Firms show ways to cut energy use | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Firms show ways to cut energy use

Presently India’s energy intensity, (total energy consumption per unit GDP) is 50 per cent more than the world average. And considering the country’s rapid growth, the use is only likely to increase.

mumbai Updated: Feb 05, 2010 01:05 IST
Tasneem Nashrulla

Presently India’s energy intensity, (total energy consumption per unit GDP) is 50 per cent more than the world average. And considering the country’s rapid growth, the use is only likely to increase.

At Nivritti, a three-day symposium on sustainability issues, hosted by Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Matunga, a recurring solution to India’s energy woes was summed up in an acronym — ESCO i.e. energy service company.

A panel comprising experts from the energy sector stressed importance of ESCOs as a potential means for reducing India’s energy consumption. An ESCO identifies and evaluates energy-saving opportunities in industrial units, commercial complexes, hospitals, municipalities and utilities, by using energy audit tools. Their revenues are earned from the amount of energy savings they produce for the client.

Panelist Pradeep Nair, city director of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CII) said, “India is one of the most sought market for ESCOs the world over.” Last year, CII initiated one of the country’s first energy-efficiency building retrofit
programmes at Malad’s Inorbit Mall, which was undertaken by an ESCO - Johnson Controls. The mall, owned by the K Raheja Corp. is in the last stage of implementing an energy efficient model that according to Nair is showing profitable results.

While India’s ESCO industry is relatively smaller than that of Brazil and China, it is growing substantially. According to World Resources Institute, the compounded annual growth rate was 96 per cent from 2002-2007.

This is why ESCOs are generating investor interest in their projects. In 2007, ICICI, India’s second largest commercial bank, provided $1.25 million in debt funding to HMX Sumaya, a company that manufactures energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

ICICI funded an ESCO project for Nashik Municipal Corporation to introduce street light controllers (to reduce electricity consumption of street lights) in the city.