Power Ministry launches Chiller Star Labelling Program to improve energy efficiency

The government of India launched an ambitious program to encourage the deployment of Energy Efficient chiller systems in the country here today. The Chiller Star Labelling Program has been formulated by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The program envisages providing star rating in terms of its energy performance. Initially, the program is launched on a voluntary basis and will be valid up to 31st December 2020.

Chillers are used extensively for space conditioning of buildings and for industrial process cooling applications. The size of Indian chiller market which stood at 1 Million Tonne per year at 2017, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.6% fuelled by a growth in the retail, hospitality and infrastructure projects.

Chillers, being energy intensive system, contribute more than 40% of the total energy consumption in commercial buildings. Therefore, it is important to optimize energy performance of chillers and create awareness amongst the end users to adopt transition towards energy efficient chillers.

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Govt, World Bank, EESL ink $300 mn pact to push energy efficiency programme

The government, World Bank, and state-owned EESL  inked a $220 million loan agreement and $80 million guarantee pact to push energy efficiency programme in India.

To be implemented by EESL, the programme will help scale up the deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors, strengthen EESL’s institutional capacity, and enhance its access to commercial financing.

The $220 million loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 19 years.

The investments under the programme are expected to avoid lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of 170 million tons of CO2 and contribute to avoiding an estimated 10 GW of additional generation capacity.

This would be over 50 percent of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency target of 19.6 GW indicated in India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Accord.

The key components of the operation include: creating sustainable markets for LED lights and energy efficient ceiling fans; facilitating well-structured and scalable investments in public street lighting; developing sustainable business models for emerging market segments such as super-efficient air conditioning and agricultural water pumping systems; and strengthening the institutional capacity of EESL.

Under the Program, EESL will deploy 219 million LED bulbs and tube lights, 5.8 million ceiling fans, and 7.2 million street lights, which will be supplied by private sector manufacturers and suppliers.

As an integral part of the operation, the first-ever IBRD guarantee in India will help the EESL access new markets for commercial financing in line with the Bank’s approach of maximizing finance for development. The guarantee is expected to leverage some $200 million in additional financing, to help EESL with its growing portfolio and future investment needs.

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Union Minister inaugurates NLCIL’s three 100-MW solar power projects

Union Minister for Finance, Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal inaugurated three 100-MW solar power projects erected at Virudhunagar and Tirunelveli districts.

The solar power projects erected at Thoppalaakkarai and Sethupuram in Virudhunagar district and Sellaiya Sezhiyanallur in Tirunelveli district, with an installed capacity of 100 MW each, were dedicated to the nation by the Minister in the presence of S. K. Acharya, NLCIL CMD.

The projects were erected at a cost of ₹ 1,302 crores, which includes operation and maintenance cost for 15 years. The power produced from the units would be given to Tamil Nadu Power Generation and Distribution Company (Tangedco) at a cost of ₹4.41 per unit.

Mr. Goyal, in his inaugural address, lauded the efforts of NLCIL management, employees and trade unions for the growth of the organization with a new vision.

Lauding the CSR initiatives of the organization, the Minister appealed to the management to come up with new innovative initiatives such as providing free Wi-Fi to the rural masses, low-cost sanitary napkins for women and emotionally empowering deprived senior citizens “to ensure a technologically, hygienically and culturally motivated society.”

Later, in his presence, a memorandum of understanding was signed by NLCIL and Anna University to erect a pilot project on solar drying of lignite, in order to increase its caloric value from 2,700 Kcal to 4,350 Kcal.

The MOU was signed by V. Manoharan, General Manager, Centre for Applied Research and Development, NLCIL, Neyveli, and S. Ganesan, Registrar, Anna University, Chennai.

The cost of the pilot project is estimated at ₹ 2.69 crores.

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Cabinet approves Mechanism for procurement of ethanol by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs)

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Mechanism for procurement of ethanol by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to carry out the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme- Revision of ethanol price for supply to Public Sector OMCs.

Remunerative price to ethanol suppliers will help in reduction of cane farmer’s arrears, in the process contributing to minimizing the difficulty of sugarcane farmers.

