New Delhi: Availability of energy with efficiency is the backbone of India's economic growth and development President Ram Nath Kovind said on Thursday.
He said that while India has succeeded in becoming a power surplus nation in the past three years, it cannot rest.
"Our needs will certainly grow. After all, electricity is to the industrial age what water is to agriculture."
Energy availability and efficiency is the backbone of India's economic growth and development, he said, addressing a function on the occasion of National Energy Conservation Day.
"It poses not one but several challenges such as access to energy, sustainability of energy sources and efficiency of energy use. All of these are important as the government works towards its commitment to provide '24X7 Power for All'," Kovind said.
The President also launched a web portal on energy conservation in buildings.
He said: "Energy conservation and efficiency are critical to our endeavours. They will play a major role in reducing the emission intensity of our GDP and in enhancing energy access as well as bringing down the cost of energy for consumers.
This will be of benefit to ordinary households and small-and- medium enterprises, which have significant energy costs."
Energy that is saved will be used by farmers for irrigation and to preserve fruits and vegetables in cold storages, Kovind said, adding that energy efficiency is relevant to many of the country's flagship programmes from 'Make in India' to building Smart Cities.
Almost a third of India s power consumption occurs in commercial and residential buildings. In the coming years, as the economy grows and cities expand, many more buildings will be constructed, he said.
Energy efficiency in the building sector, therefore, is a necessity, he added.
Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Sing said as many as 10 states have already notified Energy Conservation Building Code and the government will bring such code for residential buildings as well.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) felicitated the winners out of 322 energy efficient companies from select sectors across India.
The participating units of the 2017 awards programme have achieved monetary savings of Rs 1,895 crore against total investments of Rs 1,495 crore in energy conservation measures during 2016-17.
The collective energy savings of 2,762 million kWh achieved by these units is equivalent to avoided generation capacity of 527 MW at power stations.
The President also presented prizes to school children who won the National Painting Competition 2017.
The competition invites children between the 4th and 9th standards across the country to depict sustainable living and their vision for a clean, green and energy efficient future.