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Feature | October 2017

Long lifetime & second hand market is hindering upgradation

<span style="font-weight: bold;">Xercsis K Marker, Executive Vice President &amp; Business Head, Godrej &amp; Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd, Lawkim Motors Group.</span> <p></p> <p> <span style="font-weight: bold;">How energy efficient are Indian electric motors, compared to global benchmarks?</span><br /> The international electro technical commission standard IEC 60034-30-1: 2014 'Rotating electrical machines - part 30-1 : efficiency classes of line operated AC motors' has globally harmonised the energy efficiency classes of all electric motors that are rated for line operation this includes all single and three phase motors between 0.12-1000 kW. </p> <p>Electric Motors use around 70 per cent of the electricity consumed by industry, globally. Since industry accounts for around 40 per cent of electricity demand in India, it follows that motors use around 28 per cent of total electricity making it larger user than lighting at 24 per cent. Globally 41 countries, representing 76 per cent of energy consumed by motor systems, have worked to transform their regional and national market towards high efficiency motors and motor system through a combination of regulatory measures and supporting policies. </p> <p>In India, BIS has adopted the earlier version of IEC standards through IS 12615:2011 'Energy efficient induction motors 'Three phase squirrel cage'. Subsequent to this an amendment was issued in September 2014 stating that minimum efficiency class of the motors to be IE2 however the adoption of this standard is voluntary until 30.9 2017 and is mandatory from October 01, 2017. </p> <p> <span style="font-weight: bold;">What are drawbacks of the unorganised sector?</span><br /> There are many drawbacks when it comes to ensuring the energy efficiency in the unorganised sector and specially compared to global standards. These include lack of awareness, market knowledge, financial stability, and a lack of technical know-how and infrastructure to evaluate the possibility of energy efficiency. Energy users are often unwilling to pay for energy audits and even if one is conducted, these are not always followed through on recommendations involving investments. </p> <p> Experts say that India has miles to go before reaching the high global efficiency levels - when do you foresee this happening? According to IEEMA more than 92 per cent of motors sold in 2015-2016 were Sub-IE2 efficiency level. This is mainly because BIS adoption of IEC standard IS 12615: 2011 in India is voluntary. To address this regulatory gap DIPP has issued a quality control order requiring all domestic and imported motors to confirm to the revised IS 12615 which specify IE2 as the minimum efficiency class with effect from 1st October 2017. These measures can be expected to transform the market for new motors to a minimum of IE2 in the near future. This can be considered as our first step towards energy efficiency at national level. The organised sector has already started work on IE3/IE4 levels. </p> <p>Since motors have long life time that can extend up to 20 years it will take many years of sales of new, more efficient motors to have a discernible impact on the overall efficiency of installed base of motors. There is a need for a program to accelerate the replacement of inefficient motors and save on industrial electricity consumption. However, the need and also the legislation for appliance industry motors requiring progressive adherence to 5 star energy rating norms for the appliances has already moved ahead in a much faster manner to catch up with Global norms. As per market information, estimated national savings in electricity with efficient usage and lower losses could be approximately 8-8.5 TWh which can avoid the need to invest in power plants generating capacity up to 1.5 GW. This could involve avoiding infrastructural investments up to approx. Rs 11,000 crore. </p> <p> <span style="font-weight: bold;">What are the hindrances for adopting high efficiency motors across the board?</span><br /> The major reasons for slow progress is lack of awareness, policy implementation in an aggressive manner, higher cost/initial investment inspite of the fact that paybacks can be as low as 12-15 months depending on usage. Many end users lack the tools and know-how to be able to establish energy saving potential of energy efficient motors within their plants, reliably and create a business case for investment. Even in businesses that are knowledgeable, decision makers remain sceptical about the business case put up by their business and maintenance team.</p> <p> Even if a user is convinced of the business case for the accelerated replacement of inefficient motor, own funds may not be readily available as this may not be the priority action for the businesses. Operating plants are seldom disturbed for upgradation for energy efficiency projects, the opportunity only arises when motor fails and in such an event the priority is often to get the plant up and running again as fast as possible by quickly repairing the motors. Due to existence of a market for second hand motors, replaced failed motors find their way back into the system rather than being scrapped.</p> <p> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Are the available testing facilities sufficient to measure efficiency levels?</span><br /> The capabilities for designing and manufacturing of motors with efficiency levels of IE2 and above is widely available in the country whereas with users there is lack of awareness and lack of proper tools to measure the payback on the shop-floor. Barring few reputed conglomerates, other shop floors are yet to have facilities to measure efficiency levels of their machines. There are many professional auditors who are better equipped to assess the saving potential by using the high efficiency motors.</p> <p> <span style="font-weight: bold;">What measures are to be taken to expedite adoption of latest standards? </span><br /> The process of nation-wide adoption of latest standards would be only possible when we overcome issues related to finance, user practices, market, awareness, etc. Banking system should come forward with a lending process for energy efficiency projects and provide financial solutions for the projects. There should be a regulation and a system for all end users to scrap the old inefficient motors so that they don't come back for usage. There should be an awareness program to improve technical capability to educate and convince users about the saving potential of energy efficient motors.</p> <p> <span style="font-weight: bold;">Does does the Indian consumer's cost-conscious affect their purchase decisions?</span><br /> This is one of the major challenges being faced by all the motor manufacturers. With implementation of latest standard availability of Sub IE2 motors will not be there compelling all users to procure energy efficient motors. There should be faster transaction to higher efficiency motors so that inefficiency and power losses is reduced. A case in example is that of LED lighting where faster transitioning is happening even at a slightly higher initial cost because consumers has started seeing the big benefits in efficient power usage and savings. India has been an electric power deficient nation and therefore the challenge for availability of efficient power at affordable cost.</p>
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