Conserve environment was the mantra when the Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal, exhorted people to spread awareness about energy conservation and help improve environmental equilibrium. Goyal was speaking at a function in New Delhi on December 14, 2016 to celebrate the 26th National Energy Conservation Day 2016 organized by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). During the function, the Minister gave away National Energy Conservation Awards – 2016 to industrial units and other establishments, and National Energy Conservation Painting Competition Prizes to students and also spoke on the need to conserve environment.
Conserve environment: Government set to bid goodbye to inefficient power plants
Informing the gathering about a slew of measures taken by the Government to increase energy efficiency that would help conserve environment, Goyal said that the Nation has embarked on a mission to reduce India’s carbon footprint by phasing out all inefficient thermal power plants, older than 25 years, with modern energy efficient super critical ones. NTPC has already given the in-principle clearance to replace around 11,000 MW of its old, inefficient thermal power plants. The plants would be replaced in about five years, with an investment of around Rs. 50,000 crores, he added.
Further, the Minister informed that the Power Ministry is in talks with the Environment Ministry for clearances, which should not be a problem as it is a huge step in increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions that would help conserve environment. He also urged the State Governments to work in Mission-mode to modernize their 25years old thermal power plants with new super critical technology t help conserve environment.
Initiatives to help Conserve environment:
Speaking on other initiatives taken by the Government, the Minister said that there are over 16,000 households in about 800 inaccessible villages in India which lack grid connectivity. The Ministry would be providing, to each such household, a 300 KW Solar panel, 8-hour battery backup, 5 LED bulbs, an energy efficient ceiling fan and a solar power based mobile phone charging socket, all free of cost under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY).
Further, all the companies under the Ministry of Power, under their CSR initiatives, would be providing a solar power based television set to these households. Through this initiative, the Minister added, the children who were deprived of electricity for years would get a chance to integrate with the global community.
Informing about the progress of the UJALA LED scheme, the Goyal said that according to the latest figures from UJALA dashboard, over 18.38 crore LED bulbs have been distributed by EESL and another 25 crore by private sector companies. This drive has witnessed an unthinkable reduction of around 88% in LED prices in just 20 months, which led to an annual saving of around Rs. 10,000 crores for the consumers. The savings would scale up to Rs. 40,000 crores in the next 3 years.
The Minister also added that Gujarat has become the first state in the country to replace all street lights with LED bulbs and this has been achieved with zero investment by the State in the scheme as the financial savings are so huge. Further, he said that India is in talks with the neighboring countries to take the LED programme to them and become a leader in the Energy Efficiency Mission.
Interacting with children from 17 schools from across the nation, Goyal answered their questions and noted that Youth of the Nation has the capability to bring a transformation in the mindsets and take the habit of conserving energy to each family. While answering a question from Port Blair, the Minister informed that the Government is working towards transforming Andaman & Nicobar Islands into ‘Green Islands’. He said that a 20 MW solar power plant has been established and a draft plan has been prepared to scale the solar power capacity in the islands to 100 MW. The Minister also added that India’s solar rooftop capacity would see a jump of 200 times to reach 40GW by 2022, wherein all the commercial and residential buildings would be covered.
Save electricity to conserve environment
Quoting Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s statement, ‘Saving electricity is cheaper than generating electricity’, Goyal said that 1 unit of electricity saved is equivalent to avoiding generation of 1.33 units. 25% of energy produced in India is wasted which can be saved by bringing a change in mindset of each citizen and that would help conserve environment. There is a need to effect a behavioural change to ensure participation of each citizen in environment protection, and the change should ideally start from children, he added to conserve environment.
P. K. Pujari, Secretary Power and B.P. Pandey, Special Secretary (Power) and Director General, BEE, congratulated the awardees and encouraged everyone to work in unison with the Government to achieve a Green Future for India.
Over 900 Industrial units and 1.14 students participated in various categories of awards. Other dignitaries present at the event included distinguished Members of Parliament, senior Ministry Officials, Industry stalwarts and families of the awardee students.
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