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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Improving energy efficiency in India: need for a targeted and tailored strategy

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Despite keen interest shown by Indian policymakers and significant efforts to enhance energy efficiency of the Indian economy, progress has been limited. Initial efforts laudably sought to be comprehensive and cover all sectors and subsectors. However, it resulted in limited human and financial resources being spread too thin resulting in sluggish progress in improving energy efficiency. In addition, several of the approaches tried have not been directly applicable in India because of the challenges of limited institutional capacity and human resources. India should reorganize its efforts, and develop a targeted and tailored strategy based on three principles: (1) target efforts at areas where they will bring about the biggest reductions in energy use (‘maximum bang for the buck’); (2) design energy efficiency policies and plans to achieve a radically higher level of implementation; and (3) design programs creatively to succeed under the challenging policy and implementation environment. An approximate estimation of the potential savings in existing and new additions in various consumer categories highlights the importance of new additions particularly in the commercial buildings sector, and the relative importance of different categories. As an example of a tailored and targeted strategy, the paper describes the development of a program for superefficient appliances that is expected to be appropriate for the Indian environment. The paper is intended to add to the discourse on rapid improvement in energy efficiency not only in India, but also in other developing countries that face similar challenges of limited human and financial resources.

This article is categorized under:

  • Energy Efficiency > Economics and Policy
Categorywise share of current and incremental electricity consumption until 2020.
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Annual saving potential of top 25 products. (Reproduced with permission from Ref 15. Copyright 2011, T. Tathagat.)
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Categorywise saving potential of retrofits and new additions until 2020.
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