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LED lighting demand has picked up remarkably in India since 2014 driven primarily by the UJALA programme. However, the demand for incandescent bulbs still remains high albeit gradually declining. In 2017, about 770 million ICBs were sold in India accounting for more than 50% of the total sales of bulbs and tube-lights in that year. In this paper, we examine the demand and supply side aspects of the various lighting options available for Indian households to investigate the continued usage of ICBs in India. Based on the analysis, we recommend a few programme/policy interventions aimed at reducing and consequently eliminating the use of ICBs in India.

Published in Energy Efficiency

Residential electricity use has risen 50 times in the past four decades and accounts for about a quarter of India’s total electricity consumption. There are plans of providing reliable electricity to all by 2019, and as income levels increase, more people, most of whom are starting from a low base of development, will require modern fuels and appliances for a better quality of life. The sheer scale of this growth is unprecedented, even if the trend itself is intuitive. What is at stake from this rising power use in homes? What do we know about how we use our electricity?

Radhika Khosla from the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Aditya Chunekar from the Prayas (Energy Group) discuss this in an article published in Mint on 8th June, 2018.

Published in Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency can play a crucial role in India’s goal to provide reliable and affordable access to energy in a sustainable and secure manner. A number of policies and programmes aimed at conserving energy, improving efficiency, and managing demand have been implemented in India in recent years. The scale and scope of these programmes is increasing as evidenced in the large scale LED bulb programme, UJALA. However, limited attention is given to comprehensively evaluate these programmes. A comprehensive evaluation systematically investigates all the impacts and the effectiveness of a programme in achieving them. This increases the credibility of energy efficiency programmes and consequent use of the savings estimates in the planning process. Secondly, a comprehensive evaluation provides lessons for reviewing the current programmes and effectively designing new ones to realize maximum possible energy savings cost-effectively.

This report provides broad guidelines to evaluate energy efficiency programmes in India. Towards, this objective, we first identify the barriers precluding periodic evaluations in India along with some recommendations to overcome them. We then review the best practices adopted globally and provide case studies to illustrate them. The report is targeted at the policy-makers, distribution companies, and regulators who can commission comprehensive evaluations of the energy efficiency programmes currently being implemented in India. It can also be used by the energy efficiency institutions in India (BEE, EESL, and the state designated agencies) to incorporate comprehensive evaluations in their programme designs. Finally, the report also aims to highlight the importance of comprehensive evaluations of energy efficiency programmes among consumers, civil society organizations, and researchers in India.

Published in Energy Efficiency

Electricity use in Indian homes – from lights, ceiling fans, televisions, refrigerators, among other appliances – has increased 50 times between today and 1971, even though India’s per capita residential electricity consumption is less than a third of the world average. Residential electricity now outpaces growth in industrial, commercial and agriculture sectors.This striking statistic is on the increase, as India moves towards one of the largest urban transitions in history in the coming decades. What is the implication of this transition for household electricity use, as the urban population grows and income levels rise? What do we know about how electricity is currently used in homes across the country? And what drives our dramatically changing consumption patterns? These questions form the basis of a series on residential electricity consumption, jointly authored by the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi and the Prayas (Energy Group), Pune. The collected insights that formed the series are complied in this document.

This series was translated and published by Eklavya in their Hindi magazine Srot (Vigyan evam technology features). This translation is available in the link given below.

Published in Energy Efficiency

Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) is arguably the world’s largest zero-subsidy LED bulb programme for households. UJALA’s popularity has spurred Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), its implementing agency, to use the programme model to sell energy efficient ceiling fans and air-conditioners. We systematically studied the varied impacts and processes of the UJALA programme to draw lessons for increasing its effectiveness and aid the design of similar future programmes in India and abroad.

Our analysis shows that UJALA has succeeded in creating a large and sustainable market for LED bulbs in India. Demand for LED bulbs has increased manifold and the retail market price (for the LED bulbs sold beyond UJALA) has dropped by a third. A number of other indicators point to the sustainability of the LED bulbs market. The demand for LED bulbs has replaced the demand for CFLs rather than incandescent bulbs. Going ahead, EESL should target low income households and small commercial establishments who are still buying incandescent bulbs. The streamlined procurement processes and innovative marketing campaigns from the UJALA model can be used for other appliances as well. Stricter monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be incorporated in the programme design to ensure the quality of the appliances, compliance of various processes, proper disposal of old appliances, and realistic calculation of achieved savings.

Published in Energy Efficiency

NITI Aayog published a Draft National Energy Policy in June 2017 and invited comments. Following are the comments submitted by PEG for the same.

Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh (APEPDCL) and Southern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh (APSPDCL) submitted petitions to the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) to approve a cumulative replacement of 1,00,000 5 HP in-efficient agriculture pumps with 5 star pumps in their respective territories. DISCOMs will invest in the programmes and Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL) will provide the project management consultancy. EESL prepared detailed project reports for both the programmes including a baseline study conducted in Rajanagaram and the programme design. APERC approved both the programmes after conducting public hearings.

Prayas submitted comments on the baseline study and the design of the programme with a focus on monitoring and evaluation. Most of our comments focused on ensuring that data on actual savings achieved is recorded periodically and the processes related to warranty and, repair and maintenance (R&M) are followed strictly. A number of these comments were included in the APERC orders. Prayas’ comments on the APSPDCL petition and the links to the APERC orders can be found below.

Order on APEPDCL's programme -

Order on APSPDCL's programme -

Published in Energy Efficiency

The residential electricity consumption (REC) has increased by 50 times since 1971 and now forms about a quarter of India’s total electricity consumption, up from about 4% in 1971. It is expected to grow further due to rapid electrification, increasing household incomes, and technology development. A better understanding of REC patterns and the factors affecting it is essential for designing effective and credible energy efficiency programs, optimized planning of capacity addition, and better adapting to the rapidly changing business models and technologies in the Power sector. In this report, we provide an overview of the current understanding of REC in India by analysing data from various sources like census, surveys, and distribution companies (DISCOM) and reviewing the available literature on the topic.

Published in Energy Efficiency

The electricity sector is undergoing a transformation as it transitions from a static sector that is planned and operated by central authorities—regulators, utilities, system operators, and planners—to one that is increasingly driven by a mix of technologies, decentralized operators, and new market mechanisms and reforms.

These changes are creating an environment of genuine uncertainty in which many challenges arise, along with new opportunities for electricity sector planners and regulators to meet the goal of reliable, sustainable and universal electricity access. This report looks at experiences from four developing countries - Brazil, China, India, and Kyrgyzstan, and two developed countries - Germany and the United States to help electricity planners and utilities gain from the international experience. The way in which the sector stakeholders respond and engage with these emerging trends globally will ultimately determine the development pathway of the future grid.

Published in Renewable Energy
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 16:40

Deriving The Most From Every Unit Of Energy

India needs a broad, coherent strategy for energy efficiency to reduce its carbon emission intensity and enhance its energy security. This article breifly describes four key points that can shape this strategy. It appeared in the Hindu Business Line on 2nd Decemeber, 2015.

Published in Energy Efficiency
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