Energv y & I

This booklet is part of a Series of 6 Booklets on Environmental Sustainability with a special focus on Climate Change. Each booklet aims to motivate individuals to take action to mitigate global warming by providing basic information in an easy to understand manner.

Energy & I

Copyright © 2008 Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE)

ISBN 978-81-902018-1-0 PUBLISHER - Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, transmitted or reproduced in a retrieval system in any form or by any means without prior permission of the Publisher.
This booklet is printed using environmentally-friendly materials. The inks used are vegetable oil-based inks and the paper is wood-free and chlorine-free.

Energy is more than just numbers on your electricity bill. Energy is found everywhere and drives all life on planet earth. Energy lights our cities, runs our buses and cars, powers our factories, cooks our food, cools our homes, runs our computers and telephones, plays our music, and gives us our serials and cricket matches on television. To put it very simply, energy is essential for human beings to survive on planet Earth.

One of energy’s greatest benefits is that it can be converted from one form to another which allows human beings to do work. For example, chemical energy stored in a flashlight’s batteries becomes light energy when turned on. Similarly, the food we eat contains chemical energy that our bodies digest to do work in the form of kinetic energy. 3

Everything I do...

Bathe and shower




Use electronic items

Exercise Wear clothes




Today, people across the world consume 1,117 x 1011 kilowatts (kW) per hour annually. 4

...I consume energy!

Wind energy

Petrol/ Diesel

Food energy



Solar energy Hydropower

Nuclear energy



India is the world’s fifth largest energy consumer. By 2030, it’s projected to surpass Japan and Russia to take third place behind USA and China. 5

How Much Energy do we Consume?
Country China India USA Brazil Pakistan Russia Bangladesh Japan Nigeria Mexico Population
(in millions)
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau (2007) & EIA (2005)

Energy consumed
(quadrillion Btu*)

1,322 1,130 301 190 164 141 150 127 135 108

67.09 16.20 100.69 9.33 2.25 30.29 0.69 22.57 1.07 6.88

* One Btu is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound (454 grams) of water by one degree farenheit (0.56 degree celsius). 6

While energy is found everywhere not all of it is easily captured for use in our day-to-day activities. There are many different sources of energy. These include: non renewable sources like fossil fuels (petroleum, kerosene, coal) and renewable sources like wind energy, hydroelectric energy and solar energy.


Fossil fuels: are our largest source of direct energy today. Fossil fuels include petroleum (crude oil), coal and natural gas. The combustion of these fuels in thermal power plants, car engines and even gas stoves produces heat energy, which can then be used to turn on a light, power a car or cook food. Fossil fuels are so called because they are formed from the fossilised remains of dead plants and animals, by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth’s crust, over hundreds of millions of years.
India today produces 1,28,753 megawatts (MW) of power, of which 84,020 MW comes from thermal plants. 8



Where are fossil fuels used? Fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and gas are used in thermal plants. They are also used by cars, buses, motorbikes and some trains. Gas stoves and vehicles running on CNG or LPG also use fossil fuels.

There is a finite amount of fossil fuels found on Earth. In terms of years of production left, Oil = 45 years, Gas = 72 years, Coal = 252 years. This means our supply of non renewable fossil fuels is very limited. 9

Nuclear Energy is produced by a controlled nuclear chain reaction a process in which nuclear fission (splitting the nucleus of an atom) is induced by a neutron (a sub-atomic particle that make up the nucleus) that releases further neutrons. This in turn may cause further fission reactions and ultimately creates heat that is used to boil water, produce steam, and drive a steam turbine. The turbine can be used for mechanical work and also to generate electricity.

Many studies indicate that coal-based power plants actually release more radioactive wastes into the environment than nuclear power plants. 10

THE NUCLEAR DEBATE Is nuclear energy really the answer? Nuclear Power is: Expensive (40% more than wind energy). At risk from natural calamities. Radioactive toxic waste from nuclear plants will remain on the Earth for thousands of years. A global risk as countries can use these plants to make nuclear weapons. Is not free from carbon emissions, as mining and transporting uranium, building nuclear plants and storage of nuclear waste, all produce carbon emissions. The answer: Use renewable energy to power the entire country. India has enough renewable energy sources. They are a longterm, safer, cleaner and, more cost effective alternative to nuclear power.

