Berkeley Lab lends expertise to India to promote energy efficiency

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Washington, November 19 (ANI): Experts from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US are lending their expertise to India to promote energy efficiency.

"We're not there preaching they should emulate the United States and our experience," said Ashok Gadgil, acting director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

"In fact, just the opposite: we're suggesting they should leapfrog our experience. India's energy consumption is significantly lower than that of the U.S. and Europe, so they have an opportunity now to grow in a sustainable way," he added.

India may rank only a distant fourth in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, behind China, the United States and Russia, but its rapid economic growth rate coupled with aging and inefficient energy infrastructure suggest dire environmental consequences if "business as usual" continues.

That's why experts from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been working to expand collaborations with India on energy efficiency.

A combination of various energy efficiency measures-including greener buildings, a smarter electric grid, more efficient home appliances and more advanced industrial and manufacturing processes-have the potential to eliminate India's electricity shortage, reduce pollution and decrease its emissions of greenhouse gases, while boosting the country's economic output by as much as 500 billion dollars over the next eight years.

Already, Berkeley Lab scientists have assisted several Indian regulators and utilities in setting up demand-side management, including training staff, analyzing costs and monitoring savings.

"By sharing best practices among technical experts and regulators, we were able to help selected Indian utilities initiate demand-side programs in less than one year, which only a handful of states in the United States have achieved in the 30 years since utility reform began," said Jayant Sathaye, head of Berkeley Lab's International Energy Studies group.

Collaborations with Berkeley Lab's Building Technologies Department on technologies such as advanced windows, day lighting, heating/cooling systems and demand-side management are in the works.

As the United States pursues its own smart-grid initiative, Berkeley Lab is exploring ways to share its experience and expertise with India, where the grid is still rudimentary.

Furthermore, effectively integrating renewables such as solar and wind energy, which are growing in India, is a technical challenge that its current grid is incapable of meeting.

Beyond the substandard infrastructure, India is also in need of technical advice on energy policies and rate structures. (ANI)

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