Resource Efficiency Policies and Initiatives Can Ensure Sustainability for India

Continuously depleting natural resources pose a great threat to the world as its population continues to rise. Starvation, lack of energy, and important requirements to sustain life throughout the world has made it obvious that current consumption and production patterns are unsustainable. Focus on manufacturing and management of resources is extremely important to maintain life on Earth; otherwise the threat surrounding us would lead to further inequities. Management of lifecycle of resources, from their extraction to consumption and eventually disposal of waste has to be efficient to create and maintain sustainability of life as we know it.

Although, worldwide changes are being seen that surface necessities and align with the requirements of sustainability, not always they lead to expected results. And since managing resources is a global commitment- countries failing to create, establish and follow the process result in limiting global environment improvement. The only way to remedy the situation is cross country collaboration and development of understanding between policy and businesses within a country.

How Can Resource Efficiency Help?

Developing policies and business practices to have minimal impact on environment can also lead to adoption of resource efficient practices that can help in integrating circular economy methods. Reuse of waste would gain efficiency and responsible management system would allow countries to save millions and billions by reducing expenses and import requirement.

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Government of India’s step towards solarizing the country is indeed an inspiring and decisive step to revolutionize energy generation and usage. The country has also announced plans of embedding resource efficiency and circular economy in initiatives and polices such as- Smart Cities, Swach Bharat, Zero Effect-Zero Defect Scheme, Ganga Rejuvenation Mission, Make in India etc, which will save resources and expenses.

How Is India Working Towards Resource Management?

NITI Aayog has joined hands with European Union delegation and released strategy on resource efficiency, which is supposed to help develop circular economy that will translate into sustainable development of the country. The strategy showcases action plans involving-

  • Manufacturing capacity development
  • Institutional development
  • Sharing of best practices
  • Development of an indicator monitoring framework
  • R&D and Technology Development
  • Waste-exchange platform

These processes will support sustainable public procurement, development of industrial clusters, and information sharing & awareness generation, saving money and leading to a better developed country.

However, to operationalize strategies for resource efficiency, India needs to create and follow sectoral policies in investment, education, innovation, trade, and skills development that can support resource efficiency development.

Why Policies Are Needed?

Policies are needed to facilitate the resource efficiency processes within the management supply chain of businesses. Strategies cannot deliver result unless businesses develop resource management processes within their existing framework. In order to do that, businesses often need financial support to accept and adopt large scale efforts towards waste management and efficient resource handling. Lack of technological infrastructure also hinders businesses in following the strategies prescribed the Government. In such cases, policies facilitating support can help. It is also important to improve the economic analysis of efficient resource management.

The Way Forward

Evolving consumerism has urged rapid changes in product and service generation. India has done a marvellous job in energy generation and management by selecting solar. However, rethinking the resource management processes and effectively incorporating processes that will focus on resource usage, increasing exports, and reducing forex outflow is needed.

 

http://wsds.teriin.org/imperatives-operationalizing-resource-efficiency.php

 

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Focusing On Energy Efficiency to Gain Energy Security

At a time when India is trying to turn around the energy scenario, focusing on energy efficiency can serve as a well thought plan to reach the targets and to provide power to all. Managing and increasing energy efficiency is one of the most economical way to get energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Worldwide energy efficiency improvements from year 2000 have shown near about 12% decrease in world’s power consumption. Being effective in this pursuit stands to reduce the energy import expenses of countries, which is a welcoming reprieve to developing and developed countries both, since the price of fossil fuels are estimated to rise.

Worldwide Gains and Success Stories

Japans has made considerable energy efficiency gains from the year 2000 to 2016. Without such gain, statistics suggest that Japan’s oil and gas imports in 2016 would have been 20-23% higher than it was.

According to a recent study done by the American Council, Germany has also made quite the energy transformation through following a comprehensive energy efficiency process.

Ireland has also reduced its carbon emission nearly to 15%/year in last couple of years.

France also offers tax credits to energy efficient businesses. And with the encouragement from the Government, industrial and transport sectors of the country have increased energy efficiency by 19% and 12% respectively.

In 2015, UK announced to reduce its carbon emissions by focusing on renewable energy installation and becoming energy efficient by 80% within 2050.

So, it is fair to state that energy efficiency is regarded as to be a major component to create and maintain a sustainable energy economy while saving the environment. Therefore, it is time for India to follow the same tried and tested path to build its own energy efficient country, saving billions from energy import and building a stronger renewable energy infrastructure.

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Impact of Energy Efficiency in Different Sectors

Residential, Industry, and transport all can have positive effects by following energy efficient paths. For example, energy intensive industries like cement manufacturing and aluminium smelting around the world have received great results in reducing their annual expenses, which can be an advantage in this emerging economy. World has taken this hint and changing their energy consumption habits while using energy saving utilities. And based upon this change, survey estimates suggest that nearly 90% of the indoor lighting would use LEDs and CFLs worldwide by 2022.

Prospects for India

Becoming energy efficient has great positive implications for India. India is facing rising energy demands and taking initiatives towards building industries for socio-economic growth. In this scenario, although following renewable energy installation initiatives can help, the country must depend on regularizing energy efficiency protocols to transform energy production, which can match the consumption levels. India’s Nationally Determined Contributions have also given importance to become energy efficient, considering it a necessity to manage energy demand.

Large industries following Perform Achieve and Trade Scheme (PAT) are seeing positive results in reducing their energy consumption while increasing production in India. Initiatives like Energy Conservation Building Codes and Standards are giving residential and commercial building the opportunity to reduce their energy consumption bills without compromising on the needs.

Pradhan Mantri UJALA Yojana of India is already making strides in leading global LED market. And recent study by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has highlighted that becoming energy efficient in India can help industries like- iron & steel, cement, bricks and other MSMEs, thus allowing the country to build a more efficient, productive, and less expensive industry infrastructure.

The Way Forward

The shift towards solar was a decisive decision by India, and the support, encouragement, and policy initiatives would surely lead the industry to scale great heights. However, to make that happen, India needs to make more supportive arrangements. Becoming energy efficient is one of them. In addition, developed countries are also following the same path thus making it easier for India to make the decisions of maximizing efforts in becoming an energy efficient country.

 

Bibliography:

http://wsds.teriin.org/energy-efficiency-focus.php

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-most-energy-efficient-countries.html

 

 

 Share your thoughts with me on this at @gyaneshc.