Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Creating a new career opportunity in Energy Auditing

Dr. Seemin Rubab has an excellent suggestion for today's young generation looking for careers of tomorrow

ENERGY AUDIT – ensuring efficient use of energy

Energy audit is the most important tool of managing energy effectively. The energy audit can be considered as the first step towards understanding how energy is being used in a given facility. It indicates the ways in which thermal/electrical energy is being used and quantifies energy use according to discrete functions. Energy cost is a significant factor in economic activity.

The imperatives of energy shortage call for energy conservation measures, which essentially mean using less primary energy for the same level of activity. Improving energy efficiency is a global mission. Energy audit attempts to balance the total energy inputs with its use and serves to identify all the energy streams in the system and quantifies energy usage according to its discrete function or end use. Energy audit also helps in energy cost optimization, green house gas mitigation, safety aspects and suggests the method to improve the operation and maintenance practices of the system. The energy audit is instrumental in coping with the situation of variation in energy cost availability, reliability of energy supply, decision on appropriate energy mix, decision on using improved energy conservation equipments, instrumentation and technology. It provides necessary information base for overall energy conservation programmes and is a vital link in the entire management chain.

Energy management in turn can be constructed as the process of guiding and controlling energy users so as to yield maximum possible output per unit of energy input. Energy Conservation Act -2001 provides for efficient use of energy and its conservation. Under the Act, it is mandatory for all designated consumers to get energy audit conducted by an accredited energy auditor. Power intensive sectors like cement industry, aluminium industry, steel industry, Electricity transmission and distribution companies, Transport sector, Commercial buildings or establishment etc. are categorized as designated consumers. The conduct of energy audit and implementation of its recommendation on cost-benefit basis through accredited energy auditors is expected to help the designated energy consumers to achieve significant reduction in energy consumption levels.

According to National Productivity Council (NPC), India needs up to 10,000 Energy Auditors and up to 50,000 Energy Managers. Under the provisions of Energy conservation Act, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has been established from March 2002 under the Ministry of Power. The Bureau is responsible for spearheading the improvement of energy efficiency through various regulatory and promotional instruments.

To make available the services of qualified professionals to designated consumers, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, has introduced National Certification Examination for Energy Managers and Energy Auditors. A national level certification examination establishes a uniform criterion for the certification of the energy managers/energy auditors and will also ensure that services of qualified persons, having the requisite knowledge are available to the industry. Any post graduate, graduate or diploma engineer and post graduate in science with requisite experience can sit for National Certification Examination being conducted annually for Energy Manager by National Productivity Council under the aegis of Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The minimum qualification for appearing in Energy Auditor examination is a graduate or post graduate degree in engineering.

NPC is a pioneer in energy auditing and is among the sixty two BEE accredited energy auditing agencies. BEE has also appointed NPC as the main agency for conducting National Certification Examinations for energy auditors and managers. For Energy manager’s exam there are three papers viz., General aspect of Energy management and Energy Audit, Energy Efficiency in Thermal Utilities and Energy Efficiency in Electrical Utilities. These three papers are common to Energy Auditors exam as well, besides an open book exam on ‘Energy Performance Assessment for Equipment and Utility Systems’. A candidate qualifying as Certified Energy Auditor automatically qualifies for Certified Energy Manager as well. Energy Managers may appear in and qualify the fourth paper and can be upgraded to Energy Auditor. Accreditation is valid for a period of five years and can be renewed after appearing in some sort of refresher course.

Till date six National Certification Examinations have been conducted since 2004. The exam is conducted throughout India at several centres. There is a provision of online registration. The examination fee for sponsored candidates is Rs. 20,000 and for self sponsored candidates it is Rs. 10,000 only. Guide books are provided to all registered candidates. These books may be downloaded from Bureau’s website by Energy Conservation enthusiasts. Model question papers and previous years question papers can be downloaded from BEE’s website. Moreover, Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) organizes a five day preparatory course for candidates appearing in national certification examination.

Any body wanting to have an insight on Energy auditing and conservation must consult ‘Energy Auditing Made Simple’ by P. Balasubramanian an accredited Energy Auditor. This book has a very interesting chapter ‘In the wonderful world of Energy Auditors’.

Needless to mention that we do not have any accredited Energy Manager or Energy Auditor in Kashmir valley. This may be one of the reasons for poor management of our Electrical Utility Company. State PDD should motivate and sponsor their employees for writing National Certification Examination.

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