New partnership for the future of energy efficiency in India

The world's largest public energy service company joins UNEP DTU Partnership in creating a framework for long-term cooperation on energy efficiency improvement in India.

January 15, 2019

Today UNEP DTU Partnership and Indian Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) signed a new agreement for long-term cooperation.

The agreement establishes a framework between EESL and UNEP DTU Partnership’s Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency, to support faster and further energy efficiency improvement in India.

This will be done through experience and knowledge sharing, joint international funding application, national policy study, as well as showcasing business models of energy efficiency actions.

“The first fuel”
Improving energy efficiency and resource efficiency is one of the key solutions for low carbon and sustainable development. Energy efficiency is also known as the ‘first fuel’, a source of energy in its own right, that warrants investments ahead of other more complex or costly energy sources, due to its multiple economic, environmental, and social benefits.
As India’s emerging economy is in a stage of rapid economic development, progressing in spreading access to modern energy and improving energy efficiency is a cornerstone in ensuring that the development is environmentally sustainable in line with SDG 7 and 13.

India is increasing its focus on energy efficiency, both in terms of the country’s effort to limit CO2 emissions and the ensuing rise in global temperatures, and to enable greener growth and development benefitting vulnerable groups and the overall health of the population.
This is a process in which UNEP DTU Partnership is contributing in various ways.

Energy efficiency expertise and shared visions
UNEP DTU Partnership and EESL share a vision of a future where working together in partnerships paves the way for energy efficiency to be at the core of both public and private sector investments and development, creating green growth.

In recent years, the Copenhagen Centre has been increasingly engaged in energy efficiency in India. It worked with the Indian Ministry of Urban Development on promoting low carbon transport and helped four cities make plans for reducing the carbon footprint of urban transport.

In 2016 and 2017, the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency and EESL cooperated in a study on best practices and high impact opportunities for energy efficiency improvement in India. The two organisations are also working together under the UNEP District Energy in Cities Initiative, to help the country curb the high electricity demand from air conditioning during hot summers. Currently EESL is testing innovative business models of district energy systems in its efforts to promote district cooling development in India.
As a part of UNEP DTU Partnership, the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency is part of a leading international research and advisory institution on energy, climate change and sustainable development.

The centre’s unique institutional setup gives it access to not only to the UN Environment’s resources on energy efficiency activities, but also the strong technical expertise at the Danish Technical University (DTU).

As the Energy Efficiency Hub for the UN initiative Sustainable Energy for ALL (SEforALL) the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency also coordinates the SEforALL accelerators to promote energy efficiency actions in key sectors, including building, lighting, appliances and equipment, industry, district energy as well as vehicle fuel efficiency.

EESL leads the market-related activities of the Indian National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, one of the eight national missions under the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.

It is the world’s largest public energy service company. Founded in 2009 the EESL has, despite its short history, the world’s largest energy efficiency portfolio with activities covering energy efficient lighting, water pumps, fans, air conditioners, tri generation/district cooling systems, buildings as well as electric cars, smart meters, and solar technologies for agriculture uses.
It is, among other things, implementing the world’s largest zero-subsidy domestic LED bulb programme and street light replacement programme.

EESL has a business approach aimed at creating mutually beneficial incentives for all stakeholders and works to channel large scale international finance into energy efficiency activities in India.

A systems approach
The cooperation between EESL and UNEP DTU Partnership will focus on the importance of adopting systems approaches when evaluating and implementing energy efficiency projects as opposed to single component exchange programmes.

Practice shows that often larger savings opportunities are lost once central components of energy saving systems have been replaced leaving the remaining parts of a system as unviable energy efficiency investments.

Promotion of a systems approach is relevant in all sectors, and the agreement between EESL and UNEP DTU Partnership will focus on:

  • Lighting, appliances and equipment efficiency.
    Example: Considering cooling demand only after incandescent bulbs have been changed to LEDs
  • District energy system
    Example: Promoting tri generation and district cooling systems to save energy and reduce peak load for space cooling
  • The water-energy nexus for improving the energy and water efficiency
    Example: Considering pumping demand only after leaking pipes have been replaced
  • Transport – Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructures
    Example: Considering charging infrastructure only after traffic limiting regulation has been implemented
  • Energy efficiency in buildings
    Example: Considering cooling demand only after the building envelope has been optimized

The cooperation will cover activities such as policy analysis and advocacy, monitoring and reporting of mitigation impacts and co-benefits, creating and disseminating business models and a joint proposal development for international funding.
The end aim will also be joint implementation of energy efficiency projects across India.