Greenomics: Energy efficiency will pay for itself

Ameliorating efficiency has become a mantra for reducing carbon emissions. The Indian government too, taking cue from developed countries, has enshrined it in the country’s climate policy. As the Planning Commission starts preparing itself to approach the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia identifies issues like energy and environment-friendly growth as key challenges. The logic is simple: better efficiency leads to energy savings which in turn reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

ENERGY STAR helps you make the energy efficient choice
ENERGY STAR helps you make the energy efficient choice

The tech industry is very actively looking for solutions to be more efficient and use cleaner power. Their core business is innovation, and when applied to finding solutions to scaling up deployment of renewable sources and efficient technologies, high-tech companies can have a very positive impact on our fight against the ill impacts of climate change. In fact, the software industry has led the way in helping consumers and businesses increase energy efficiency. In 1997, NMP Software introduced the Energy Star Billing program, which allowed utilities to give customers detailed analyses of how efficient one’s home or office was in comparison with structures of a similar size, those in the same neighborhood, and many other factors.

Those working towards environmental sustainability, frequently tout the importance and benefits of increasing energy efficiency. The simplest, cheapest and most effective way to meet our growing energy needs is to increase our use of efficient technologies. By increasing efficiency we can dramatically reduce the amount of energy needed — making many new power plants unnecessary. For instance, the technology already exists to dramatically increase energy efficiency, as many cities and regions are discovering. Cities and regions across the country are replacing traffic and streetlights with light emitting diode (LED) fixtures — which use 50% less energy. Improved green technology will not just make us better in harnessing renewable energy; it will also increase our ability to manage environmental disasters.

Technological advancement and environmental friendliness
Technological advancement and environmental friendliness

History exhibits our ability to create amazing technology. Recent advancements alone show breakthroughs we perhaps once thought were out of reach. The encouragement to focus our Indian ingenuity on consequences of global warming, clean energy, and aversion of environmental disasters such as oil spills or water shortages should be coming from everyone — government, businesses, schools, citizens and non-profits.

At a macro-economic level, energy efficiency improves productivity, a key driver of economic growth which raises energy demand. In a developing economy such as India, improved efficiency often releases unsatisfied demand. However, the good news is that green innovation has a huge market potential. Organizations which are quick to realize this will have a significant advantage. I stumbled upon one such venture on http://www.livemint.com, which is summarized in the following lines.

Green innovation has a huge market potential
Green innovation has a huge market potential

*Car2go project which started in Germany is a strong testimony for the same. It is a unique car-sharing rental service which allows consumers to rent Smart cars and pay for services according to different factors such as time and fuel used. This model not only reduces the number of cars on the road, but in turn also complements the public transport system by creating an alternative. In Austin (Texas, US) alone, they have had over a 100,000 rentals in a year and have expanded to four cities in three countries, clearly indicating the growth potential of such a green innovation.

Author: Abhishek Ranjan
Abhishek is a Business Journalist in the making. He blogs at simplifyingbusiness.wordpress.com

Greenomics is a 6 part series which will be published every Friday. The next part to this series will be published on the 3rd of June.

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Pooja Banwari is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with interests in reading, knitting and doing cross-stitch. At Ek Titli she assists in maintaining content on the portal. Want to create a patchwork design? You can reach her at Pooja.Banwari [at] EkTitli.org

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