It is well known that any additional generation of power, especially through thermal will lead to further environmental degradation. It is, therefore, obvious that conservation of energy will also reduce environmental degradation. Hence, any effort on energy conservation will automatically contribute to control of environmental pollution as well as ecorestoration.
The rise in demand of power against supply may hamper the growth of industry and agriculture. At the end of sixth plan, a gap of 5,444 MW between demand and supply may become as wide as 10,000 MW during seventh plan. In the first year of the seventh plan (1985-86) the addition to the utilities was 4072 MW including 2,830 MW in the thermal sector.
The power position in the country worsened in 1985-86 with a 7.9% shortfall in power supply. In 1984-85, the power deficit was around 6.7%. The expected annual growth rate in the demand for the electricity in the seventh plan is 12.2%.
There has been substantial increase in cost per megawatt of power. This has gone up from Rs. 24 lakhs in the first plan to Rs. 159 lakhs at the end of the sixth plan. Transmission and distribution losses were as high as 21 percent in 1985-86, while in Japan and in the Federal Republic of Germany, the loss was about 5.3% and 4.7%, respectively.
As the thermal and hydel energies are very costly and are also location based, so the gap, in demand and supply can be reduced to some extent by non-conventional energy sources, such as solar, wind, biomass, etc.
Energy, through other sources, is being looked into but we are not in a position to tap other sources which are not very much efficient. Efficient use of energy, therefore, has to be given more importance, wastage has to be minimized and maximum utilization of capacity is the need of the hour. It is obvious that there is no alternative to conservation of energy. Thus, any innovation contributing to the saving of energy should be welcomed and effort in this area .should be encouraged.