Top priority should be given for energy efficiency and energy conservation to reduce effects on climate change. Effective use of solar energy would solve energy demand of the nation sizeably, said R. Harikumar, Director, Agency of Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology, Government of Kerala.
Delivering special address at a national-level seminar on ‘Climate Change, Environment and Agricultural Development in India’ held at G.T.N. Arts College here on Thursday, he said peripheral treatments without really addressing the core issues of reduction of carbon emissions would not yield desired results. “To really address the issues - drought, heavy floods and biodiversity loss, relating to climate change - we need to address core issues,” he said.
Energy efficiency, demand side management and renewable energy were not only the most important mitigation solutions as they offered direct reduction of carbon emissions but also cost-effective options for bridging the supply-demand gap in the energy sector, he added.
Recent technological innovations and policy shifts that initially made voluntary efficiency standards for fast moving electric appliances, which later turned into mandatory requirements, witnessed a drastic reduction in energy intensity in the domestic front. Similarly, introduction of fuel-efficient vehicles too diminished energy usage.
Even as technological developments gave better access to modern energy services, it did not really reduce absolute energy consumption. Renewable energy systems and technologies played a key role as an alternative option to fossil fuel usage for generating heat and power.
The country has put a very high target for renewable energy for the year 2022 – 100 GW of solar, 60 GW of wind, 10 GW bio-mass and five GW of small hydro power. With mass production of solar cells, particularly in China, cost of solar modules have come down drastically and this led to large scale deployment of MW-scale or utility-scale solar power plants in many large states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
But Kerala has been promoting roof top solar power system owing to paucity of land. One MW solar plant required five acres of land, he added.
Any problem in Gulf countries, the country would face acute fuel crisis. “We need supplementary fuel like biogas. We should implement economically viable energy projects because today’s investment would be a commitment for tomorrow,” he added. College CEO K. Rethinam and Vice-Principal U. Natarajan spoke.
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