Sustainability is at the core of modern living. A rising number of people are making a conscious effort to work towards a lifestyle that promotes a sustainable living architecture through various applications across all aspects – energy, housing, transportation, work etc. In the coming years, this approach is likely to strengthen with more green principles being applied to day-to-day living.
A few big cities have already set the ball rolling with the use of natural materials in the construction of buildings. High-rises contribute to about 30-40% of energy consumption in many Indian cities and about a fifth of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
Homes, like humans, need three basic elements of nature — wind, water and sun — to thrive. It is the method of harnessing them that separates a sustainable structure from an energy guzzling monster. Energy, water and waste management solutions are now a must in the new constructions.
Solar radiation is a critical and eminent green source of generating energy and it has gained considerable traction due to its aggressive promotion by the government. Among all clean technologies, focus on generating energy from solar is an important step to diversify the supply base to reach every household even in the remotest location and in the process reducing the dependency on coal-based units. India gets twice as much sunshine as many European countries making the use of solar power possible, but clean energy forms less than 1% to India’s energy mix. Declining costs of technology, storage devices and proactive encouragement from the government in the form of suitable policies are encouraging the growth of solar enegy usage. The micro-grid system, for instance, connects directly to smaller units of households, hamlets or villages and thus eliminates the need for a megawatt scale grid connectivity. The micro grid system involves almost no recurring cost after installation. The maintenance costs of rooftop solar systems are almost negligible when compared to conventional sources of energy. However, a harder push is needed from the government to achieve the target of 40 GW of rooftop installations by 2022.
Water — another natural resource – is paramount to survival. Right from from healthcare to socio-economic development, there is no substitute to water. India’s ground water supply water is rapidly dwindling; mismanagement of water resources, over-pumping and pollution are significant contributors. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), India’s per capita water storage capacity is 200 cubic metres, well below the world average of 900 cubic metres per capita. The irony is that India receives highest rainfall among comparable countries, yet continues to face drought conditions at an alarming rate. According to Ministry of Water Resources, 65% rainwater drains into the sea. We need to harnessing this through rainwater harvesting — a concept that is steadily gaining popularity in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Jaipur. Bangalore has modified its building by-laws to make rainwater harvesting compulsory for buildings beyond a certain plinth area and on certain large plot.
Electric vehicles or hybrids are another medium that can contribute to energy conservation while also reducing pollution. Still at a nascent stage, the government is actively promoting their development and the manufacturing ecosystem. Switching to green vehicles will reduce the carbon footprint significantly, by cutting down dependence on oil and fossil fuels.
Sustainable living will only be successful when it is adopted right up to the grassroots level. It calls for a collaborative approach from all stakeholders – the government, administration, corporations, civil society and individuals. It’s time we realize that development is not all about consumption and investments but taking responsibility of our natural resources as well.
Taking sustainable living responsibly, we at Hero Future Energies did our bit to contribute towards clean energy. For World Environment Day, we did a plantation drive across 10 of our wind & solar sites. 2000 saplings were planted in total!
Addition to this, we leveraged our social media platforms by asking people to share a reason for why Hero Future Energies should plant a sapling on their behalf & in their name. All entries for this activity received an image that had a placard next to the sapling planted in their name.
We call it a little effort done on the sustainable grounds, while our dedicated contribution towards clean energy continues.