Energy did not start the way it is today. It took very crude and less ecological forms. Before now, it relied on animals for everything, transportation, farming and other heavy duties. With time, came inventions such as cars, trains and many others. However, they were nothing like what we have today. One thing that spurred these advancements and innovation was efficiency.
When these innovations came to be, more people began to use them. As more and more people joined the dance, they started observing certain shortcomings. Their complains caused the inventors to revisit the drawing board. There was the need to have equipment, tools and vehicles that would help people achieve more while burning less fuel and did not pose any serious threat. This was because any invention that posed threats to the environment will easily escalate as more people will be using it.
The case today is that of Peru using multiple inventions that are not efficient and pose a threat to the environment. During the course of this article, we will be discussing the energy efficiency in Peru.
General Energy Situation in Peru
Before we can start discussing the energy efficiency in Peru, we need to first examine the state of things. We cannot proffer solutions without identifying the problems first.
Power in this country is generated by both state and private-owned companies. Peru currently produces around 30.9 TWh. This is based on an installed generation capacity of 7.2 GW, with a maximum confirmed demand of 4.3 GW. This includes the energy the country consumes as well as the exports to neighboring countries.
The country suffers from erosion which is due to its lack of forestation. The latter is in turn, due to the high consumption of firewood. This wouldn’t have been the case if not for the lack of electricity in most rural areas. Poverty, rough terrain and natural disasters are just a few of the many reasons why most rural inhabitants do not use electricity.
Situation in Different Domains
Knowing what the energy situation in Peru is, we should also look at how to overcome these problems. Efficiency is an important aspect of energy usage. This is even more important in a place like Peru.
The demand for energy is on the steady rise. It has also made significant steps to ensure the efficient management of energy. We will be looking at how the government and the people of Peru can maximize the way they use energy.
Energy Efficiency in Transportation
Transportation remains a very important factor in everyday life. This includes the lives of the Peru people. There is a very important need to ensure that there is efficient energy management. Most cars are fairly used ones imported from other countries. These cars consume more fuel than recently produced cars. They also pollute the atmosphere than recent cars. There is need to curb the menace. This is besides the fact that congestion of cars is also a problem here and proper fleet management is important.
Transportation is one of the main consumption of energy. It is not just about ensuring that cars are moving about. You need to answer certain questions to ensure that the transportation is using fuel efficiently. Some frequent ones are: Are the vehicles meeting the minimum energy performance standard? Are the vehicles using the right form of fuel? Are the vehicles or fuel causing pollution?
There should be an emphasis on the importation of only cars that meet the MEPS. Consequently, there should be a ban that covers vehicles that do not meet the MEPS. The government should encourage non-motorized transportation. They can decide to incorporate the use of vehicles that uses alternative and renewable sources of energy. Electricity powered two wheelers are a good start. Furthermore, government should integrate land use and transport planning to encourage dense apartments next to public transport stops. There should be a public parking system in place to help with the issue of car congestion. Proper labeling of vehicles need to be enforced. The labeling should cover both new and fairly used vehicles. It should include the relative value and cost saving figure.
There should also be a comparison to the average efficiency of other vehicles of the same class. The evaluation of the cost of investing in certain infrastructure already in place needs to be done by the government. These infrastructure includes those one that have broken down or no longer working. However, they can be serviced to help in the production of energy efficient fuels. This will go a long way to conserving funds. The government should integrate both the formal and informal means of transportation. This will go a long way in helping them in route planning and decongestion of traffic.
Energy Efficiency in the Office and Industries
The production industry or workforce is the second-highest user of energy. A major part of the energy consumed in transportation is actually serving industrial purposes. This is the more reason why industries need to ensure they are energy smart. In that case, the government should ensure that industries are using machines, tools and equipment that meet MEPS. These industries should be integrated into the energy generation process. There is a difference between cheap and efficient. The sad truth is that industries tend to opt for the former.
Peru’s government needs to establish and enforce energy efficient laws. They should also ensure that the production process of these industries does not generate harmful side effects. Industries should be encouraged to use other forms of fuel or energy like hydroelectric, solar and many other renewable sources of energy. Also, a regular energy audit would be useful and that’s why there should be a law engaging various companies to do so. This is important to ensure that they operate in line with the requirements. The government should investigate the energy consumption for whole buildings (and building components and systems).
Just like in the case of cars, implementing mandatory energy labels and certificates for building will also help promote energy efficiency. This includes developing mechanisms for performance-based contracting to ensure that buildings meet energy efficiency targets. The government can also encourage companies that comply by granting them tax deductions. Companies that do not meet the standards should also be punished. The law doesn’t have to do everything on its own as the firms also have a role to play. Companies can help cut down the cost of operations. They should buy and operate with quality machines. They should also use good sources of fuel. LPG is a form of fuel that is mostly overlooked. Production companies can harness this form of fuel. It will help curb the excessive use of firewood, electricity or other forms of fuel.
