The energy efficiency chapter in the book of sustainability

Energy efficiency, delivered with retrofits and new age IoT technology providing operational efficiency, is key to building a sustainable future.

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By Dr. Amarjeet Singh

November was that time of the year when the question about sustainability was right in our face with pollution levels touching critically high in Delhi and other parts of northern India. As a citizen this forces you to think – Can we do something to reduce pollution at an individual level? Is this the future we want our kids to live in?

China and India accounted for half of the 1% growth in global energy demand in 2016. With increasing urbanization, India will continue to drive up its per capita energy consumption. There is a lot of discussion around cleaner sources of energy to reduce the overall carbon footprint. India is already committed to 175 GW of renewable target by 2022. Another way to improve the energy sustainability is to look at the consumption side. Can we be efficient in the way we consume energy and drive home a sustainable future for the coming generation, one where they can breathe in the natural air around them.

Recent advancements in technology are providing us many such examples of energy efficiency on the consumption side; LED bulbs and star labeled appliances are two of the most common things we come across in our daily lives. Technology and mass adoption are resulting in cost dynamics working in favor of such technologies. LED bulbs’ cost came down more than 300% as India mass-adopted LEDs. Adoption of Air Conditioners with inverter technology and higher star labels is growing fast with people realizing that the benefits pay for the higher operational energy cost.

Beyond replacing the inefficient appliances with more efficient ones, ensuring that we operate our appliances efficiently can provide us with energy efficiency with no upfront investment. Internet of Things (is providing us the technology to do real monitoring together with automated and intelligent controls to enable operational energy efficiency.

Buildings consume about 30% of the total energy consumption in the country. Studies show that buildings waste up to a third of the total energy they consume largely because appliances are running unnecessarily as well as due to poor building architecture. Using IoT based sensing and control can help cut down 10-30% of the energy consumption and reduce this operational wastage, contributing significantly to the sustainable energy future.

Even without technology, collectively we all can significantly reduce this operational wastage if we are cautious of operating daily-use appliances such as air conditioners and lighting at home and office environments. Let us all contribute our little bit in achieving this energy efficiency.

(Views are personal)

About Dr. Amarjeet Singh: At Zenatix, Dr. Amarjeet Singh is responsible for technology strategy and implementation and has keen interest in developing cyber-physical applications, specifically in the energy domain. Prior to starting Zenatix, Dr. Singh has been the Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at IIIT Delhi, whereby he continues to engage with his PhD students, pursuing research in the domain of energy data analytics. An IoT and data analytics enthusiast, he started out as a senior R&D engineer at Tejas Networks and went on to pursue MS and PhD from University of California. Prior to Tejas, he completed his Bachelors of Technology in Electrical Engineering from IIIT-Delhi. 

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