Indian State looks to Energy Efficiency to Close Power Gap

TARGETING High Tension (HT) energy consumers to make energy efficiency improvements may be the best way for India’s southern most state of Tamil Nadu to close their 2,500 MW power deficit.

HT consumers are those that draw over 112 kW of power. They include big industries and large commercial establishments such as five star hotels.

Tamil Nadu's energy managers are considering buying more power from other Indian states, but energy auditors believe that energy efficiency measures taken across higher level power consumers offers the best strategy to cut power consumption and hence the power deficit.

The HT consumers draw a lot of power, almost 30 percent of the state’s power, leading a Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) source to reveal: "It would be easier for the authorities to get the HT consumers to adopt energy efficiency measures and cut power consumption than to convince crores (10s of millions) of domestic consumers. HT consumers also have the resources along with the technical expertise to make the small investments to improve energy efficiency,"

"Energy efficiency can be achieved in the short-term at a fraction of the cost of constructing new plants," says N Chockalingam, an energy auditor and a former chief engineer at TNEB.

"Energy conservation means cutting losses without losing productivity or losing comforts such as air conditioning," added M Nallamaruthamuthu, an energy auditor and a former superintending engineer at TNEB.

Nallamaruthamuthu suggest several methods to reduce power consumed by higher consumers by 30 percent. He includes lighting, LEDs, daylight saving and proximity lighting controls.

Chockalingam notes that motors are major energy consumers in the HT industries. Replacing an old motor with an energy-efficient one can be expensive. "But there are ways to ensure that the current drawn by these motors is used more effectively," he said.

Picture By Balasubramanian G Velu (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday 25th April 2011


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