Energy audit in India – Chemical Industry

Chemical industry is one of the oldest industries in India. Indian chemical sector has grown a long way since its early days of independence.

The chemical industry forms the backbone of the industrial and agricultural development in India and also provides building blocks for downstream industries. This industry is a significant contributor to India’s national economic growth. To know the extent of energy being wasted it is essential to know the amount of energy being consumed.

Energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output. The energy audit is the key for decision-making in the area of energy management.

Energy Audit in India – Projections

India is projected to sustain the world’s second-highest rate of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, averaging 5.6 percent per year from 2006 to 2030 (Annual report, 2007 and GOI, 2006 and 2010).

India’s economic growth over the next 25 years is expected to derive more from light manufacturing and services than from heavy industry, so that the industrial share of total energy consumption falls from 72 per cent in 2006 to 64 percent in 2030.

The changes are accompanied by shifts in India’s industrial fuel mix, with electricity use growing more rapidly than coal use in the industrial sector. The Indian chemical industry was the 5th largest in the world, and 2nd largest in Asia, after China. The volume of major chemicals produced in India amounted to 8.3 million metric tons (MMT) in 2011-12.

The energy conservation and utilization of renewable sources are essential factor to fulfill energy demand. Renewable energy and nuclear power are the world’s fastest-growing energy sources, each increasing by 2.5 per cent per year. Among the various sectors contributing to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the contribution of the industrial sector was significant.

Thus, mitigating GHG emissions from the industrial sector offers the best means of reducing overall GHG emissions. Therefore, energy conservation means less reliance on energy imports and, thus, less GHG emissions. It can be achieved either by reducing total energy use or by increasing the production rate per unit of energy used. On the other hand, improving energy efficiency is the key to reducing GHG emissions (Export-Import Bank of India, 2013).

Energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output.

Objective of Energy Audit in Chemical Industry:

The primary objective of energy auditing in chemical industry is to determine ways to reduce energy consumption per unit of product output or to lower its operating costs. The present scenario of energy demand in chemical industries is the indication of energy conservation and optimum utilization of renewable sources of energy (BEE).

Considering the scenario of the Indian industrial sector and its energy utilization efficiency, there is urgent need to review manufacturing technologies and the present energy management approach.

Owing to old and obsolete industrial technologies and machinery the extent of energy wastage is very high. Energy Conservation potential in the industrial sector of our nation has been projected between 30 to 40 %.

Good energy management begins with an energy audit. Effective management of energy-consuming systems can lead to significant cost and energy savings as well as increased comfort, lower maintenance costs, and extended equipment life.

A successful energy management program begins with a thorough energy audit. The energy audit evaluates the efficiency of all building and process systems that use energy. Energy audits don’t save money and energy for companies unless the recommendations are implemented.

Audit reports should be designed to encourage implementation, but often they impede it instead. In this paper, the discussion on the scope and objectives of energy audit, types of energy audit, contents of an energy audit, audit methodology and targets and benefits of the energy audit are presented.

Finally a typical case study of chemical industry for energy audit is discussed with a clear and consistent path toward introducing energy management and auditing. The methodology, tools used, results and difficulties encountered during the study are also discussed.

The energy crisis all over the world in the seventies warned mankind and forced it to think about the appropriate utilization of the energy resources on the earth for the sustainable development. In history, the energy crisis had led to many innovations as well as research and development programs in all sectors related to energy. It is well known that energy sector has its own impact on the progress and development of any nation.

The availability of various energy resources and in house capability to use it in the appropriate manner for productive development of a nation is a key factor in the economic growth of the country.

Role of energy audit:

To institute the correct energy efficiency programs, we have to know first which areas in our establishment unnecessarily consume too much energy. An energy audit identifies where energy is being consumed and assesses energy saving opportunities. In the factory, doing an energy audit increases awareness of energy issues among plant personnel, making them more knowledgeable about proper practices that will make them more productive. An energy audit in effect gauges the energy efficiency of plant against “best practices”. When used as a “baseline” for tracking yearly progress against targets, an energy audit becomes the best first step towards saving money in the production plant.


Key points:

  • Although most efforts should be focused on the application of economic, mature technologies there are arguments to support innovation in energy efficiency technology.
  • Public and private expenditure on energy efficiency innovation is increasing globally.
  • Innovation programmes should be long-term and consistent.
  • R&D programmes need to be driven by input from the customer industries.
  • Government support can be used to help bridge the twin valleys of death but care must be taken to ensure that innovations are really aimed at meeting real customer needs.
  • A wide spread of technologies is needed as the failure rate is high.
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