Radioactive wastes cannot be disposed off safely and permanently. Spent uranium must be guarded for at least 15,000 years and plutonium for about 75,000-100,000 years. 11

Where does our electricity come from? Around 90% of Delhi’s power supply comes from fossil fuel based thermal power plants such as the Rajghat Power House and Indraprastha Power Station. Between 80% to 85% of Mumbai’s power supply comes from fossil fuel based thermal power plants such as the Tata Power Plant in Trombay and Reliance Energy Power Plant in Dahanu. Hydel power constitutes only 15% to 20%. Most of our electricity comes from nonrenewable fossil fuels.

Ten states in India have made it compulsory that 0.5% to 10% of the power generated should come from renewable energy sources. 12



Most of our energy is sourced from non-renewable sources of energy like coal and petroleum. The use of fossil fuels as a major source of India’s energy has detrimental effects on the local and global environment. Air pollutants produced by thermal power plants pose a serious threat to human health and are responsible for respiratory disorders like asthma. Thermal power plants produce toxic and radioactive fly-ash as a by-product. Mining and extraction of fossil fuels causes habitat loss and destruction.

Power plants (especially coal-fired) are a major source of air pollution. They are amongst the largest polluters of toxic mercury pollution, largest contributors of hazardous air toxins and also release CO2, a prime contributor to global warming. 14

Thermal power plants also release air pollutants like smoke, ash, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The SO2 and NOx released by power plants lead to the creation of acid rain which damages buildings and also harms ecosystems and crops. Deforestation leads to soil erosion. The use of fossil fuels produces huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, responsible for global warming and climate change. As we consume more energy our dependence on fossil fuels increases. This leads to further exploitation of the environment and a depletion in fossil fuel reserves.
India releases over 1,100 million tons of CO2 annually from energy use.




Global warming is the gradual increase in global temperatures caused by the emission of gases that trap the sun’s heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. This leads to climate change. Gases that contribute to global warming include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and halocarbons, which are called Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Burning fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum releases CO2 pollution, making energy use the single largest source of GHG in the world.
Some radiation is reflected by the earth and the atmosphere. Solar radiation passes through the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap solar radiation within the earth’s atmosphere, heating it.

Some radiation is absorbed by the earth’s surface, warming it.



Sustainable use of energy

WHAT energy we use

HOW we use energy

The choices we make about WHAT source of energy we use and HOW we use energy are the two most important issues with regard to sustainable use of energy.

What energy source should we use? We should use an energy source that does not emit greenhouse gases or any pollutants and whose supply will never be depleted. Renewable energy is the answer. It is also called green or non-conventional energy and does not depend on fossil fuels like coal and oil. Renewable vs. Non-renewable: Utilising renewable sources of energy is important as it has many advantages over traditional non-renewable sources. Most importantly, renewable sources of energy produce less pollution and less CO2 as compared to coal and petroleum.

What activity creates maximum greenhouse gases that lead to climate change? Production of power is the world's biggest climate polluter, responsible for 37 % of global CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.



Renewables also ensure energy security and reduce India’s dependence on other countries for the supply of fossil fuels.

Solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy are the main types of renewable energy. They do not damage the earth, emit little or no greenhouse gases and can never be depleted.

India has one of the world’s largest programs for Renewable Energy, covering all the major sources such as solar, wind, small hydro and biomass. More than 80,000 MW of power can be generated from renewable energy sources. 19

Hydroelectric Energy: Hydropower or hydroelectricity uses the kinetic energy of flowing water to do work or create other forms of energy. In the olden days this meant using flowing water to turn water wheels that were used to grind flour or pound linen to make paper.
1. Dam creates a reservior 2. Dam elevates water 3. Water turns the turbine 4. Turbine produces electricity 5. Wires transmit electricty

5 1 2

4 3



Large scale hydroelectric projects have several disadvantages. While they supply us with necessary power and electricity, they also cause extensive damage to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems both upstream and downstream and also cause the displacement of local populations. They are not safe and rarely deliver the promised amount of energy. 20

Today, large and small scale dams are used to generate electricity. Water stored in dams is released in a controlled manner to turn a turbine, which then creates electricity through a generator. India has many rivers and streams and the Small Hydro Power (SHP) sector has an estimated potential of generating 15,000 MW. So far only about 10% of this has been utilised.

