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Indian and Swiss cooperation on energy efficiency in buildings

India and Switzerland have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a joint project on energy efficiency in buildings in India.

By Sarosh Bana, edited by Kari Williamson

The five-year MoU aims to reduce energy consumption in new buildings in India through building capacities and knowledge of builders, architects, engineers, laboratories, institutions and others, in the area of building energy efficiency using Swiss experience and expertise.

It is estimated that 30-40% of the total primary energy worldwide is used in buildings. Commercial buildings consume about 8% of the total electricity generated in India and their demand for electricity is growing at the rate of 13% every year. With the built-up area projected to increase threefold by 2030, buildings could become one of the largest energy consumers in the country.

Designing a commercial building as per Energy Conservation Building Codes as recommended by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is envisaged to reduce energy consumption by 30-40%. Some high performance buildings claim to have achieved energy savings of up to 60%.

As a majority of buildings in 2030 would have been constructed between now and 2030, it is possible for India to have an energy efficient building stock.

The former Swiss ambassador to India, Philippe Welti, who signed the MoU, says: “The Swiss experience shows that implementation of energy conservation building codes is a long-continuous process.

“Effective implementation of regulations requires capacity building of different stakeholders and leads to development of market for energy-efficiency services and products.”

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