| Energy Utilisation in Karnatka: Part I -An Overview |
Energy utilization in a state is a complex activity closely intertwined with the limits on resources. At one end, there are energy resources which are used in various tasks. At the opposite are end uses in many sectors. In between we have many alternate paths of conversion of energy into many different forms and methods of transportation. The complexity of a total integrated energy scenario can be seen from the following aspects;
i) many energy sources can be used to perform a task (for example we can use electricity, firewood, coal, agricultural wastes, kerosene, charcoal and solar energy in the direst mode to heat water for bathing; we can run an irrigation pumping system with the help of electricity, diesel oil, biogas, or solar cells).
ii) energy from a resource can be converted via many stages to the form required by an end use. An example is the conversion of coal to heat (in a boiler), heat to mechanical energy (in a turbine), mechanical form to electrical form (in a generator), electricity to a mechanical form (in a motor) and mechanical to a potential form (in a pump) in order to pump water from a well. There may be several paths from a source to an end use device, (for example, we can use biogas for lighting either directly in a mantle or by its conversion into electricity, use it in an electric bulb).
iii) several devices may be available for a particular end use and one has to choose one of them (we have open chulas, mud stoves, steel stoves, improved stoves, smokeless chulas, three pan or two pan stoves for cooking purposes; all of them use firewood).
iv) Transporting methods are several (we can have a pithead thermal power station in a colliery and transmit electric energy via transmission lines or we can have a thermal power station close to a load centre and transport coal/oil by means of road, rail or sea routes).
The above features reveal the complexity of the energy situation. Add to this the fact that resources were available in abundance and the economists decreed that their costs/prices be negligible. All these made people consume large quanta of energy resources in the name of development with little or no concern for energy conservation. Energy efficiencies were very low. In several instances, only about 5 units of energy went into useful output out of an input of 100 units. This situation has nothing to do with many societal factors like - affluent stages of development, levels of technology, sectors of usage (like industrial or domestic) or resources (firewood or electricity).
Secondly, there was no emphasis on the use of renewable resources. Cost and convenience were the essential factors in the development of energy systems and this resulted in very low efficiencies of utilization on the oneside and on the other the rapid depletion of non renewable resources.
Both low efficiency use and rapid depletion of resources have their impact on our environment. These lead to the development of more mines, construction of giant hydroelectric projects, planning, design and construction of nuclear plants and massive denudation of forests and village wood lots.
The previous two articles (Energy Utilisation in Karnataka part I and II) provided an exposure on the general energy situation in Karnataka and energy utilization in industries. The last study revealed that energy use is highly inefficient in the industrial sector. Since Small Scale Industries form an important component of our industrial set-up it was decided to concentrate on the small scale industrial sector in this study.
Certain important parameters of the small scale sector are
i) Industries are diffused all over the State. Hence it is possible to compare energy utilization in several districts.
ii) Industries in a group manufacture similar products. For example, bakeries in different places make products of great similarity. In the case of major industries we cannot get this degree of uniformity. If we consider two electrical industries, one may manufacture transformers and another motors. There are differences in technology, scales of production, materials used, production processes etc. Because of a greater degree of similarities that exist in a small scale industry group, conclusions on energy use can be meaningful.
iii) Economics of production is much more important in a small scale industry and energy plays a key role in the production efficiency in certain groups. It can even decide whether an industry can survive or not.
We start with a comparison of Karnataka with India with respect to Small Scale Industries (SSI). This is followed by a general picture of SSIs in Karnataka. Then a brief comparison with HT industries is given. The energy consumption comparisons for 47 groups are described later. Finally districtwise analysis of SSIs with reference to energy use is discussed.
The main indicator chosen in these studies has been the energy consumption/unit of production; the same as that used in the previous studies.