SN Tripathi Memorial Lectures (2011)…

'Use Energy Efficiently...
We Pay lot more for energy compare to other countries'

Dr Ajay Mathur

We use energy whether you measure it in kilowatt or units per hour, we use oil-measure it in kilograms or liters, we use coal-measure it in kilograms. If you convert all this into one unit, the number is 3000 kilograms of oil per person per year. Again you must remember there is no country in the world which has been able to have reasonable quality of life without this much amount of energy.

But there are huge variations in consumption of energy among various countries across the world. For example, in India, we use energy equivalent to 0.5 tones oil per person per year but there are other countries like USA and Australia which use the energy equivalen1 to 20 & 23 tones oil respectively per person per year.

If everyone in this world use energy equivalent to three tons of oils, we may not face climate change problems.

In a sense climate change is an issue of global sharing of energy resources. As mentioned above that there are wide variations among various countries regarding the use of energy. Without getting into the details of negotiations, what makes sense to us is that-

We need to enhance energy supply to our people. We need to supply this energy as efficiently as possible for variety of reasons. For example a woman cooking on fire Inside her hut gets carcinogenic substance through pollution equivalent to smoking ten packets of cigarettes a day. It Is Important for us because today we are Importing almost every fossil fuel that we can think of. We are Importing 70% of oil that we use as petroleum oil. We have started Importing coal and this year we are Importing 10% coal. By the end of next five year plan, by 2017, It will be raised to 40% to meet the energy requirements of the country. Our demand for oil or coal increases the price of the same. And this is where we pay lot more for the energy than what people do in other countries, because we are getting expensive energy. It makes sense therefore that we use energy more efficiently.

For example, in a leaking bucket you fill as much water as you want, but it will never be enough to take bath. In the similar manner if we do not use energy efficiently, no matter how much energy you take from the world, it will not be enough for us.

So remember that not only we need to enhance the energy supply to people but also it is equally important to use the energy efficiently.

It means for example using the same amount of light that consumes less electricity, same kind of transport that consumes less oil or petrol which it would otherwise does. This is what energy efficiency is. In other words it means getting same extent of comfort using less energy. And it will help mitigating climate change. The link between climate change and energy efficiency is that more energy efficiency you practice, greater is the mitigation of climate change.