India’s primary energy consumption has more than doubled since 1990. The country now ranks as the third largest consumer in the world, after China and the USA, and the energy mix is still largely based on coal.
In 2010, the Government adopted a national strategy to develop clean energies and make energy savings, with the aim of reducing environmental impacts and the cost of development. AFD is supporting this transition by assisting EESL, a public energy service company which finances efficiency projects in municipalities. The City of Jodhpur, in the State of Rajasthan, has consequently been able to optimize its lighting and replace its conventional light bulbs with bulbs that are both brighter and more energy-efficient.
This new lighting has many benefits, firstly for the environment and climate, by significantly reducing the city’s consumption, but also for the living conditions of the residents of Jodhpur: road safety, safety of women in public spaces, new opportunities for street vendors, etc.
Kapil is an electrical engineer. He has been working for EESL for 2 years, where he manages a team of 20 people who, day and night, handle the maintenance of the new public lighting facilities. “The maintenance is essential so that people can feel the immediate benefits of the project. We respond quickly to requests and ensure that the residents of Jodhpur benefit from better lighting.”
In India, despite huge energy-saving potential, most industries, companies and cities had not managed to implement large-scale energy efficiency projects. The reason? They did not have the necessary technical capacities or a sufficient structure to borrow the money required for this type of investment.
With the model of Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) such as EESL, the structure bears the investment costs and handles the maintenance of low-consumption systems for its clients. It is subsequently reimbursed by the client thanks to the energy saved. This innovative model consequently eliminates the financial and technological risk for the client, which facilitates the decision to switch to a lower energy consumption system.
AFD’s support to EESL also aims to demonstrate the relevance of the ESCO model in the rest of India and support growth in this market.
Building on France’s recognized expertise in the field of street lighting, the support provided to EESL by AFD is combined with experience sharing. For example, this gave rise to a study visit to France in September 2015 for EESL employees and Indian senior civil servants. Meetings were organized with the main French public companies working on energy efficiency, local urban entities (Paris and Lyon) and the main international institutions.