India gets 26% of its total power from small and large hydroelectric projects.


Wind Energy: Wind, like water, has been used as a source of energy since ancient times. Wind can be used to generate energy using the old wind mills or using modern wind turbines. When the wind blows against the blades of a windmill or turbine, the movement of the spinning blades will produce mechanical energy and electricity.

Wind energy potential in India is 45,000 MW per day with new highefficiency turbines.



Setting the trend? Actress Aishwarya Rai has invested Rs. 11 crores in a wind energy project at Kothari in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. So far, she has earned a tax free return of Rs. 83 lakhs on her investment. Aishwarya Rai is so impressed by the project that she has secretly visited the project site at Kothari twice already. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has also invested in renewable energy. Very few people in India know that investing in Renewable Energy is a tax-saving mechanism.

The worldwide installed capacity of wind power is 78,728 MW as on 31st March 2007. The top 5 wind power producing countries are Germany, Spain, USA, India and Denmark. India produces 7,230 MW of wind energy annually; which is enough energy to power two large Indian metropolitan cities for a year. 23

Solar Energy: The sun is the source of all energy on the planet. The sun warms the Earth and gives us light. Plants use sunlight to manufacture food through the process of photosynthesis. Humans have been using heat from the sun to boil water and cook food. Today, our use of solar energy has become even more sophisticated through the use of solar power plants and photo-voltaic cells, which convert solar energy into electricity.
Solar irradiance from the sun

Solar panel(s)
Inverter and/or Battery System

Electric current Charge controller

AC Power

DC Power

The working of a photo-voltaic cell




Solar Water Heaters: Return of investment in 3-4 years. Provide uninterrupted source of water heating. Have a long life span of 20 years. Have low maintenance. Are shock proof. Saves up to 1,500 units of electricity in a year per flat, for a consumption of 100 liters of hot water per day per flat.

India receives over 5,000 trillion kWh/year of solar energy: far more than India’s total energy consumption. Yet it accounts for only 0.2% of the total energy produced in India. 25


Bio-fuels: Biofuels are fuels derived from biomass which is organic material. Biofuels are a renewable source of energy. Ethanol is the most common biofuel worldwide. In India, ethanol is derived from the molasses of sugarcane. Biodiesel is also a biofuel but one which is produced from vegetable oils. In India, biodiesel is mainly obtained through non-edible oil seeds like Karanj and Jatropha.



Biofuels are not necessarily the answer to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. A 2007 study has reported that emissions from the burning of biofuels derived from rapeseed and corn have been found to produce more GHGs than they save. Growing plants for biofuels also leads to more deforestation. 26

The choices we make about how we use energy, like turning off machines when we are not using them or choosing energy efficient appliances, impact our environment and our lives. We can do many things to use less energy and use it more wisely. These involve energy conservation and energy efficiency. Energy conservation is any behaviour that results in the use of less energy. Energy efficiency is the use of technology that uses less energy for the same function. Energy use occurs in four main sectors; domestic, commercial, transportation and industrial. We can reduce our energy consumption in each of these sectors through direct and indirect actions.

It takes the energy output of at least one power station to keep the traffic lights in the British Isles operating. 27

How we use energy

Washing machine 10% Lighting 7%

Refrigerator 6%

Heating & cooling 45% Water heating 11%

Others 21%

Domestic & Commercial: Heating and Cooling: We use air-conditioners to keep our homes and work spaces cool and we use geysers to heat bath water. Both these activities use a lot of energy. We can cut our use of energy by using more energy efficient appliances like fans instead of air conditioners and using solar energy to heat water. We can also design our buildings to become more energy efficient.
For every degree you raise your AC thermostat above 22° C you can save up to 5-7% on your cooling costs. 28


Lighting: A significant part of our electricity bills go towards lighting. And yet a lot of this expenditure is unnecessary. We can easily cut down on energy consumption for lighting by turning off lights when not needed and switching to energy efficient bulbs and tube lights.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) cost more but save money in the long run as they use one-fourth the energy of incandescent bulbs and last 8-12 times longer. DID YOU


