Sustainable Energy | Energy Management
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Sustainable Energy | Energy Management

Energy is the lifeline to prosperity and growth of infrastructural development in any country. The energy thus would need to be ensured for its availability on sustainable basis. The demand of energy is growing at a very fast rate and the energy sources are becoming scarce and costlier day by day. In the power sector alone, we need to add over 100,000 MW of additional generating capacity in Xth & XIth Plans to meet the power on demand by 2012. This would necessitate mobilization of nearly Rs.8000 million investments by the year 2011-12 which is a very daunting challenge before the country.

Among the various strategies to be evolved for meeting energy demand, efficient use of energy and its conservation is by far the least cost option. The steps to create sustainable energy system begin with the optimal use of resources. Energy efficiency improvement is the mantra that leads to achieving sustainable energy systems.

In a scenario, where India faces peak power and energy shortages of the order of 8″10%, meets 70% of the petroleum products demand through imports, conservation and energy efficiency measures will play a central role. The Electricity Act, 2003 and the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 are the Government’s major Legislative initiatives towards creating an enabling framework for a sustainable and more efficient future management of our primary and secondary energy resources. Government of India has accorded high priority to the Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservations measures and launched the Campaign on Energy Conservations in 2004. In order to maintain the momentum of energy conservation campaign and to make all the energy users to realize their potential role in promoting energy conservation in the country, Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency have decided to continue the National Campaign on Energy Conservation, which was launched last year. The main goal of the campaign is to reduce energy costs by reducing demand for energy and help individual citizen to make small behavior changes that collectively will make a big difference.


  1. Industrial Sector

Nearly 50% of the total conventional energy available is consumed in the Indian industries. The large and medium scale industries have taken up many programmes in past to conserveenergy. To maintain the tempo, the currentawareness programme will focus on this sectorthrough the organisation of sector specificworkshops on energy conservation. The focussector in this year campaign will be cement,pulp & paper, aluminium, petrochemical andrefineries. The workshops and conferences willbring together people from across the countrywho are committed to helping the nationdevelop a long-term, sustainable energydirection.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency plans to undertake life long learning programme on energy conservation for certified energy managers and energy auditors. A large number of industrial units have also come forward to participate in the national campaign and organize various activities and programmes to create awareness among their employees. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) plans to request the top Management of Industry to declare their Energy Management Policy. Already 44 industries and commercial establishments have declared their energy management policies, during the campaign 2005. This has already given a much required momentum to energy efficiency improvements drive in the industry. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) coordinates all the planned awareness campaign activities for this sector.

  1. Commercial Sector

The issue in this sector can be addressed effectively through print media by insertions on tips to save electricity. Organizing of workshops, and symposiums, demonstration of energy efficient lighting system in the Trade Fairs, etc. does contribute in achieving the objective in effective manner. Bureau of Energy Efficiency has the primary responsibility of creating the awareness through print & electronic media in this sector.

Commercial buildings owners will be requested to undertake awareness creation programmes for their employees. The newly introduced energy conservation award scheme for Commercial and Government buildings will be expended to include shopping malls and offices as well, in the modified EC Award scheme.

  1. Domestic Sector

Domestic Sector being in the category of unorganized sector, it requires a mix of strategies for a sustainable energy conservation awareness campaign. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency will be releasing insertions on regular basis on ‘simple trips’ on how to save electricity in the lighting, refrigerators , air-conditioners and other electrical appliances. Bureau also plans to launch Voluntary Labeling Scheme, to start with, on refrigerators and fluorescent tube lights. This would provide and facilitate the consumers to make an informed choice of the various consumer goods. A large number of industrial units have also taken initiatives and come forward to create awareness amongst the residents of their townships and neighborhood areas through organizing various energy conservation programmes, posters, quiz and slogan competitions and other such activities

  1. Agricultural Sector

Regular insertions would be made by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the print media on simple tips to save energy in the electricity and diesel operated agricultural pump sets. Further, manufactures of these pump sets are being involved in demonstrating the improved energy efficiencies in the modern designs of agricultural pumps in various Trade Fairs, seminars, workshops etc. as well as local Fairs. Some of the industrial units have already committed to organize awareness programme for the farmers and villagers.

