Kerala can make appreciable gains by 2030 in terms of energy savings by increasing the number of electric vehicles and green buildings and enhancing the overall energy efficiency of households and industries, the draft State Energy Efficiency Action Plan has indicated.
The draft plan for Kerala, prepared by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with support from the Energy Management Centre, Kerala, under an initiative of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), said increased penetration of electric vehicles could save Kerala 0.56 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE) under a ‘moderate scenario’ and 0.84 MTOE under an ‘ambitious scenario’ by 2030. In these same scenarios, it would also mean a reduction of 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2) and 2.6 MtCO2 respectively in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
These targets can be achieved by increasing the share of electric vehicles in the total ‘vehicle stock’ to nearly 10 lakh under the moderate scenario and 17 lakh under the ambitious scenario, adding 56,000 charging stations and battery-swapping infrastructure, the draft said. It further noted that, “As more EVs hit the road, the demand for electricity will increase, which could strain the existing power grid. However, if EV charging stations are powered by solar energy, the additional demand can be met without putting additional pressure on the grid.”
The draft plan focusses primarily on four sectors for helping the State achieve its energy savings goals; transport, industry, domestic and commercial buildings, and agriculture and fisheries. The State’s total final energy consumption (TFEC) — the sum total of the energy consumed from electricity and fuels like coal and petroleum products — is projected to rise to 17.98 MTOE in 2031. It grew from 9.18 MTOE in 2015 to 10.78 MTOE in 2020.
Increased penetration of green buildings by 2030 could save Kerala 0.43 MTOE annually in energy savings and reduce GHG emissions by 1.3 MtCO2. “By promoting energy-efficient buildings, the State can reduce its energy consumption and thereby decrease its dependence on fossil fuels, which are the primary source of energy in the State,” it said. For households, the BEE’s standard and labelling programme based on energy efficiency levels can significantly slash energy consumption by promoting the use of energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and building materials, it said.
For industries, the draft recommends an Identify, Implement and Verify (IIV) scheme for enhancing the energy efficiency of high-tension (HT), extra-high tension (EHT) industries. This scheme seeks to expand energy reduction targets and promote the implementation of energy efficiency technologies.
The agriculture and fisheries sector can save 0.4 MTOE annually by transitioning to solar power pumps and replacing inefficient pumps with BEE star-rated pumps with smart control panels in the farms and ensuring energy efficiency across all value chains — harvest, transport and processing — in fisheries, the draft noted.
The draft action plan has been submitted to the State government. It will soon be submitted to the Union government, EMC officials said.