If all households in Delhi replace 4 ordinary 60-watt bulbs with 4 CFLs of 15-watt, the annual saving of resources and reduction in pollution will be: Saving of electricity - 757 million units (1 unit is equal to 1kW per hour). Amount of money saved - Rs 273 crores. Reduction in greenhouse gases (CO2) - 7.55 lakh tonnes. Water saving - 4,052 million litres per year (equivalent to 11 million litres per day). 29

Appliances: We use all sorts of appliances in our homes and workspaces. Everything from mixers and TVs to washing machines and microwaves consume energy. We can cut down on our energy consumption by reducing our dependence on electrical appliances and by switching to more energy efficient options. How much energy does my appliance consume?
Appliance Refrigerator, frost-free Refrigerator, manual frost AC, 10 SEER* (per tonne) AC, 14 SEER* (per tonne) Microwave oven Television, 21-inch, colour Washing machine (excl. water) Fan Stereo Light bulb PC with monitor (average) Toaster CFLs PC with monitor (sleep mode) 30 kilowatt/time unit 168 kWh/month 63 kWh/month 1.2 kWh/tonne 0.85 kWh/tonne 0.75 kWh/hour 0.3 kWh/hour 0.25 KWh/load 0.2 kWh/hour 0.15 kWh/hour 0.1 kWh/hour 0.09 kWh/hour 0.04 kWh/serving 0.02 to 0.03 kWh/hour 0.02 kWh/hour

*SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

You can save up to 30% of household energy costs by using energy efficient appliances. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has introduced a star rating system for appliances. When you are buying a refrigerator, an AC or a tubular fluorescent lamp look for the stars on the BEE label. The most energy saving appliances have 5 stars. The least energy efficient ones have 1 star. Make an informed choice, save on power costs and help reverse Global Warming.


Name the ‘one small change’ that can make a big difference to energy conservation in India? India can save 10,000 MW of power if 200 million households replace their 60-watt bulbs with a 15-watt CFL.



Transportation: India is a country on the move and it consumes large volumes of petrol and diesel to keep moving. Transportation requires vast amounts of energy. We can greatly decrease the amount of energy and fuel we consume, by making some simple straightforward changes in how we get from place to place: by replacing energy consuming modes of transport with low impact options. For example, take a bus instead of driving to work or if work is near by, walk or cycle. You can also travel more efficiently by carpooling with friends, instead of taking your own car to work.



Today there are over 6,80,00,000 vehicles on Indian roads. Indian roads are becoming more and more congested every day.


Industrial: In the industrial sector, market forces drive energy efficiency and conservation measures. By being a responsible consumer, you can chose to buy only those items that are energy efficient or don’t require a lot of energy to manufacture. By choosing to do so you also put pressure on manufacturers and industries to make their products more eco-friendly.



Industries account for about one-third of global energy demand. Most of that energy is used to produce raw materials; such as chemicals, iron and steel, non-metallic minerals, pulp and paper and non-ferrous metals.



This section has some down-to-earth and practical tips to conserve energy that each of us can easily adopt in our everyday lives.


AT YOUR HOME Whenever possible, use a fan or turn the AC thermostat up by 1-2 °C. Turn off appliances from the main switch and do not leave your computer or TV on stand-by. Use a solar heater to heat your water and do not use the geyser in summer. Wash your clothes in cold water. If you are using a washing machine, always wash a full load.

Imagine an 80,000 square foot college campus that runs totally on solar power. The Barefoot College campus at Tilonia in Rajasthan is totally self sufficient since 1986 with a 40 kilowatt solar energy unit meeting all its energy needs. All the computers, lights and fans in the college and adjoining hostel work on solar power. 35

IN THE KITCHEN Don’t keep your fridge or freezer too cold. Regularly defrost freezers. Frost build-up increases energy needed by the motor. Your gas stove flame should be blue. Yellow means the gas is burning inefficiently and wasting fuel. When cooking food, cover utensils and use as little liquid as possible - surplus water requires more heating and so more gas is used. Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens as they save energy by reducing cooking time.