  1. Educational Institutes

In the campaign, organized this year thrust is placed on the messages that can stimulate active involvement of the young to attitudinal changes in regard the energy saving habits since their childhood. The objective is to make energy saving practices as part of their involuntary actions of their daily life. The effort is also intended to expand the campaign impacts by involving the school children so as to spread the energy conservation messages through their friends, parents and other relatives. The major activity, which is planned to be undertaken in this regard, is the continuation of ‘Painting Competition on Energy Conservation’ for the children at School, State / UT and National Level. The continuation of this activity will not only make aware the children about the need of conserving energy, but at the same time, would necessarily educate and involve their parents in the above cause. The identified activity is one of the measures, which can help in creating awareness in the domestic sector. The painting competition also aims to motivate the children towards energy conservation and offer them a chance to explore their creativity and in turn help the nation in SAVING ENERGY


Energy is defined as the ability to do work. In the layman language it can be said that energy lights our cities, powers our vehicles, and runs machinery in factories. It warms and cools our homes, cooks our food, plays our music, and gives us picture on television.

Energy can be found in a number of forms:


Energy makes everything happen and can be divided into two types:

  • Stored energy is called POTENTIAL ENERGY
  • Moving energy is called KINETIC ENERGY

We will take the example of a pencil to know the two types of energy. We put the pencil at the edge of the desk and push it off to the floor. The moving pencil uses kinetic energy. Now, we pick up the pencil and put it back on the desk. We use our own energy to lift and move the pencil. Moving it higher than the floor adds energy to it. As it rests on the desk, the pencil has potential energy. The higher it is, the further it could fall. That means the pencil has more potential energy.

We use energy to do work and make all movements. When we eat our bodies transform the food into energy to do work. When we run or walk or do some work, we ‘burn’ energy in our bodies. Cars, planes, trolleys, boats, and machinery also transform energy into work. Work means moving or lifting something, warming or lighting something.

The discovery of fire by man led to the possibility of burning wood for cooking and heating thereby using energy. For several thousand years human energy demands were met only by renewable energy sources- sun, biomass, hydel and wind power.

As early as 4000-3500 B.C. the first sailing ships and windmills were developed harnessing wind energy. With the use of hydropower through water mills or irrigation systems, things began to move faster. Fuelwood and dung cakes are even today a major source of energy in rural India. Solar energy is used for drying and heating.

With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the use of energy in the form of fossil fuels began growing as more and more industries were set up. This occurred in stages, from the exploitation of coal deposits to the exploitation of oil and natural gas fields. It has been only half a century since nuclear power began being used as an energy source. In the past century, it became evident that the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy had caused more environmental damage than any other human activity. Use of fossil fuels has led to high concentration of harmful gases in the atmosphere. This in turn has led to ozone depletion and global warming.

There has been an enormous increase in the demand for energy ever since the middle of the last century as a result of industrial development and population growth. World population grew 3.2 times between 1850 and 1970, per capita use of industrial energy increased about twentyfold, and total world use of industrial and traditional energy forms combined increased more than twelvefold.

Due to the problems associated with the use of fossil fuels, alternative sources of energy have become important and relevant in today’s world. These sources, such as the sun and wind, can never be exhausted and are therefore called renewable. Also known as conventional sources of energy, they cause less emission and are available locally. Their use can significantly reduce chemical, radioactive and thermal pollution. They are viable sources of clean and limitless energy. Most of the renewable sources of energy are fairly non-polluting and considered clean. However, biomass is a major polluter indoors.

Renewable energy sources include the sun (SOLAR ENERGY), wind, water (HYDEL ENERGY) agricultural residue, fuelwood, and animal dung (BIOMASS), GEOTHERMAL ENERGY is derived from hot dry rocks, magma, hot water springs, natural geysers, etc. OCEAN THERMAL is derived from waves and also from tidal waves. We will read about all these sources of energy in detail in the coming pages.


One of the basic measuring blocks for energy is called Btu or British thermal unit. Btu is defined as the amount of heat energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at sea level. It takes about 2000 Btu to make a pot of coffee.

Energy can also be measured in JOULES. One joule is the amount of energy needed to lift 1 pound about 9 inches. So, if we lifted a five-pound sugar from the floor to the top of a counter (27 inches), we would use about 15 joules of energy. It takes 1000 joules to equal a Btu. It would take 2 million joules to make a pot of coffee.

Joule is named after an English physicist named JAMES PRESCOTT JOULE who lived from 1818 to 1889. He discovered that heat is a type of energy.

