State of Environment report rings energy alarm bells

Calls for regular audits, promotion of non-conventional energy, mass awareness

April 11, 2018 12:33 am | Updated 12:33 am IST - HYDERABAD

Industrial energy efficiency should be improved through regular audits, non-conventional energy should be promoted and green infrastructure in urban areas should be developed through encouraging the use of natural lighting in buildings. These were some of the recommendations made in the State of Environment Report for Telangana.

The draft prepared by the Environmental Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) and submitted to the government a few months ago also recommends maintaining vegetation, encouraging rooftop gardens and green buildings to check the rising ambient temperature owing to increasing population, growth in concrete structures, air conditioning and vehicular traffic.

With summer setting in and as days get hotter and nights warmer, it is pertinent to have another look at the other suggestions made in the report. It calls for raising awareness among households to encourage the use of energy-efficient appliances, promote energy conservation through energy star programme, and introduce alternative and renewable sources of energy.

Further, the report suggests the conduct of energy audits to monitor the use of CFL bulbs and lights, besides actively promoting the use of in-situ photovoltaic and solar thermal systems for energy as well as water-heating in public, commercial and private buildings.

Solar-powered street lighting and its use in buildings is another aspect to be promoted along with soil and water conservation, says the report. Development of bio-soils for encouraging natural water percolation and for ground water recharge which would also help in reducing urban flooding is another aspect pointed out.

It calls for adoption of concentrated solar thermal in industrial heating, cooking and cooling applications, and adoption of waste-to-energy system on a wider scale to reduce fuel requirements in the process of heating. Similar energy-efficiency measures are also necessary in industrial clusters like rice mills, pharma and bulk drugs industry, the report stated.

Changing climate

India ranked as sixth most climate vulnerable country in world in terms of facing extreme weather events - Germanwatch Climate Risk Index 2018. India has warmed over the years — from 1901 till 2017 by 1.2°C. Climate change impacts are projected for all the sectors including agriculture, water, forestry, glaciers, sea level rise, increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events etc.

Based on historical IMD gridded daily temperature (maximum and minimum) and rainfall data from 1951-2013 (63 years): Mean annual maximum temperature is 33.3°C within a range of 32.2° C to 34.5°C. Mean annual minimum temperature is 21.4°C with a range varying from 20.7°C to 22.2°C. Average annual rainfall is 951.2 mm with a range from 563.4 mm to 1453.2 mm.

As per the projected climate in Telangana, the mean annual maximum temperature is to increase by 1.40°C by Mid Century (MC) and by 1.90°C by end-century (EC). Mean annual minimum temperature is projected to increase by about 1.40°C by MC and by 2.50°C by EC. Another scenario projects the mean annual temperature will rise by 1.50°C by MC and 4.10°C by EC. Mean annual minimum temperature increase by about 1.70°C by MC and 5.20°C by EC.

Rainfall reduction

Mean annual rainfall will show a marginal decrease by about 2.2% in MC and increase by about 12% towards EC. Another scenario forecast the mean annual rainfall projected to increase by about 5% towards MC and 12% in EC.

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