policy for India.
With an aim to empower the next generation of energy management executives, EESL signed a memorandum of understanding with Poornima University, Jaipur and LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur. Under these partnerships, EESL and the institutes will promote energy efficiency on their respective campuses, promote research and innovation, and share information and resources for collaborative energy efficiency projects.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Saurabh Kumar said, “As the world transitions to clean energy, the adoption of energy efficiency can make the transition cheaper, faster and more beneficial across all sectors of our economies. All progressive economies are working on bringing in more energy efficiency in their energy development strategy. Conferences like INSPIRE 2017 gives us the opportunity to exchange ideas, and adopt best practices suitable for our countries. We must keep the conversation going and hope that the next year will be a bigger success. I would like to thank each participant for making the programme successful.”
A brief overview of the sessions is provided below:
Discussing paradigm shift in global energy efficiency scenario
International experts such as Mr. Benoit Lebot, International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, France, Mr. Mark Lister from Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency, Denmark and Mr. Christian Zinglersen of Clean Energy Ministerial, France discussed the need for integration in energy efficiency – from bringing efficiency in vocational sectors to educational curricula. The 6Ds of energy efficiency were also discussed, like: a) de-coupling, b) de-carbonization, c) digitalization, d) de-centralization, e) democratization and f) desirable.
Innovative financing for energy efficiency
As pointed out by Dr. Steven Fawkes from EnergyPro Limited, UK, the most significant barrier was making EE projects ‘investible’ particularly since there was much capital looking for investment, and green investment, more specifically. Representatives from financing institutions like the International Finance Corporation, Small Industries Development Bank of India, SIDBI spoke about the nature of investments made in private sector, small and media industries and collaboration with international partners like KfW, JICA, WB, etc.
Dr. Fawkes pointed out that there is a need to make available an underwriting toolkit, which would help assess the risks involved in a project but pointed out the opportunities in the form of new buildings, factories, etc., also pointing out the necessity for a banking regulation which looked at climate-related risks – this discussion, although quite out of the current discourse on EE policy, was one whose time had come.
It was heartening to hear Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), India, who said that the bank would double its annual climate financing to $6 billion by 2020, of which $4 billion would be dedicated to mitigation actions such as support for renewables, energy efficiency, etc.
Mr. SP Garnaik, CGM, EESL shared that awareness plans, demand aggregation models, procurement techniques, distribution network, repayment guarantees are key to EESL’s success. He pointed that there has been about 1/8th cost reduction of energy efficiency products in past few years. He further mentioned that EESL has successfully been able to create a market mechanism without Government’s monetary assistance.
Success stories from the world:
Experts from several developed nations such as Korea, United States of America, United Kingdom gave their perspectives on improving energy efficiency measures. Ranging from dedicated fund (for subsidies, loans, etc.), staff, tax incentives, strong regulation, a standards and labelling programme and strong building code, measures are required to transform the sector and increase adoption. With its own set of demographic and topographic challenges, experts from Asian countries comprising India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Thailand provided case studies of initiatives in their own countries.
Success stories from India:
Business Unit heads of EESL gave a perspective to the international audience about the world-class interventions in demand-side management in the country across various sectors. From domestic lighting, to buildings, EESL has demonstrated success with zero subsidy from the government and transformed the markets. Mr Rajneesh Rana, General Manager, EESL, spoke in detail about the solar power potential and related programmes, their modalities and operating details.
Taking interventions to the next level, India is now looking at bringing global technology and solutions to the country by making strategic investments. Ms. Neelima Jain, CEO, EPAL spoke about making the grid smart mandatory in India, given the estimated scenarios. EESL is working on a multi mega-watt battery storage plant in Ontario. With the ever-increasing energy consumption, technologies like battery storage will go hand in hand with efficiency to balance supply and demand. She explained how Battery storage helps stabilise grids, which is a challenge as they become increasingly dependent on intermittent renewable energy sources.
As part of an exhibition to showcase EESL’s projects and schemes, a small exhibit was setup to help participants closely understand them. The indigenously manufactured solar lamps by rural women of the country remained the highlight of the display. These project is being implemented in five states in a co-financing model i.e Rs 500 from the Central Government and Rs 100 from the school children for each lamp. They have a run time of about 13 hours on low intensity power mode. The initiative has seen the light of the day with efforts of IIT-Bombay along with EESL.