Demand Side Management of Power in India

PIB Feature, with Inputs from the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India

New Delhi, Feb 21, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) A unit of energy saved is greater than the energy produced as it saves not only on energy production but also on transmission and distribution losses. In other words, a “Negawatt” (a negative Megawatt) produced by reducing energy needs, saves more than a Megawatt generated. This is the idea behind the Demand Side Management (DSM) or the management of rapidly growing demand of electricity at the end user side. In India the installed generation capacity in the utility sector has increased to about 1,85,500 MW. But the demand is also constantly increasing in domestic, agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors. During April-November, 2011 there was a peak shortage of 13,491 MW and energy shortage of 44,788 MU.

To combat the energy shortage two methods can be used. First, to increase the production i.e. the supply side management and secondly, to conserve the energy i.e. the demand side management. Supply side management involves generation capacity augmentation, establishing new power plants and strengthening of transmission and distribution system. Demand side Management can be termed as a process to match demand with the availability of supply. It involves demand reduction, filling valleys and cutting peaks. Peak reduction is possible by using energy efficient equipment, using non-essential loads during off peak hours and implementing Time of Use (ToU) pricing.

Demand Side Management  projects aim at achieving -  Energy Efficiency  which focuses on more efficient devices and technology, for instance use of CFLs instead of other lights or using energy efficient modern home appliances; Energy Conservation  which focuses on reducing energy consumption like switching off the lights and fans when not in the room.

Ways to achieve Demand Side Management

·         Energy Efficiency Programmes which involve using advanced equipment for end use services like lighting, cooling, heating, etc. These devices are energy efficient and consume less electricity.

·         Peak Load Reduction Programmes which involve reduction of load on utility systems or in selected areas of the transmission and distribution grid. It includes interruptible load tariffs, time-of-use rates, direct load control and other load management programmes.

·         Load Shape flexibility which involves modifying prices, cycle equipment, or interrupt service in response to specific changes in power costs or resource availability. These approaches include real time pricing and time of use rates for pricing periods that have flexible hours. They also may include interruptible load tariffs, direct load control and other load management programmes when those activities are not limited to peak load periods.

·         Load Building Programmes which aim at increasing the use of electrical equipment or shift of electricity consumption from peak to off-peak hours. It includes valley filling programmes which increase load during off-peak periods.

In all, DSM aims at load management to make the load curve flat.

The Government has an important role in promoting and implementing DSM. The Ministry of Power is the nodal agency for energy conservation with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) coordinating initiatives and activities on energy conservation. The Energy Conservation Act 2001 reflects the importance which the Government attaches to promote efficient use of energy in India. Further, the Electricity Act of 2003 lays significant emphasis on energy conservation and environmental protection.

Creating awareness about energy conservation is the key to success of DSM. Media can educate consumers about energy conservation and efficiency through advertisements, talks, discussions and highlighting success stories. Consumers also need to be encouraged to conserve energy and use energy efficient appliances. Electricity distribution utilities also need to actively participate to make consumers aware about energy conservation and energy efficient equipment and act as an agent to help in delivery of such equipment. They may help provide low interest loans to consumers and recover the loan through the monthly bills.

The DSM programmes can be in the field of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL), timer control in air conditioners, energy audit programmes for large customers, street lighting, etc. A study carried out by TERI highlights that residential lighting in Delhi has a saving potential of about 35% or 294 MW.  A survey conducted by Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research indicated that peak demand for High Tension industries in Maharashtra could be reduced in a short period by about 9% just by adoption of a limited set of measures.

The emphasis is also on Decentralized Distributed Generation, under which conventional as well as renewable energy sources such as Biomass, Biofuels, Biogas, Mini Hydro , Solar , etc are used to produce energy. It helps to cater to the demand of rural areas where grid connectivity is not feasible or cost effective and thus, supplements DSM.

In order to promote energy savings, the concept of green buildings needs to be encouraged. Green buildings act as a medium for energy conservation. They use traditional and renewable sources of energy, consume less energy and conserve natural resources. Such buildings are sustainable and environment friendly.

In rural areas water pumping sets are used in agriculture. Inefficient pumps lead to inefficient use of energy. Thus, efficient pumping sets may be made available to the farmers. In Nagda village of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh, inefficient agriculture pump sets were replaced with new efficient pump sets. It is anticipated that about 1 kVA per pump set energy saving (720 units) will be affected every month with just this initiative.

Boost to Load Management Programmes

Demand Side Management of Power will be given thrust during the 12th Five Year Plan. The load management programmes likely to get boost are:  Dynamic/Real Time Pricing based on real time system of supply and demand, Time of Use Rates where customers are offered different rates for electricity usage at different times of the day and Automated/Smart Metering for implementing dynamic/real time pricing or time of use rate structure and billing accordingly.

In the times to come energy demand will increase tremendously with the development in rural areas. DSM will play an important role in saving the energy and optimal utilization of resources. There is a deficit of about 14,000 MW electricity demand in peak time and 8% deficit in energy. It can be understood simply that if one house uses an efficient lamp of 15 W (CFL) it can make sufficient power available to three other houses provided they also use CFL. There is an urgent need to convert DSM into a movement so that the available resources, already under crunch are optimally utilized to benefit all and also the environment.


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