Ethanol availability for EBP Programme is expected to increase significantly due to the higher price for C heavy molasses-based ethanol and enabling procurement of ethanol from B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice for the first time.

Increased ethanol blending in petrol has many benefits including reduction in import dependency, support to the agricultural sector, more environmentally friendly fuel, lesser pollution and additional income to farmers.

Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme:

It was launched by the Government in 2003 on a pilot basis which has been subsequently extended to the Notified 21 States and 4 Union Territories to promote the use of alternative and environmentally friendly fuels.

It aims at blending ethanol with petrol, thereby bringing it under the category of biofuels and saving millions of dollars by cutting fuel imports.

Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme is being implemented by the Ministry or Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).

This intervention also seeks to reduce import dependency on energy requirements and give the boost to the agriculture sector.

India is the third largest consumer of energy in the world after China and the US. Currently, the country is dependent on imports for about 82.1% of its crude oil requirement and to the extent of about 44.4% in case of natural gas.

India is expected to need 10 billion liters of ethanol annually to meet the 20% blending target in 2030 if petrol consumption continues to grow at the current pace. At present, the capacity stands at 1.55 billion liters a year.

There has been a consistent shortfall in supply of ethanol in the past, mainly on account of the cyclical nature of the sugarcane harvests in the country. There is “lack of an integrated approach in the EBP across its value chain.”

The National Policy on Bio-fuels has set a target of 20% blending of biofuels, both for bio-diesel and bio-ethanol. This will require an integrated approach in the Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP). The time is ripe for a cogent and consistent policy and administrative framework in the program implementation for the success of EBP.

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SAUBHAGYA Scheme

Giving a further fillip to the Government’s mission of bringing electricity to every household and to empower the rural youth, Ministry of Power partnered today with the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to train the manpower in six states for speedy implementation of its SAUBHAGYA scheme.

SAUBHAGYA (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna) aims to achieve universal household electrification in all parts of the country in a time-bound manner. Around 4 crore households are expected to get electricity connections under the scheme.

Thanking the Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh said that this partnership would be of great help as lack of trained manpower has been the main constraint in speedy implementation of the Government’s electrification programme under SAUBHAGYA. He said that a large number of trained manpower is required for implementing various programmes in the power sector, and SAUBHAGYA alone needs more than 35,000 trained persons. Once this trained manpower is available, it will help us in meeting our daily targets for electrification, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said, “SAUBHAGYA is a scheme with an estimated expenditure of 16000 crores, out of which 25 percent is estimated to be spent on wages and human resource deployed for the project. This is a big employment opportunity for skilled workforce and we will work jointly with Ministry of Power across the nation to ensure that we avail this opportunity for our youth and help them better their livelihood.”

The launch of this partnership was done through a video conferencing with States where eminent dignitaries including Ministers from State governments, were present.  The Ministers engaged to discuss local challenges and targets to support the project to have the best output.

The scheme is undertaken as a special project under the government’s Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).  Around 47,000 Distribution Lineman-Multi Skills and 8,500 Technical Helpers will be trained to meet the requirement of power sector. The workforce already engaged by contractors implementing this project will be considered first for the skill development programmes. In case if any shortfalls arise, these will be met by ITI Electrician trade pass-outs from the local ITIs. Total 48 hours of training (12 hours Orientation + 36 hours Bridge course) will be provided to the existing workforce of the contractors and 120 hours of training will be provided to the fresh and ITI (Electrician Trade) pass-outs.

As the scheme is to be implemented across the country with 200 districts as major focus area, the skilling initiatives are proposed to be delivered in a decentralized mode at district level. The training infrastructures available with ITI’s at district level as well as the infrastructures available with the State Power Distribution Utilities will be utilized for skill training of the candidates ensuring successful implementation of the scheme.

SAUBHAGYA is more than a mission to provide electricity to the entire nation and ensure energy security. Since SAUBHAGYA offers many collateral benefits, which includes creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the rural youth, it will end up in bringing new hope and happiness into people’s lives.

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