Around the world, scientists measure energy in joules rather than Btu. It is much like people around the world using the metre system, metres and kilograms. Like in the metric system, you can have kilojoules: ‘kilo’ means 1000, therefore, 1000 joules = 1 kilojoule = 1 Btu.

For example a piece of buttered toast contains about 315 kilojoules(315,000 joules) of energy. With that energy you could:

  • Jog for 6 minutes
  • Bicycle for 10 minutes
  • Walk briskly for 15 minutes
  • Sleep for one and a half hours
  • Run a car for 7 seconds at 80 km per hour
  • Light a 60 watt bulb for one and half hours

In some respects, the global energy system has evolved in a cleaner direction the last 25 years. The share of world primary energy derived from natural gas- the cleanest fossil fuel- has increased by more than 25%. So has the use and generation of renewable energy sources.

Still, the overall efficiency of energy production remains extremely low: on an average, more than 90% of energy consumed is lost or wasted in the process of conversion from raw materials such as coal to the final energy service such as the light to read a book. The main problem isn’t that we use energy, but how we produce and consume energy resources. What we really need are energy sources that will last forever


Energy can be transformed into another sort of energy. But it cannot be created AND destroyed. Energy has always existed in one form or another.

For example:

Stored energy in flashlight’s batteries becomes light energy when flashlight is turned on.

Food is stored energy. It is stored as a chemical with potential energy. When our body uses that stored energy to do work, it becomes kinetic energy. If you overeat, the energy in food is not “burned” but is stored as potential energy in fat cells.

When we talk on the phone, our voice is transformed into electrical energy, which passes over wires (or is transmitted through the air). The phone on the other end changes the electrical energy into sound energy through the speaker.

A car uses stored chemical energy in gasoline to move. The engine changes the chemical energy into heat and kinetic energy to power the car.

A toaster changes electrical energy into heat and light energy.

A television changes electrical energy into light and sound energy.


The Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 19th century fired man’s research for alternative sources of fuel to meet energy needs of the mushrooming industries. With realization that fossil fuels could meet this requirement, the energy needs of the world were fulfilled for the time being.

FOSSIL FUELS are called so because they have been derived from fossils, which were formed millions of years ago during the time of dinosaurs. They are fossilized organic remains that over millions of years have been converted to oil, gas, and coal. Because their formation takes so long, these sources are also called non-renewable.

These fuels are made up of decomposed plant and animal matter. When plants, dinosaurs and other ancient creatures died, they decomposed and were buried, layer upon layer under the ground. It took millions of years to form these layers into a hard, black rock like substance called COAL, a thick liquid called OIL or PETROLEUM, and NATURAL GAS-THE THREE MAJOR FORMS OF FOSSIL FUELS.

Fossil fuels are usually found below the ground. Coal is either mined or dug out while oil and natural gas are pumped out. Coal is widely distributed and is easier to locate than oil and gas.

Fossil fuels take millions of years to make, but burn and disappear in seconds. Once they are used, they cannot be reused. People have irretrievably damaged the planet by extracting and burning these fuels. It is best not to waste fossil fuels as they are not renewable. We have to learn to conserve these sources of energy.

Every year, millions of tones of coal is consumed as energy. This has led to GLOBAL WARMING (greenhouse effect) and the depletion of resources. At present, the worldwide burning of coal, oil and natural gas releases billions of tones of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Burning any fossil fuel means pollution of some sort. Even if the fuel is low in sulphur, the atmosphere contains nitrogen, which combines with oxygen at high burning temperatures found in boilers, jet or car engines. This yields nitrogen oxides, which like sulphur oxide, dissolves in rain to form nitric acid. Both gases are poisonous to humans. Mining and exploration of fossil fuels can cause disturbance to the surrounding ecosystem. The burning of fossil fuels emits oxides of sulphur and nitrogen to the atmosphere


When we look around we see machines running, lights, fans, cars etc., we simply cannot imagine life without them. We also cannot imagine the amount of energy that is being used to run all this. Fortunately, people all over the world are becoming aware of the problem of consuming too much energy and are making a conscious effort to CONSERVE it and thereby put less pressure on earth. By conserving energy we also lower the amount of pollutants we release into the air and thereby help to keep the air clean.

