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Kerala-centric industries (KCI) can save up to 20 per cent of energy through proper conservation and efficiency measures, reveals a study on energy management in industries.
The study, carried out by S Ratna Kumaran, Managing Director, Kerala State Cooperative Rubber Marketing Federation (RubberMark), on six KCI's - cashew, rubber, coir, ayurveda, fisheries and china clay - found that poor financial incentives for energy conservation is one of the main reasons for high energy consumption and this coupled with lack of awareness on efficiency improvement has made the things worse.
This is significant due to rising costs in labour, raw materials etc, the major other factors of production. Unless serious efforts are taken to reduce cost of production, he said there is every chance that export activities of KCI will diminish affecting foreign exchange earnings.
Ratna Kumaran had pioneered the idea of energy conservation clubs in the State and was also instrumental in framing the slogan `Switch off one light, avoid power cut' in 2004.
He is of the view that there is substantial energy conservation potential in KCI. Benchmarking energy efficiency parameters will enable KCI to utilise identified energy conservation potentials to make its products globally competitive.
He also suggested the usage of renewable energy sources like biomass, solar and wind to the maximum extent possible to reduce production cost.
Reduction in consumption of fossil fuels will also help reduce green house gas emissions. It can also open opportunities to get additional income by emission trading.
The energy cost is substantial in various KCIs, particularly because of wastage, inefficient process and technology, shortage of funds for retrofitting of efficient machinery and lack of conservation awareness, he said.
Call for targets
The study called upon the government to set targets for reducing energy conservation; enforcing energy regulations; providing incentives for energy conservation and to encourage energy efficient technologies.
There is scope for reduction of energy cost by about 20 per cent once the energy efficiency enhancement measures are implemented as done in the US, the UK and China, he said.
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