Uttar Pradesh, the country’s biggest state, seems to have added only a few more units of CO2 to the atmosphere with many enlightened people burning candles to observe the Earth Hour on Saturday.
Otherwise, the Earth Hour that the world observed on Saturday by switching off non-essential lights and other electrical appliances between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm failed to reduce electricity-generated emissions in the state as not many UPites did their bit. Put simple, the Earth Hour did not contribute to reducing demand for power in UP.
So, when the some other states including Delhi, underdrew electricity from the grid during the dark hour, UP was overdrawing power to the extent of more than 1,000 mw during the same period!
“There was no impact on the load during the earth hour though some other northern states like Delhi, Haryana and Punjab managed to reduce their load,” said UP Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (UPTCL) Executive Director, Ashok Kumar. He attributed this to lack of awareness among people.
Reports available with the UP Power Corporation Ltd’s (UPPCL) System Control that kept a close watch on the event show that load during the Earth Hour did come down to around 200 mw from 8007 mw at 8.15 pm to 7800 at 8.40 pm. But this had nothing to do with the Earth Hour because the trend is almost same every day. “For example, the load a day earlier was 7450 mw at 8.15 pm and got reduced to 7200 mw, 250 mw less, at 8.40 pm,” pointed out a senior official of the System Control, quoting the statistics from the daily reports. He said power load generally got reduced after 8.30 because many markets started downing the shutters by then and also because the power supply of one-fourth of the total villages was turned off at 9 pm everyday. He said unlike many other states where even authorities came out with appeals, there was no proper publicity or campaign about the Earth Hour in UP. “On the contrary many ignorant people thought Earth Hour was some natural calamity and they glued to TV sets to watch for it ending up consuming more electricity,” he quipped.
SK Soni, Executive Director, National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC), Delhi, told the Hindustan Times that at the country-level a load crash of 700-800 mw was witnessed during the Earth Hour. But he hastened to add, “It is, however, difficult to say whether it was due to the Earth Hour or because of other reasons because the load fluctuated during that hour itself. Many factors like whether conditions and states resorting to rosering etc contributed to load reduction and increase.”