Conservation of Petroleum Products in India!
India is fast becoming a big producer, consumer and importer of petroleum products. The demand for petroleum products is increasing at an alarmingly accelerated rate. At current rate of consumption, our known oil reserves will last only for 30-40 years. This puts heavy strain on our economic resources and calls for an urgent need to conserve petroleum products.
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There is a vast scope of petroleum conservation in India provided there are technological improvements, financial incentives, policy initiatives and legislative measures for implementing conservation. Transport, industry, domestic/ household and agriculture are four major sectors which consume bulk of petroleum.
Awareness programmes for each sector need to be developed and then extensive publicity of the measures which would bring about savings need to be undertaken to bring about the desired results.
The transport sector is one of the largest consumers of petroleum products mainly petrol and high speed diesel. This sector accounts for 50 per cent consumption of petroleum in India. Road transport alone accounts for about 37 per cent of the total oil consumption.
With fast expanding transport network this consumption level is bound to increase. Oil products constitute nearly 80 per cent of total – commercial energy used in transport (other sources being coal and electricity). Therefore, any energy conservation programme in transport sector is bound to strengthen our economy.
This can be done largely by introducing more fuel efficient engines, operation of transport vehicles at optimum speed, improving road conditions and avoiding traffic bottlenecks, especially in urban areas.
These measures can save about 30-35 per cent fuel. Provision of better roads alone can save 10 per cent petroleum. Extension of railway network has led to substantial savings in high speed diesel since a diesel loco is 7-8 times more efficient compared to diesel truck.
It is, therefore, logical to switch all long distance freight movement to rail and confine road transport to short distances. Railways have initiated several measures to achieve high degree of energy conservation. Public transport system should be strengthened so that people are not forced to use private vehicles. This can save a lot of energy.
Industries consume about 16-20 per cent of the total oil products consumed in the country. Several industries have achieved commendable success in energy conservation by better management energy For example iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, cement and paper industry have saved 21, 32, 28 and 25 per cent energy respectively between 1983 and 1995. Similar steps can be taken by other industries for saving oil and other sources of energy.
In agriculture sector, the main petroleum products consumed are high speed diesel and light diesel oil. The consumption of oil in this sector can be reduced by programmes for pump rectification, more efficient foot valves for lift irrigation, better farm machinery, use of agro residues and other noncommercial sources of energy.
As regards use of petroleum for production of fertilizers, new plan s based on liquid oil products should be discouraged and these should be based on use of natural gas or coal as feed-stocks of which the country has plentiful resources.
Kerosene and LPG are two major oil products used in the domestic sector for cooking and lighting in urban and semi-urban areas. Since there are no viable alternatives to these fuels and they are to be extended to the rural areas to check deforestation, it is imperative that their utilisation is earned out at the optimum efficiency level.
The need for conservation of petroleum products has been increasingly felt during the last few years. The Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is doing a commendable job to promote conservation of petroleum products. The efforts made by this association have made it possible to achieve quantifiable savings of about Rs. 500 crore during 2003-04.
The Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) is an organization established in India in 1978, under the aegis of the IndianMinistry of Petroleum and Natural Gas that is engaged in promoting energy efficiency in various sectors of the economy. It helps the government in proposing policies and strategies aimed at reducing India's dependency on oil, in order to save money, reduce the environmental impact of oil use and also conserve fossil fuel.
India's demand for petroleum products is increasing at a rate of approximately 3-4% per annum. Some of this usage, the PCRA argues, is avoidable: it sponsored a project in Delhi which demonstrated that fuel worth Rs. 994 cr per annum is being burnt at traffic signals due to idling of vehicles at red lights. Energy efficiency measures to reduce by 2% India's use of petroleum products, worth Rs. 4 LakhCrores per annum, could save the country's Rs. 8,000 Crores worth of imports.
The PCRA is mandated to promote popular awareness of the importance of energy conservation. It cites an international acceptance that energy efficiency measures, like turning off car engines at traffic signals and driving at speeds of 45–50 km/h, could help most countries to reduce their use of petroleum products by 20%. The PCRA promotes a nationwide mass media awareness campaign titled “Save Fuel Yaani Save Money”, broadcast on television, radio, and in newspapers. The campaign mascot, Yaani, is a piggy bank, representing saving. The PCRA took the campaign to the India International Trade Fair – 09, where the PCRA stall featured interactive games and quizzes to promote energy efficiency.
The PCRA aims to become a center of excellence for conservation of hydrocarbons & environment protection for sustainable development on our inherent strength. Its mission is to reach efficient energy utilization and environment protection leading to Improvement in Quality of Life. Its objectives are:
1)To formulate strategies and promote measures for accelerating conservation of petroleum products leading to environment protection, energy security and sustainable development.
2)To create awareness among masses about the importance, benefits and methods of conserving petroleum products & clean environment by enhancing information and capacity building.
3)To promote research, development and deployment efforts aimed at petroleum conservation & environment protection, support & facilitate efforts for adoption and dissemination of fuel efficient technologies and substitution of petroleum products with alternate fuels and renewable.
4)To establish synergistic institutional linkages at the national & international levels in the areas of petroleum conservation & environment protection.
5)To provide training and technical advisory services, designed to achieve economy & efficiency in use of petroleum products for cleaner environment.
6)To function as a Think Tank to the Govt. of India for proposing policies and strategies on petroleum conservation and environment protection aimed at reducing excessive dependence on oil