Aralvoimozhy, a small village in Tamil Nadu, is on the world map of renewable energy. It has India’s largest wind farms that generate 450 MW of energy while also creating thousands of new jobs and changing the lives of the villagers. More sites around the area have now been identified for wind farms, which will increase the energy generation capacity to an estimated 1,500 MW. 36

AT SCHOOL & WORK Turn off all unnecessary lights, especially in unused offices, conference rooms and turn down other lighting levels where possible. Set computers, printers, copiers and all office equipment to their energy saving feature and turn them off at the end of the day or when not in use. Increase the temperature setting on ACs to the most comfortable level. Encourage employees to wear light and loose clothing so that they are comfortable at a slightly higher temperature. Use task lighting to illuminate work areas. Use laptop computers and ink jet printers rather than desktop computers and laser printers, as they use 90% less energy. Implement paper-reducing strategies, such as two-sided printing, re-using paper, and e-mail.

Recycled paper takes 60-70% less energy to produce than paper from virgin pulp. 37

WHILE TRAVELLING Walk or ride a bicycle whenever possible. Car pool whenever possible. Use public transportation whenever possible. Buy and use fuel efficient cars. Choose hybrid/electric over a normal car. Combine errands to reduce the number of trips. WHILE DRIVING Avoid rapid acceleration. Keep your vehicle engine tuned and check the air in your tyres for better fuel efficiency. Avoid hard braking and sudden stops. When starting out in your car, shift up to the next gear as soon as possible. Turn the engine off if you stop your vehicle for more than a few minutes. Reduce the use of the AC.
REVA is an Indian car with a difference: it runs on electricity. An ideal city car, it is the top selling electric car in the world! 38

(i) Electricity from Renewables: The Electricity Act, 2003, requires State Electricity Regulatory Commissions to specify a percentage of electricity that the electricity distribution companies must procure from renewable sources. (ii) Enhancing Efficiency of Power Plants: The Electricity Regulatory Commissions link tariffs to efficiency enhancement, providing an incentive for renovation and modernisation. New plants are being encouraged to adopt more efficient and clean coal technologies. (iii) Introduction of Labelling Programme for Appliances: An energy labelling programme for appliances was launched in 2006, and comparative star-based labelling has been introduced for tubelights, ACs and transformers. (iv) Energy Conservation Building Code: An Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) was launched in May 2007, which addresses the design of new, large commercial buildings to optimise the building’s energy demand. (v) Energy Audits of Large Industrial Consumers: In March 2007, it was made mandatory that energy audits should be conducted in large energy-consuming units in nine industrial sectors. These units, notified as ‘designated consumers’ are also required to employ ‘certified energy managers’, and report energy consumption and energy conservation data annually.


WEBSITES: http://www.mnes.nic.in This is Ministry of New and Renewable Energy website. It provides a whole range of information about energy-related initiatives being promoted by the Indian government. http://www.wisein.org The World Institute of Sustainable Energy website provides a wealth of information on energy issues in India. http://www.indiaenergyportal.org India Energy Portal that has been developed by the Indian Government and TERI. It provides data, news updates and information related to energy in India. http://www.iredaltd.com The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency website provides information about the Indian Government’s initiatives to promote and support renewable energy and energy efficiency/conservation projects. http://www.ashdenawards.org/schools/films This site has films and information on different communities around the world and how they have made a difference to the environment by using sustainable energy solutions.


ORGANISATIONS: Energy Efficiency: Bureau of Energy Efficiency Tel: +91-11-26179699, Fax: +91-11-26178352 Website: http://www.bee-india.nic.in Energy Solutions: ABPS Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd Tel: +91-22-2825 0050 / 6481, Fax: +91-22-2825 0051 Email: contact@abpsinfra.com Website: http://www.abpsinfra.com Practical Innovations: Barefoot College Tel: +91-1463-288204, Fax +91-1463-288206 Email: barefootcollege@gmail.com Website: http://www.barefootcollege.org Wind Energy: Suzlon Energy Tel : +91-20-4012 2000, Fax: +91-20-4012 2100 Email: pune@suzlon.com Website: http://www.suzlon.com Solar Energy: TATA BP Tel: +91-80-2235 8465, 6660 1300 Website: http://www.tatabpsolar.com

For information, contact: Centre for Environmental Research and Education Email: cere_india@yahoo.co.in Website: www.cere-india.org 41

This Series of 6 Information Booklets on Environmental Sustainability includes the titles: Waste & I Water & I Energy & I Biodiversity & I Citizenship & I Climate Change & I

The Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) is a Mumbai-based non-profit organisation that works to promote environmental sustainability.


ISBN 978-81-902018-1-0