The interaction between the natural resources and the population has to be maintained at a balance in order to ensure the continuity of the human race. Energy is essential to life and its conservation has become an absolute necessity.

India’s overall consumption of energy is low, but compared to its gross domestic product production its relative consumption is high. The cost of commercial energy is also high compared to that in most other countries. The industrial sector consumes about 50% of the total commercial energy produced. There is a growing need to bring about improvement in the efficiency of energy use in the industrial sector.

Concerns over the negative environmental impacts of inefficient uses of energy are growing, both globally and regionally. Such concerns require greater national efforts and greater international cooperation to promote energy efficiency and energy conservation. More efficient energy use can increase productivity and economic competitiveness as well as lower greenhouse gas emissions per unit of output.

Energy conservation has been recognized as a national priority for a very long time, but concrete steps have not been taken seriously and the few that have been taken lack in perspective and determination. The growth and demand for energy is increasing at a very fast rate, especially in the INDUSTRIAL SECTOR, THE TRANSPORT SECTOR and the HOUSEHOLD SECTOR, therebyputting a great deal of pressure on the available resources. The need of the hour has become conservation and preservation. Conservation and efficient use of energy in industry has for a long time been a priority of the Government of India. People on their part should become aware of the seriousness and do their best to conserve and preserve this energy. Our small contributions towards conservation can help a lot. Some of these steps can be:

  • In our home we can save energy by turning off appliances, TV’s and radios that are not being used, watched or listened to.
  • Switch off lights when no one is in room.
  • By putting insulation in walls and attics, we can reduce the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool our homes. Insulating a home is like putting on a sweater or jacket when we are called instead of turning up the heater.


ENERY MANAGEMENT iscollective term for all the systematic practices to minimize and control both the quantity and cost of energy used in providing a service. Important components of energy management include:

  • Staff involvement and awareness
  • Minimization of energy wastage
  • Ongoing monitoring, target setting and reporting to ensure energy use remains within policy objectives
  • Optimisation of energy efficiency through passive means and/or the use of appropriate technology
  • Use of the most appropriate energy source( eg electricity, gas, solar) with due regard to the environmental benefits
  • Purchase of energy at the most economical price
  • Modifications of operations, where possible, to make the best use of energy price structure
  • Increasing the use of energy from renewable sources

Many businesses consider energy as an overhead rather than a resource that is considered uncontrollable by the management but energy management is not only possible but also helps in bringing down the expenses of a business and helps the society on the whole by controlling pollution and using the resources in the most optimum way. With help of various firms one of them being ENER-G which is providing innovative solutions and technology energy management has become easily achievable.

The AIM of energy management is to reduce the amount of energy a building consumes. Good energy management starts from an understandingof how a building uses energy. The next stage is to identify inefficiencies and agree actions to improve efficiency. These actions need associated targets and ongoing monitoring to measure their performance.

Actions taken to improve efficiency can vary. Some cost nothing, others are low cost and some require greater investment. Some use technology other focus on people but good energy management will usually deliver savings through a combinations of all thestepswhich best suit an organization. Improving energy efficiency can bring many benefits:

  • Lower energy costs
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Improved working conditions
  • Better control
  • Ensures legislative compliance
  • Aids ISO 14001 accreditation
  • Demonstrates corporate and social responsibility


Energy management should not be undertaken in isolation but should be a strategic component of a comprehensive business management plan. Energy management not only makes good financial sense it also protects the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to government operations.

Agencies that incorporate an energy reduction strategy under the umbrella of a total business management plan are more likely to achieve greater energy savings. Proper planning at the time of procurement can provide lasting financial and environmental benefits to the agency.

Many organizations regard energy costs as unavoidable and fixed. However, energy costs are one of the more controllable variable costs within the agency. Generally, all that is required to ensure the success of an energy management plan is the commitment of all staff, from the most senior level down to the office floor. In most cases a successful energy management policy will only require a small capital investment and over the short to medium term will actually save money.



By incorporating a good saving plan a business firm is bound to make savings and help in controlling the pollution of the environment. Some of the benefits of a business plan are:


It is estimated that a 5%reduction in operating costs is achievable through good house keeping practices and the implementation of a comprehensive energy management program. Additional savings of upto7% should be attainable in the medium to longer term through investment energy efficient technology upgrades.


Paying close attention to the operation of building controls will usually improve the performance of building systems, including the elimination of systems working against each other.


