Energy saved is energy generated. We cannot keep on producing non-renewable resources like petrol, diesel and electricity. So the need of the hour is the better utilization of existing resources. Energy depletion has become a global phenomenon at present time. The ever biggest problem that man has to face in near future is the energy crisis. The demand of energy is growing many fold in the form of coal, oil, gas or electricity but the energy sources are becoming scarce and costlier. Nearly 97% of the world’s consumed energy is coming from fossil fuels, coal, petroleum and natural gas.
Population explosion and use of energy in an uncontrolled manner gradually exhausts the world store of fossil energy. It is estimated that daily 2 million tones of coal and nearly 40 million barrels of oil are consumed only in the United States. The increasing use of fossil fuels and biomass for domestic and industrial purpose, the fast depletion of forest land would one day cause the dark age with no stock of conventional energy even may be in the early part of 21st century. Among the various strategies for meeting energy demand, the efficient use of energy and its conservation emerges as the least cost option. Now it is high time for the conservation or saving of energy, and also for the exploration of alternative non conventional or renewable sources of energy like solar energy, wind power, tidal energy, geo- thermal energy, forest energy and atomic energy for future human consumption.
Energy conservation is the most economical solution to shortages. Energy conservation reduces energy consumption and energy demand per capita. It refers to the preservation and maintenance of natural resources like water, soil, forest and mineral oil to meet human needs with proper care given to aesthetics and recreations too. The term conservation is derived from two Latin words “con” means together and “servare” to guard; thus conservation means “to keep together” or “to guard together”.
The imposition of an oil embargo on the United States and the price hikes of petroleum by (OPEC) Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in1973 ushered an era of economic decline for western countries, leading to recessions and soaring inflation which resulted in growing interest in energy conservation and alternative sources of energy. But, unfortunately even solar energy proved impractical for most large scale applications. The high cost of solar energy, its collection, conversion into electricity and storage has limited the use of solar energy to some extent. Nevertheless researchers are experimenting over a scheme of establishing satellite solar power stations to supply power to earth. Further safety and environmental considerations slowed the use of nuclear or atomic energy as an alternative power source. Thus, some important factors like limitation of fossil energy, increasing demand per capita for energy consumption, economic constrains to meet the cost of energy production, environmental stress due to unplanned energy exploitation and lastly, the dangerous after effects in the application of atomic energy have motivated the entire humanity to think of energy conservation. Conservation of energy is essential to compensate the scarcity of energy and to save the human civilization from disaster.
Can there be a more perfect occasion to focus on energy conservation if not now, when 192 nations gathered in Copenhagen on the Climate Change Summit to save the world from impending disaster like Global Warming? World leaders should reach a consensus on limiting the emission level, reducing the use of vehicles, they should ponder over their extravagant life style and spare a thought for the poor and developing countries. The developing countries would switch over to renewable energy sources. Thus energy conservation plays an important part in reducing the effect of climate change. Gandhiji’s words “Live simply so that others may simply live” are very much relevant today.
But however the shifting from carbon burning fuels to cleaner greener energy technologies would require huge investments in the energy sectors for the developing countries. It is going to cost more than $ 10 trillion in additional investment in the energy infrastructure for 2010 to 2030. so the developing countries seek for financial help from the wealthier nations to compensate to the new adaptations. In the Copenhagen summit the developed countries have proposed to donate a modest fund of about $ 10 billion a year to help the developing countries. The money would be used to help developing nations to reduce ambitions by switching over to renewable energy sources like wind, solar energy and also by compensating land owners for not cutting down or burning forest which is a major cause of CO2 emission. American President Barack Obama said that this assistance is not only a humanitarian imperative – it’s an investment in our common security, as no climate change accord can succeed if we does not help all countries to reduce their emissions.
India graded as the 4th largest emitter of Green house gases will come with a clear plan of reducing its CO2 emissions. Aggressive measures are necessary to reduce emissions and raise efficiency in areas such as power generation, transport, forestry, water and waste management. Wind, water & Solar Energy have the least impact on Global Warming and meet the increasing demand of energy in future. So more research & innovations are necessary to aspire for such a green growth of India.
The oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL) the two national companies are a few private and joint venture companies are engaged in exploration & production of crude oil & natural gas in the country. India now ranks 5th in the world in wind power capacity. Solar Energy is also being used for a variety of applications like cooking, water heating, water pumping, home & street lighting etc. India has purchased oil fields in Sudan. The discovery of oil at the Bombay high gave a boost to oil exploration in India. A step has been taken to in flow natural gas from Iran by a pipeline. These are the steps ONGC and OIL have taken to tackle the energy crisis in India. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), a Navaratna public sector undertaking has been consensus about the energy conservation in its plant at various locations in India. Electrical Energy Conservation is an important element of energy policy. The energy conservation measures adopted by NTPC drops the total power consumption by 780 units per day. Energy efficiency is the mantra that leads to energy management. Government of India has enacted The Energy Conservation Act 2001 and established Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The mission of BEE is to develop policy and strategies with the primary objective of reducing energy intensity. On 14th December 2004 the honorable Prime minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh launched the National Campaign on Energy Conservation. A postal stamp on Energy Conservation was also released by honorable Prime Minister.
Everyone in the world in the world today is trying to make an effort to “go more green” and save energy and save environment for a bright future. It is high time for the kids to learn how to save energy, save water, buy energy saving appliances and alternative energy vehicles and thereby save money and build family wealth. We have to make energy conservation a family value. Kids can help save energy by doing simple things like turning of lights, fans and all electronics like computer, video games etc. keeping the windows and doors closed when the air conditioner is running, we should use the microwave instead of oven for cooking our meals, we should allow the refrigerator motor and compressors enough space so that the heat can escape and the cooling system will use less energy, the cooking apparatus should be kept clean as clean apparatus consume less energy, we can save hot water by taking short showers instead of baths, we can turn off the water while brushing our teeth, the best thing we can do to install better insulation to retain warm and cool air because heating and air conditioning are the biggest energy consumers of the average house hold. Improving insulation will result in greater conservation of energy. Using a dual flush elongated toilet and collecting rain water off our roof for washing the cars are some of the brief attempts to save water.
The Alliance to Save Energy offers some home energy efficiency tips like using Energy Saving (LED) Light Emitting Diode holiday lights that use about 99% less energy than traditional bulb etc. replace our electricity guzzling ordinary bulbs with the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) which reduces 75% less electricity than the incandescent lamps, we should use ceiling or table fans, clean the air conditioner filter every month as it uses less energy. The Green Building Council helps builders and governments to learn how to make building using less and ecofriendly energy. The Cool Cities Campaign helps city residence to learn how to save energy reduce air pollution and fight Global Warming by various tips. We should use energy efficient motors in agriculture sectors that would avoid wastage of water and cut energy bills, in building sector new thermal doors, thermal windows, roofing insulation should be used, use energy efficient motors for all our industrial sectors. So that we can save upto 30% of energy consumption by following the above simple tips. The countries like Australia, the UK, the USA participated in the “Earth Blackout” in the month of March 2008 in an attempt to save energy and flipped off the switch for one hour.
Conservation of energy has both personal and societal benefits. If we use less gas, oil and electricity we will save money and pollution associate with using fossil fuel will decrease.
Saving energy for a bright future however seeks to prevent the waste of natural resources, to maintain a clean environment and to preserve the natural heritage for future human generations. Fresh water habitat must be kept clean for drinking and recreational activities, soils must be kept fertile without the accumulation of toxic chemicals, forests should be made home for native wildlife, the use of oil, coal, minerals must be carefully monitored for future human consumption. The slogan “Save Energy” aims at maintaining an ecological balance in nature too with a vision of bright, beautiful and green earth in future.
Rutuparna Nanda is student of Eight Grade in Aryan Public School, Aska, Orissa.
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