About 30 years from now, we will be sharing our planet with two and a half billion more people.
Together, we will live longer, strain our resources as we eat, produce and travel more, demanding more than double the energy that is required today. This increase, however, should not come at the cost of the planet or the more vulnerable sections of our society. The world of the future must be more sustainable in letter, spirit, and action.
Over the years, the energy sector could be a significant driving force for economic growth. In India, even though the share of renewables is increasing, coal continues to contribute a significant proportion to the overall energy mix. Similarly, while electric fuel is gaining currency, diesel- and oil-run vehicles are increasing, potentially countering the gains made on the clean energy front. Rising population, rapid urbanization, and industrialization will be putting ever more pressure on the planet.
At this juncture, achieving a circular economy that can limit global warming to 1.5°C, is crucial. This may be the classic case of energy dilemma for an emerging economy like ours – meet rising energy demand without compromising the climate. Yet, we ought to embark on a new pathway that encompasses the following:
An accelerated shift from fossil-based power production towards renewable-based generation. Growing electrification of transportation, industry, and buildings. Rise in sustainable energy carriers (e.g., green hydrogen).
The unprecedented 2020 pandemic and economic crisis have given India, just as other nations and governments, the impetus to accelerate investments and action plans to deliver the energy transition. India recently revised its renewable energy target to 220 GW by 2022 from 175 GW 1. However, the road to decarbonization everywhere is built on much more electrification. It is the most reliable route to achieve carbon neutrality.
According to the International Energy Agency, electricity consumption in India has nearly tripled over the past two decades – growing faster than total energy demand. All market sectors, from manufacturing to services, are starting to rely on the grid heavily. To ensure power for all, we need further to build capacity and resilience in our power infrastructure. That is indispensable to integrate increasing amounts of intermittent renewables and distributed energy and address new supply and demand challenges.
Extreme weather events, like the one we are witnessing in Texas, is an alarm bell to bring electricity transformation and grid expansion to the center stage of economic policy in India – said to overtake China as the most populous country within this decade – and accelerate efforts in making the grid more potent, smarter, and greener.
We should leverage all forms of technology, from interconnections and backbone transmission to grid-edge, from storage to power quality, digitalization across the value chain, and collaboration across all stakeholders.
To ensure economic growth without hurting nature, we must adapt and adopt policies and regulations that enable the deployment of technology and facilitate innovation and new business models that support secure, sustainable, and scalable energy infrastructure.
Green computing, a contribution to environmental preservation
“Going Green” is a growing trend positioning itself as the primary option of doing tasks while also benefiting the environment. This currently manifests itself in various areas of our life, including recycling, energy-efficient gadgets, renewable energy sources, environmentally friendly cars, and green structures.
Why Green Computing?
If we believe computers are non-polluting and use relatively little energy, we are mistaken. Computer usage contributes significantly to environmental pollution. It is estimated that only around 15% of the $250 billion spent annually on computer power is spent working; the remainder is squandered idle (i.e., consumed by computers that are not in use but still turned ON). Because consumed energy is the primary source of CO2, energy savings in computer hardware and computation equal to tonnes of carbon emissions are avoided each year.
It began in 1992 with the introduction of the Energy Star program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a voluntary labeling program designed to encourage and recognize energy efficiency. The Energy Star badge has now been applied to over 75 different product categories, including residential, commercial, and industrial structures. Additionally, the initiative resulted in the general use of sleep mode by consumers of electronic devices.
How Green Computing benefits the environment?
Green Computing, in its simplest form, is the process of minimizing the environmental effect of technology. This entails conserving energy, minimizing waste, and encouraging sustainability. Green computing seeks to minimize the carbon footprint created by the information technology and systems industry and its associated sectors. Energy efficiency and e-waste reduction are two critical aspects of green computing. Energy efficiency entails the use of energy-efficient central processing units (CPUs), servers, and peripherals, as well as resource usage reductions. And e-waste is the term used to describe the appropriate disposal of electronic trash.
Greening technology can contribute to environmental sustainability by making technologies and products more environmentally friendly throughout their entire life cycle, including research, production, usage, and disposal.
– Environmentally responsible design: Creating energy-efficient computers, servers, printers, projectors, and other digital equipment.
– Green manufacturing: Reducing waste during the manufacture of computers and other subsystems to mitigate their environmental effect.
– Eco-friendly use: Reducing the amount of energy used by computers and their peripheral devices and using them in an environmentally responsible way.
– Environmental stewardship: Repurposing current equipment or properly disposing of or recycling obsolete electronic equipment.
Green Computing has a prosperous future to preserve the environment, with many routes for implementation. I hope we continue to advance toward the objective of efficient computing while also making the planet more environment friendly.
(The author is State Spokesperson BJP JK UT)