An efficient and better controlled building leads to an improvement in general working conditions for staff. More comfortable surroundings contribute to a more productive workplace.


For every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed, approximately 1 kg of greenhouse gas is emitted to the atmosphere. Implementing an energy saving program not only saves money; it reduces the environmental impact of the business following it.


In the past century, it has been seen that the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy has caused more environmental damage than any other human activity. Electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil has led to high concentration of harmful gases in the atmosphere. This has in turn led to many problems being faced today such as ozone depletion and global warming.

Therefore, alternative sources of energy have become very important and relevant in today’s world, these sources such as the sun and wind can never be exhausted and therefore are called renewable. They cause less emission and are available locally. Their use can, to a large extent, reduce chemical, radioactive and thermal pollution. They stand out as viable source of clean and limitless energy. These are also known as non-conventional sources of energy. Most of the renewable sources of energy are considered clean, though biomass, is a major polluter indoors.

When we burn a piece of wood it turns into ash. We cannot use this ash to again light a fire. This is exactly what happens to the non-renewable sources of energy such coal, oil and natural gas. Once we burn them they cannot be reused. Other than this they also cause extensive damage to the environment. Some of the renewable energies are:

  • Solar energy
  • Hydel energy
  • Wind energy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Biomass
  • Cogeneration


FORM OF ENERGY: Thermal energy

USED FOR: Cooking/heating, drying/timber seasoning, distillation, electricity/power generation.

SOME OF THE GADGETS AND OTHER DEVICES: Solar cooker, flat plate solar cooker, concentrating collectors, solar hot water systems (domestic and industrial) solar pond, solar dryers, solar hot air systems, concentrating collectors.

FACT: India receives solar energy equivalent to over 5000 trillion kWh per year, which is far more than the total energy consumption of the country.

Solar energy is the most readily available source of energy. It does not belong to anybody and is, therefore, free. It is also the important of the non-conventional sources of energy because it is non-polluting and therefore helps in lessening the greenhouse effect.

Solar energy has been used since prehistoric times, but in the most primitive manner such as drying clothes. Before 1970, some research and development was carried out in some countries to exploit solar energy more efficiently. But most of it remained mainly academic. After the dramatic rise in oil prices in the 1970’s, several countries began to formulate extensive research and development programmes to exploit solar energy.

India is one of the few countries with long days and plenty of sunshine, especially in the Thar desert region. This zone, having abundant solar energy available, is suitable for harnessing solar energy for a large number of applications. Solar thermal energy is being used in India for heating for both industrial and domestic purposes. A 140 MW integrated solar plant is to be set up in Jodhpur but the initial expense incurred is still very high.

Solar energy can also be used to meet our electricity requirements. Through Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) cells, Solar radiation gets converted into DC electricity directly. This electricity can either be used as it is or can be stored in the battery. This stored electrical energy can then be used at night.

SPV can be used for a number of applications such as:

  • Domestic lighting
  • Street lighting
  • Village electrification
  • Water pumping
  • Desalination of salty water
  • Railway signals

If the means to make efficient use of solar energy be found, it would reduce our dependence on non-renewable sources of energy to a large extent.

Chapter 12BIOMASS

FORM OF ENERGY: Chemical energy

USED FOR: Cooking, mechanical applications, pumping, power generation, transportation.

SOME OF THE GADGETS AND OTHER DEVICES: Biogas plant/ gasifier/burner, gasifier engine pump sets, stirling engine pump sets, Producer gas/biogas based engine generator sets, ethanol/methanol.

FACT: Half a kilo of dry plant tissue can produce as much as 1890Kcal of heat which is equivalent to the heat available from a quarter of kilogram of coal.

Biomass is a renewable energy resource derived from the carbonaceous waste of various human and natural activities. It is derived from numerous sources, including the by-products from the timber industry, agricultural crops, raw material from the forest, major parts of household waste and wood.

Biomass does not add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as it absorbs the same amount of carbon in growing as it releases when consumed as a fuel. Its advantage is that it can be used to generate electricity with the same equipment or power plants that are now burning fossil fuels. Biomass is an important source of energy and the most important fuel worldwide after coal, oil and natural gas.

Traditional use of biomass is more than its use in modern application. In the developed world biomass is again becoming important for applications such as combined heat and power generation. In addition, biomass energy is gaining significance as a source of clean heat for domestic heating and community heating applications. In fact in countries like Finland, USA and Sweden the per capita biomass energy used is higher than it is India, China or in Asia.