The COVID-19 outbreak opened our eyes to certain realities. One of such realities is the fact that people do not have to go to physical offices to work. You do not really need to rent a large office space and burn so much energy to run your company. You will be doing a lot of energy conservation by making your workers work remotely. One of such is that you get to cut down on the cost of the operation. You can rent a smaller office space (if you need to rent at all). You also get to burn less energy in your workspace. Besides the workplace, you also help curb then energy consumption via transportation.
Most people who use transportation, use it to serve the industries and companies. Fewer people going to work means fewer people on the road. Fewer people on the road implies fewer vehicles on the road. And fewer vehicles on the road denotes less air pollution and less fuel consumption. Even you will agree that this approach minimizes energy consumption.
Energy Efficiency in Domestic and Normal Family Life
The home is an aspect of energy consumption that is often overlooked. This sector actually consumes more fuel than we tend to agree. Lighting, cooking and other electrical purposes are just a few of the many ways by which houses consume energy. Although Peru has an electrification rate of 83.55% (6,394,049 households) as a nation, 979,476 households of the rural population do not have access to electricity. This is one the lowest rates in Latin America as rural homes hardly get electricity. You need to know that Peru suffers from earthquakes and this affects the flow of water which causes a major hindrance in the production of hydroelectric power.
The use of LPG is mostly for rich households. Most households in the rural areas have to depend on firewood, animal dung and agricultural residues. The weather here is cold and windy. To combat this, the kitchens are often small cubicles with a tiny window. Although this is very effective in battling the cold weather, it has a negative side effect. The lack of windows makes ventilation poor. The fumes from the fire will hardly escape and can pose a threat to the family. Also, lighting in most domestic homes are powered by kerosene or candles. The exposure to smoke here is very high and it poses a lot of health challenges.
Only a few homes in the rural areas can afford a car battery. This car battery is rechargeable and can power up certain home appliances. The urban areas tend to have steady and significant supply of electricity. It is said that the households that can afford LPG or electricity cannot be called a poor household. Off grid electricity cannot effectively serve the people. In lieu of that, the government should put in more efforts to ensure the distribution of electricity. There should be a greater focus on energy efficiency than profit making. More attention should be paid to hydroelectric energy. The government should make efforts to establish hydrological plants at strategic places.
There should be price stability for the various forms of energy. The government should incentivize the use of cheaper and efficient alternative sources of energy like biogas, solar, etc. There is also need for good road networks. Households that get LPG are usually households that have access to good roads. There should also be micro schemes and other necessary provisions that can make electricity affordable to most of the inhabitants of the rural areas in Peru.
Energy Efficiency in Entertainment
Entertainment is a major industry of its own. Unfortunately, we do not really pay much attention to this industry. It has been growing over the years and just like its size, its demands for the use of energy is also growing. Indeed, in the current era, this industry cannot operate without energy. A simple example is casinos.
Physical casinos run on electricity. Another thing, the electricity has to be uninterrupted. This is the more reason why we cannot afford to ignore energy efficiency in this industry. The average casino opens by noon and runs into the early hours of the following day. This implies that a single casino consumes energy for more than twelve hours daily. The average casino has lights, computers, slot machines, sound systems and many more. You will agree that this places a serious burden on energy consumption. Like every other aspect, there is a need to curb the use of electricity. One of such ways is by encouraging casinos to opt for off grid or alternative forms of energy.
This is actually for the benefits of the casino. Considering that casinos need steady electricity, it is better they are in control of their power supply. Most of them are already operating with off grid sources of power like backup generators. This does not mean the government should not monitor them. As a matter of fact, the law should ensure that these generators meet the MEPS. Besides the generators, the casino equipment should also be the kinds that do not waste energy. Online casinos will also do a great amount of good in efficient power management. Unlike offline casinos, online casinos do not need to open multiple casino locations to serve multiple people. One warehouse with the necessary equipment can serve people in various places. With fewer physical machines, you will be saving some serious amounts of energy.
Casinos are not the only entertainment centers or sources in Peru. There are many other sources of entertainment. Clubs, restaurants and many others. Restaurants consume large amounts of energy in so many ways like during the process of preparing food. They also consume energy in the process of preserving the food they prepared. There is a need to ensure that these restaurants engage in the best operation practices. LPG should be used instead of firewood. Equipment for food preservation should also be energy efficient. Restaurants not cooking with electricity will help preserve electricity to serve other purposes. Restaurants who can fund off grid solar power and car battery systems should be encouraged to do so.
Clubs and hotels are also important parts of the entertainment industry that consumes energy. Their day-to-day operations demand serious amounts of energy. Just like casinos, they also use off grid power supply. This does not stop the government from monitoring them to ensure they meet the requirements.
Energy management is a very important aspect of our lives. The aim is not actually to reduce costs as people think but to ensure that people are not harming themselves or their environment.