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India leads in transport efficiency around the world

Though India has next to negligible population of electric or hybrid cars on the road, the domination of mini cars and their higher fuel economy and low carbon footprint as compared to bigger sedans and saloons is what enabled India to score the maximum points.

Sumant Banerji        Last Updated: July 29, 2016  | 20:32 IST
India leads in transport efficiency around the world

Pollution maybe a raging debate in the country right now and vehicles have become obvious targets but a worldwide study conducted by American Council for Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has revealed India scored the maximum points alongwith Japan and Italy in a list of 25 countries in the area of transportation.

Though India has next to negligible population of electric or hybrid cars on the road, the domination of mini cars and their higher fuel economy and low carbon footprint as compared to bigger sedans and saloons is what enabled India to score the maximum points.

The study that anlysed countries on a scale of 100 possible points in 35 categories put Germany as the leader in the world in overall energy efficiency, followed by Italy and Japan (tied for second place), France, and the United Kingdom.

India was ranked 14th behind only Taiwan among developing economies but ahead of Russia, Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil. Together the list of 25 countries that were covered under the study represents 75 per cent of all the energy consumed on the planet and over 80 per cent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP).

The 35 categories against which each country was benchmarked against the other included areas like buildings, industry, transportation, and overall national energy efficiency efforts. Germany scored the most points in the national efforts, buildings, and industry categories.

"Energy efficiency is often the lowest-cost means of meeting new demand for energy. Governments that encourage investment in energy efficiency and implement supporting policies save citizens money, reduce dependence on energy imports, and reduce pollution," says ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel.

"Yet energy efficiency remains massively underutilized globally, despite its proven multiple benefits and its potential to become the single largest resource to meet growing energy demand worldwide."

India scored one of the lowest points for national efforts on increasing energy efficiency in the country, though the study was based on findings from 2013 and does not take into account a host of measures like LED and street light schemes launched from 2014 onwards in the country. ACEEE said some of the measures will be reflected in future studies and may result in an improvement in India's overall ranking.

"The energy efficiency measures such as Bachat Lamp Yojna, and others planned or undertaken by India are certainly very positive developments. Improving efficiency of lights, fans, and air conditioners will be quite effective in reducing the energy use of consumers and the overall energy intensity of the country. According to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, India, lighting accounts for about 20% of total electricity consumption in the country. With close to 30 million ceiling fans sold annually in India, and demand for air conditioners set to rise rapidly, India can capture huge savings through energy efficient appliances," says Shruti Vaidyanathan, senior researcher and co-author of the study at ACEEE.

"It is difficult to predict to what extent these savings will impact India's standing in our 2018 Scorecard, they would certainly contribute towards reducing energy intensity of residential and commercial buildings, and overall energy intensity, all of which are indicators we measure. They could also improve India's relative ranking in energy efficiency spending, which is currently one of the least among all the countries in the scorecard. To improve in the rankings, along with these measures, India could enforce mandatory building energy codes, and implement more mandatory standards and labels for appliances and industrial motors. Additionally, tracking and disclosing energy efficiency data and making it accessible to people and policymakers alike would help significantly in tracking progress in the energy sector."

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