Monday, 30 March 2015

Can Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency help in mitigating global warming?

Can Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency help in reducing global warming?

What is Global Warming?
Global Warming is increase in the earth's atmospheric temperature due to trapping of most of the Sun's heat rather than reflecting from the Earth's surface. Earlier a debatable topic, it is now being accepted for real - thanks to sudden and abrupt weather changes across the Globe.

There is a strong link between Energy Conservation & Energy Efficiency with Global warming. This post attempts to join the dots and answer the query on how Energy Conservation & Energy Efficiency could answer the problem of Global Warming.

How is Global Warming impacting the Earth?
The earth's temperature is steadily rising and the average temperature on earth is expected to rise by about 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. The temperature rise is enough to melt down the ice in Antarctica and other areas causing coastal areas to drown.

Earth Atmosphere Temperature

As can be seen in the above graph the earth's temperature has increased significantly mainly attributed to human activities. Historically there have been instances of high temperature on earth but it has never touched the highs that we are currently witnessing.

[Others are reading : ISO 50001 : Energy Management System]

How can Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency mitigate Global Warming?
With rapid Industrialization and growing population the consumption of all good and materials is significantly increasing. Energy is no exception.

World Historical Electricity Consumption
World Historical Electricity Consumption

As can be seen in the above graph the world electricity consumption has been on a consistent rise for a long time now. Power generation or electricity production has been primarily through burning of fossil fuels which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is one of the green house gases which traps the heat within the earth's atmosphere.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Gas in U.S.

This is known as Greenhouse Effect which happens when CO2 (main greenhouse gas) along with other green house gases such as Methane form a blanket of cover trapping the heat.

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What can be done?
Every unit (kWh) of electricity produced results in 0.8 to 1.0 kg of CO2 released into the atmosphere. The actual CO2 released into the atmosphere will depend on the type of fuel used i.e. Coal, Lignite, Gas etc. Out of the 2,50,000 + MW of installed capacity in Indian 60% of power generation is through Coal and 10% through other fossil fuels. This shows that fossil fuels still dominate the power scenario in India.

It is expected that power consumption will continue to rise across the Globe especially in developing economies such as India.

Global CO2 Emissions Abatement Energy Conservation, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Energy Efficiency scores highest on world CO2 emissions abatement Strategy
As can be seen in the above graph Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency can result in significant CO2 abatement and thereby help in addressing the issues of Global Warming and Climate Change.

While energy consumption for power production cannot be curbed we can certainly adopt energy conservation measures and energy efficient equipment & processes. This would help in bringing down per-capita consumption of energy.

Energy Audit is a step in the direction of Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency and hence can help in reducing Global Warming to a large extent. This is true for Industrialized Countries as well as developing Countries such as India, China, Middle-East and South East Asia - which are fast becoming a manufacturing hub. Especially for India wherein more than 45% Energy Consumption takes place in Industrial plants, energy conservation and energy efficiency in Industrial plants could certainly help the cause of global warming.

Not just for the planet, Energy Saving makes a strong business case as well. Do check out our blog post on how Energy Saving = Higher Profitability.

We invite your comments to this post with your views, feedback and queries.

Enerco Energy Solutions LLP assists Industrial and Commercial Consumers in reducing their energy usage by adopting energy conservation and energy efficiency measures. This is done by carrying out Energy Audit, System Audit, Site Survey and then executing Energy Saving and Solar Energy projects on BOOT Basis and ESCO basis with 100% Investment.