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Enhancing energy efficiency “crucial” for India’s MSME sector: Experts

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The first-ever National Summit on Energy Efficiency in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)--organised by SAMEEEKSHA, a joint forum comprisingThe Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Embassy of Switzerland, India and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises-- commenced with fanfare in New Delhi today.
The inaugural session of the Summit featured eminent luminaries and veteran experts including Director General, TERI, Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Ambassador of Switzerland in India, Dr. Linus von Castelmur, Director General, BEE, Dr. Ajay Mathur and Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. R.K. Mathur.
The need to organise this first-of-its-kind event stemmed from the extensive work carried out by TERI in the MSME sector since 1994, with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the BEE, the French Development Agency (AfD), the German Development Agency (GIZ), UNIDO, the World Bank and other donors. Through this platform, the goal has been to obtain energy savings of 20 to 30 percent in MSMEs, thereby reducing CO2 emissions in select energy intensive small scale industry sectors.
Over the years, the cumulative impact of SAMEEEKSHA’s joint efforts has been tangible and visible both at the national as well as local scale. Nearly 582,000 tonnes of cumulative reduction of CO2 levels in the MSME sector has been achieved till date. The goal is to reduce 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2 in energy-intensive MSMEs by the end of 2014.
Addressing the gathering, Director General of TERI, Dr. R.K. Pachauri, said, “The MSME sector offers enormous potential for initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency and overall development. Yet, this potential has till recently been matched “in the reverse” by the low levels of attention to this important sector. The government can play an enabling role in facilitating changes.”      
There are an estimated 26 million MSME units providing employment to nearly 70 million people in India and the sector accounts for about 45% of India’s industrial production and 40% of exports. 
However, a large number of these MSME units are energy intensive, with energy accounting for up to 40% of their production costs. In many of these units, the adoption of energy efficient (EE) technology and best operating practices offer enormous potential for energy savings, reduction in CO2 emissions as well as profitability enhancement. 
Speaking at the inaugural session of the National Summit, the Ambassador of Switzerland to India, H.E Dr Linus von Castelmur said, “Switzerland is proud to be working with MSME sector in India for over 18 years, with innovative partner networks to design technologies, demonstrate and disseminate energy efficient technologies and by creating enabling environment.”
He further added that these technology interventions had resulted in “co-benefits for climate through avoided emissions and for development in terms of local jobs and energy security in the MSME clusters.”
Lauding the initiative, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Dr. Ajay Mathur, said, “The government has enabled capacity building and pushed enterprises towards energy efficiency. Our challenge is replication of technologies. We look for stronger collaboration with our partners and stakeholders.”
The official website of SAMEEEKSHA initiative was also launched at the event, followed by the release of a French Development Agency (AfD) report on benchmarking and mapping energy consumption in Indian MSMEs. The study was conducted by TERI under the overall support and guidance of AfD, BEE and French Environment & Energy Management Agency (ADEME). 
Appreciating the efforts of SAMEEEKSHA, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Dr. R.K. Mathur, said, “Climate change and global economic slowdown need to be factored in by the MSMEs in their endeavour to achieve energy efficiency. The MSMEs have to be competitive while introducing eco-friendly initiatives. We look forward for the outcome of the deliberations, and have great hopes from this Summit.” 
Nearly 200 representatives from over 100 MSME clusters across India are expected to converge at the two-day Summit to discuss sectoral issues of policy, technology and finance while attempting to define new directions for further action towards the cause.
The National Summit is also being supported by French Development Agency (AfD), Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), and German Development Agency (GIZ). 
The Small and Medium Enterprises Energy Efficiency Knowledge Sharing--‘SAMEEEKSHA’- aims to synergise the efforts of various institutions working forthe development of MSME sector in India through the promotion of energy efficient technologies and practices.
The forum provides a unique interface between industry experts, technology development specialists, R&D institutions, government bodies, training institutes, funding agencies and academia.
Energy efficiency | News published on 31 / 07 / 2012 by Bharat Vasandani

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