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EFFECTS OF ENERGY UTILIZATION ON ENVIRONMENT

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By: Yasir Khanday

Energy, defined as the ability to do work, is the capacity of matter to  perform  work as  a result  of its  motion  or its position  in relation  to forces  acting  on  it.  The sun is the source of  light  and heat to our planet and provides plants with energy to produce the chemicals they need for growth. Energy associated with motion is known as Kinetic Energy while that related to position is called potential energy. Energy  exists  at  various  forms  including  kinetic, potential, mechanical, chemical, electric, magnetic, radiant, nuclear,  ionization,  elastic, gravitational,  intrinsic,  thermal and  heat.

Energy is central to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts. It affects all aspects of development-social, economic and environmental-including livelihoods, access to water, agricultural productivity, health, population levels, education,  and  gender  related  issues.  None of  the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be met without major improvements in  the quality  and quantity  of energy services  in  developing  countries.  Some  of  the  common energy  sources  are  coal,  petroleum,  natural  gas,  nuclear fuels,  and  biomass  .  Of  all  these,  the  most  widely  used energy  sources  are  the  hydrocarbon  compounds  or  fossil fuels which account for  more than  80% of global  primary energy consumption . Depending on their sustainability, energy  resources  can  be  broadly  classified  as  either renewable  (flowing  water,  wind,  geothermal,  solar, hydrogen,  biomass)  or  non-renewable  (petroleum,  coal, natural gas, uranium). The non-renewable energy resources account for 82% of the  world's energy consumption  (76% from  fossil  fuel  and  6%  from  nuclear  power)  while  the remaining 18% comes from renewable energy sources such as biomass (11%), hydropower (4.5%) and geothermal, wind and solar energy (2.5%).

ENERGY PROFILE OF INDIA

The energy policy of India is largely defined by the country's expanding energy deficit and increased focus on developing alternative sources of energy, particularly nuclear, solar and wind energy. India ranks 81 position in overall energy self-sufficiency at 66% in 2014.

The primary energy consumption in India is the third biggest after China and USA with 5.6% global share in 2017. The total primary energy consumption from crude oil (221.1 Mtoe; 29.34%), natural gas (46.6 Mtoe; 6.18%), coal (424 Mtoe; 56.26%), nuclear energy (8.7 Mtoe; 1.15%), hydro electricity (30.7 Mtoe; 4.07%) and renewable power  (21.8 Mtoe; 2.89%) is 753.7 Mtoe (excluding traditional biomass use) in the calendar year 2017.In 2017, India's net imports are nearly 198.8 million tons of crude oil and its products, 25.7 Mtoe of LNG and 129.8 Mtoe coal totaling to 354.3 Mtoe of primary energy which is equal to 47% of total primary energy consumption. About 75% of India's electricity generation is from fossil fuels. India is surplus in electricity generation and also marginal exporter of electricity in 2017.

Globally, buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of the total world annual energy consumption. Most of this energy  is for the provision of lighting, heating, cooling, and air conditioning. Increasing awareness of the environmental impact of Carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions and chlorofluorocarbons triggered a renewed interest in environmentally friendly cooling and heating technologies. Under the 1997 Montreal Protocol, governments agreed to phase out chemicals used as refrigerants that have the potential to destroy stratospheric ozone. It was therefore considered desirable to reduce energy consumption and decrease the rate of depletion of world energy reserves and pollution of the environment.

One way of reducing building energy consumption is to design buildings that are more economical in their use of energy  for heating, lighting, cooling, ventilation, and hot water supply. Passive measures, particularly natural or hybrid ventilation rather than air conditioning, can dramatically reduce primary energy consumption. However, exploitation of renewable energy  in buildings and agricultural greenhouses can also significantly contribute toward reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Therefore, promoting innovative renewable applications and reinforcing the renewable energy  market will contribute to preservation of the ecosystem by reducing emissions at local and global levels. This will also contribute to the amelioration of environmental conditions by replacing conventional fuels with renewable energies that produce no air pollution or greenhouse gases. The provision of good indoor environmental quality (IEQ) while achieving energy and cost efficient operation of the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning plants in buildings represents a multivariant problem.

The comfort of building occupants is dependent on many environmental parameters including air speed, temperature, relative humidity, and quality in addition to lighting and noise. The overall objective is to provide a high level of building performance, which can be defined as IEQ, energy efficiency  (EE), and cost efficiency (CE). IEQ is the perceived condition of comfort that building occupants experience due to the physical and psychological conditions to which they are exposed by their surroundings. The main physical parameters affecting IEQ are air speed, temperature, relative humidity, and quality. EE is related to the provision of the desired environmental conditions while consuming the minimal quantity of energy.

CE is the financial expenditure on energy relative to the level of environmental comfort and productivity that the building occupants attained. The overall CE can be improved by improving the IEQ and the EE of a building. The increased availability of reliable and efficient energy services stimulates new development alternatives. Anticipated patterns of future energy use and consequent environmental impacts (acid precipitation, ozone depletion, and greenhouse effect or global warming) are comprehensively discussed in this paper. Throughout the theme several issues relating to renewable energies, environment, and sustainable development are exam-ined from both current and future perspectives. It is concluded that renewable environmentally friendly energy  must be encouraged, promoted, implemented, and demonstrated by full-scale plant especially for use in remote rural areas.

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