Biomass fuels used in India account for about one third of the total fuel used in the country, being the most important fuel used in over 90% of the rural households and about 15% of the urban households.

Instead of burning the loose biomass fuel directly, it is more practical to compress it into briquettes( compressing them through a process to form blocks of different shapes) and thereby improve its utility and convenience of use. Such biomass in the dense briquetted form can either be used directly as fuel instead of coal in the traditional chulhas and furnaces or in the gasifier. Gasifier converts solid fuel into a more convenient to use gaseous form of fuel called producer gas.

Scientists are trying to explore the advantages of biomass energy as an alternative energy source as it is renewable and free from net CO2(carbon dioxide) emissions, and is abundantly available on earth in the form of agricultural residue, city garbage, cattle dung, firewood, etc. Bio-energy, in the form of biogas, which is derived from biomass, is expected to become one of the key energy resources for global sustainable development.

At present, biogas technology provides an alternative source of energy in rural India for cooking. It is particularly useful for village households that have their own cattle. Through a simple process cattle dung is used to produce a gas, which serves as fuel for cooking. The residual dung is used as manure.

Biogas plants have been set up in many areas and are becoming very popular. Using local resources, namely cattle waste and other organic wastes, energy and manure are derived. A mini biogas digester has recently been designed and developed, and is being used in-field tested for domestic lighting.

Indian sugar mills are rapidly turning to BAGASSE, the leftover of cane after it is crushed and its juice is extracted, to generate electricity. This is mainly being done to clean up the environment, cut down power costs and earn additional revenue. According to current estimates, about 3500 MW of power can be generated from bagasse in the existing 430 sugar mills in the country. Around 270MW of power has already been commissioned and more is under construction.


FORM OF ENERGY: Potential/kinetic energy

USED FOR: Power generation


FACT: On an average, the 60 million sq km of tropical seas absorb solar radiation equal to the heat content of 245 billion barrels of oil.


The energy in the flowing water can be used to produce electricity. Waves result from the interaction of wind with surface of the sea and represent a transfer of energy from the wind to the sea. Energy can be extracted from the sea by creating a reservoir or basin behind a barrage and then passing tidal waters through turbines in the barrage to generate electricity.


Hydro power is one of the best, cheapest, and the cleanest source of energy, although, worth big dams, there are many environmental and social problems as has been seen in the case of Tehri and the Narmada Project. Small dams are, however, free from these problems. This is in fact one of the earliest known renewable energy sources, in the country (since the beginning of the 20th century).

In fact, for the last few hundred years, people living in the hills of the Himalayas have been using water mills, or chakki, to grind wheat. The 130 KW small hydropower plant in Darjeeling set up in 1897, was the first in India. Besides being free from the problem of pollution, such plants are also free from issues and controversies that are associated with the bigger projects, namely affecting the lives of thousands of people living along the banks of the rivers, destruction of large areas under forest, and seismological threats.

New environmental laws affected by the danger of global warming have made energy from small hydropower plants more relevant. These small hydropower plants can serve the energy needs of remote rural areas independently. The real challenge in a remote area lies in successful marketing of the energy and recovering dues. Local industries should be encouraged to use this electricity for sustainable development.

It is a technology with enormous potential, which could exploit the water resources to supply energy to remote rural areas with little access to conventional energy sources. It also eliminates most of the negative environmental effects associated with large hydropower projects.


Large amount of solar energy is stored in the oceans and seas. On an average, the 60 million square kilometer of the tropical seas absorb solar radiation equivalent to the heat content of 245 billion barrels of oil. Scientists feel that if this energy can be tapped a large source of energy can be tapped a large source of energy will be available to the tropical countries and to other countries as well. The process of harnessing this energy is called OTEC (ocean thermal energy conversion). It uses the temperature differences between the surface of the ocean and depths of about 1000m to operate a heat engine, which produces electric power.

Energy is also obtained from waves and tides. The first wave energy, project with a capacity of 150MW, has been set up at Vizhinjam near Trivandrum. A major tidal wave power project costing of Rs. 5000 crores, is proposed to be set up in the Hanthal Creek in the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat.

In some countries such as Japan small scale power generators run by energy from waves or the ocean, have been used as power sources for channel marking buoys.

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