by January 4, 2011 0 comments

There is a strong consensus that climate changepresents an urgent challenge to the well-beingof all countries. The cost of climate change isunevenly distributed among countries and is particu-larly high for India given its vast rural population andoverwhelming dependence on weather patterns. Thepredicted effects of global warming on the Indian sub-continent vary from the submergence of low-lying is-lands and coastal lands to the melting of glaciers in theIndian Himalayas, flash floods and threat to rivers thatcan affect the flow of many of the rivers of India. Someof the effects include, adverse affects on agriculture,food security, increasing intensity of natural disasters, and species extinction.

There are high expectations for ICT as an enablingtechnology in the domain of sustainable developmentto increase energy efficiency in production processes,to make buildings, road transport and logisticsprocesses more efficient, and reduce the carbon foot-print of economic activity.

This study by the Digital Energy Solutions Consor-tium (DESC) and CII-ITC is aimed at exploring GHGreduction opportunities through adoption of ICT solu-tions and contribute to the missions of India’s NationalAction Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). Missions in-clude National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency(NMEEE), National Mission on Sustainable Habitat(NMSH) and National Solar Mission (NSM). The focusof the Enhanced Energy Efficiency Mission and Sus-tainable Habitat Mission is to reduce energy con-sumption or to improve energy efficiency, whereasthe Solar Mission focuses on increasing the genera-tion of solar energy in the country. Keeping this inmind, the study analyzes the energy savings potentialthrough use of currently available ICT solutions andtheir contribution in reducing GHG emissions.

ICT solutions recommended

The study recommended solutions for sectors includ-ing power, transportation, cement, railways, build-ings, and fertilizer. Solution suggested for transportinclude burner management systems, boiler controlsystems, turbine control systems, power delivery op-timization and digitized substations. Among the ICTsolutions suggested for transport sector include mo-bility management systems, telecommuting, video-conferencing and logistics optimization. Solutions forsolar missions include integrated system architec-ture, enhanced communication systems, energymgmt systems, adaptive logic controllers, etc.

Highlights of findings

The identified ICT solutions can potentially lead toGHG emission savings of about 320-450 million tCO2per annum in 2030, which is approximately 8-10% ofthe estimated GHG emissions in 2030 for the sectorsmentioned, considering moderate to high penetra-tion of ICT. Of the many sectors , commercial build-ings, road transportation and power sector have themaximum GHG emission savings potential, account-ing for 42%, 30% and 16%, respectively. Implementa-tion of ICT solutions can potentially lead to energycost savings of around INR 137,000 crore per annumin 2030. Of the 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide(tCO2 ) emission reduction target of the energy efficiency mission by 2015, ICT adoption in buildings,transport etc has the potential of contributing approximately 31 million tonnes, i.e., approximately 30% of the target.

National Solar Mission

The Solar Mission focuses on promoting solar powergeneration in the country and achieving a total gridconnected installed capacity of 20,000 MW by the year2022. With this is mind, the study suggests ICT appli-cations which can help meet the objectives of the mis-sion, primarily with regard to integration of solarpower plants with the grid and thereby contribute toGHG emission savings in the national power grid. Asthe Solar Mission gathers momentum, ICT-based so-lutions will play a critical role in ensuring its effectiveimplementation. However, currently the penetrationof ICT for solar power is very limited and much needsto be done to promote existing technologies and alsoto develop new technologies. There are existing bar-riers to ICT adoption for solar power that need to beaddressed and then collective efforts needs to bemade by various stakeholders to achieve the benefitsthat ICT can bring about for solar power. By applyingICT-enabled solutions, which are essential compo-nents of a smart grid system, efficient integration ofsolar power with the grid can be achieved.

Barriers, challenges of ICT adoption

The study identified some key barriers that inhibit thefull-scale adoption of ICT for energy efficiency. Lack of financial mechanisms:Suppliers of ICT appli-cations lack support for financing arrangements fromlending organizations. The high cost of technology coupled with lack of finance leads to less investmentin the development and distribution of these technologies.

Unavailability of energy benchmarks: Unavailabil-ity of baseline energy consumption data results in sub-optimal design of the energy efficiency solutions. Inthe absence of a dependable benefits computation, itbecomes a major challenge for the adopters to build astrong business case for ICT adoption.

Weak regulatory norms for emissions: Regulatorynorms on carbon emissions like carbon tax, carbonemission caps, etc will help present a stronger busi-ness case for the implementation of newer technolo-gies. In a situation of weak regulatory drivers onenergy efficiency and emission standards, ICT adop-tion towards the same is unlikely to become a priority.

Inadequate standardization: There are currentlyno standards to compare ICT based energy efficiencyequipments. Such inadequate standardization leads tolack of reliable information while making a decisionon buying ICT equipment for energy efficiency.Besides these, high cost of technology, lack ofawareness about the available technologies, lack ofinitiative by public sector enterprise and lack of ICTskills also come on the way of ICT implementationacross industries. Collective efforts needs to be initi-ated by various stakeholders to get through the poten-tial barriers and achieve benefits that ICT can bringabout.

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