A green way out of crisis
If all the tall claims made by Delhi government fructify on time, the Capital will become power surplus by 2011-12. But in the interim period, with demand rising steadily, long drawn outages will continue.
Experts say the only way the government can control the power situation from spiraling out of hand is by affectively managing the demand by staggering the peak load and by promoting energy conservation. Adopting these two measures, experts say, will help save approximately 800 MW of power annually in the Capital.
Here are a few alternatives suggested by experts that can help in affectively managing the peak power demand in the city.
Staggering peak power demand
According to a study done by The Energy Research Institute (TERI), a whopping 400 MW of power can be saved in the city if all the water installations run by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) shift their operation time from peak to off-peak hours. "Instead of running their water treatment plants in the morning, if DJB runs them during night it can go a long way in staggering the peak load. In fact the TERI report was also submitted to the government but as usual the government has slept over it," said an expert.
Adopting Tamil Nadu model
With the gap between power demand and supply increasing, the Tamil Nadu government has announced compulsory load shedding in its industrial areas. As per the government order, all industries, including IT companies and manufacturing units, have to compulsorily shut down power once a week.
In fact, in May 2006, the Delhi government had passed a somewhat similar order directing all industrial units and commercial establishments to down shutters from evening till midnight. The order was, however, withdrawn within 24 hours following political backlash.
Switching off neon ad signs
"A considerable quantum of power during evening when demand peaks (between 6 pm and 11 pm) can be saved if backlit advertising hoardings are switched off during night hours," said an energy economist working with the Central government.
Mumbai had started a drive to switch off neon signs during peak evening hours.
Though the Delhi government is doing its bit to promote energy conservation, a lot more needs to be done. The energy-saving potential by conserving electricity is huge. If entire Delhi switches to CFLs it will help save up to 450 MW power. An additional 175 MW can be saved annually if the city residents start switching off electrical appliances when not in use.
Together, this will save up to 625 MW of power. The city can save another 15 MW by upgrading their window ACs with energy efficient equipments consuming less energy.
"Even simple energy conservation measures like switching off electrical appliances from the main switch when they are not in use, replacing conventional lights with CFLs and electronic chokes, installing occupancy sensors and automatic switches in offices can help conserve considerable amount of energy," said Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
A survey by BEE says that in 2007 itself the use of energy efficient electronic gadgets like refrigerators, ACs, ceiling fans, motors and lights can help save 1477 MW power in the country. "Using such energy efficient devices will help address the precarious power situation to some extent," said Mathur.