“Energy Conservation is the Foundation of Energy Independence”. Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed, and therefore we have it provided to us in abundance. But with every resource comes the challenges to preserve it, to make it accessible to most of the world, to put it to use in the best possible way and the offences which takes place around it. Since there are different type of Energy and Resources there was need for Energy Laws governing the usage and distribution of different forms of energy.
The concept of Energy Law revolves around the usage which leads to generation of taxes of energy both renewable and non-renewable forms of energy. There are various legal provisions provided for different forms of energies such as oil, gasoline etc. Having a vast scope, energy law includes contracts, licence for the acquisition and ownership rights in oil and gas both under soil before discovery and after, its capture and adjudication regarding those rights and extraction of taxes. International Law of Energy has been growing interest on energy specific issues and their particular relationship with international trade and connected organizations like World Trade Organisation (WHO). Apart from that there is Renewable Energy Law, monitors forms of energy which are renewable such as solar, wind, geothermal and tidal. The Law comprises of transactional legal and policy issues that encompasses the development, implementation and commercialization of renewable resources of energy.
All forms of electric generation have an impact on our air, water and land, but it varies. According to studies, out of the total consumption of energy in the United States roughly 40% is used for electricity generation. Producing and consuming electricity more efficiently reduces both the amount of fuel needed to generate electricity and the amount of greenhouse gases and other air pollution emitted as a result. Renewable forms of energies which are aforementioned does not play a part in climate change or local air pollution since no fuels are combusted.
Environmental and Energy Law is an essential attribute which focuses to bridge the knowledge about legal developments designed to achieve environmental and energy-related objectives and the practical, scientific and technical considerations applicable to the same environmental problems. It attempts to resolve environmental pollution caused due to energy usage with the objective of saving the environment, the resources and energy from getting exploited. It comprises of Climate and Energy regulations, technology innovation and transfer, to pollution control along with environmental governance and enforcement and focus on issues which are both relevant for the environment and energy laws.
The relationship, between Environment and Energy holds significant importance since Energy as a resource is provided to us for consumption and Environment is important for continuing life on earth. The main goal is to understand and evaluate the resource provided and the environment that makes this resource available to us.
The National Action Plan on Climate Change underlines missions focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, natural resources and sustainability. The National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE), is one of the eight missions under Indian Government’s National Action Plan for Climate Change. The prime objective of NMEEE is to promote the market for energy efficiency by fostering innovative policies and effective market instruments. In accordance with the Energy Conservation Act 2001, the idea was to establish immense energy efficiency potential of India.
The frame work under the Electricity Act, 2003 includes central and state level electricity regulation commissions, with appeals provision provided to an Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) established under the Electricity Act.
The technological perspective as the society advances technologically, so does its energy demand. Therefore, the laws of energy are becoming more and more important. As new sources of energy such as nuclear power and nuclear fusion emerge, energy legislation must address the problems and hazards associated with the production and distribution of these forms of energy and the technology that underpins them.
The economic and financial perspective, energy legislation also covers the taxation of energy services, both renewable and non-renewable. These tax laws include both utility taxes as well as the taxes paid on a gallon of gasoline at the pump. They also include taxes imposed on companies that extract fossil fuels from the soil.
The legal perspective as in other industry-related fields, energy lawyers are also in demand for a large number of other legal issues in the energy industry. For example, contracts, labour disputes, property acquisition, industrial property rights and much more.
Direct environmental problems relate to energy production and consumption resulting from air pollution, climate change, water pollution, thermal pollution, and solid waste disposal. The emission of air pollutants from burning fossil fuels is the main cause of air pollution in cities. The combustion of fossil fuels is also the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Various water pollution problems are related to energy consumption. One problem is oil spills. In all oil handling operations, there is a limited chance that oil will be spilled on the ground or in a body of water. Carbon mining can also pollute water. Changes in groundwater flow achieved by mining often bring otherwise unpolluted water bodies into contact with certain mineral materials that seep out of the ground and create acid mine draining. Solid waste is also a by-product of some forms of energy use. Coal mining requires the extraction of large amounts of soil as well as coal.
From an energy consumer's perspective, the primary motivation for energy efficiency is often simply to save money by spending the cost of purchasing energy. Furthermore, from the point of view of energy policy, there has long been a trend towards a broader recognition of energy efficiency as a "primary fuel", that is the possibility of replacing or avoiding real fuels. However, the International Energy Agency has calculated that the application of energy efficiency measures in the years 1974-2010 prevented in its Member States a consumption of energy greater than the consumption of any fuel, including oil, coal and natural gas.
It has long been known that energy efficiency brings other benefits in addition to reduced energy consumption. Some estimates of the value of these other benefits, often referred to as multiple benefits, co-benefits, benefits, or non-energy benefits, have estimated their total value to be even greater than that of direct energy benefits. These multiple benefits of energy efficiency include aspects such as reducing the impact of climate change, reducing air pollution and improving health, improving indoor conditions, increasing energy security and reduced-price risk for energy consumers. There are various different methods to calculate the monetary value of these multiple benefits which if included in the analysis, it can be shown that the economic benefit of energy efficiency investments is significantly greater than the simple value of the energy saved.
With the introduction of State EE and EC many states have adopted Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) that encourage or require electricity or natural gas utility companies operating in their states to reduce their customers' use of electricity and natural gas in targeted quantities and according to a predetermined schedule. In many ways, EERS are similar to renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS). Similar to RPS, EERS differs in requirements and timing between states. EERS policies may have separate reduction targets for electricity sales, peak electricity demand, and/or natural gas consumption. In most cases, energy suppliers need to achieve energy savings with DSM programs.
Israel has launched a national plan for energy efficiency and dealing with climate crises. The objective includes promotion and transition to renewable energy production and the use of electrical technologies that consume fossil fuels. The plan suggests that there will be a ban on vehicles which causes pollution with the idea for setting up an electric charging infrastructure in the coming decade. The estimations suggests that with this plan they will be able to reduce 7.5% of greenhouse gas emissions per annum. The Ministry is of the opinion that this way they can sustainably recover economy wise and this can also boost the economic acceleration.
Resource Scarcity as the Japanese refer it, has been a turning point in the development of the concept of energy conservation and saving the environment on their level best. Electricity shortage were very common during 1950’s with a shoot of 30% hike in the prices. The major dependence of Japan on the middle east levied taxes on import on petroleum products specifically which are used in power generation. Japan therefore, became a pioneer in liquefied natural gas, currently accounting for half of the world's market. However, installing alternative energy sources in the densely populated country is proving to be difficult. Hydroelectric potential was exhausted in the 1960s and now accounts for only 9.5% of electricity generation. NEDO's support for solar power, until 2002, halved the price of photovoltaics and led to their widespread adoption. Japan provides nearly 40 percent of the world market and innovation leadership in thin-film solar technology, but the expiration of subsidies combined with Germany's adoption of a feed-in-tariff may lead to the crowning of a new market leader.
Solar Energy Power in India is fast developing industry as part of renewable energy objective. Between the years 2014 and 2021 India has increased its capacity as for solar energy. The government however now aims to increase the 2020 installed solar capacity to a staggering 270 GW possibly even more by the end of the decade.
- 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity
- 3.2 billion people do not have access to clean fuel for the purpose of cooking
- Limited scope of Gas Pipe Lines and LPG access which forces some part of the population to cook food on coal, with which comes a health threat.
- Educating the mass about the Energy Laws and reliefs.
- Energy Poverty can be reduced by woke knowledge of the laws and remedies which are available to the people.
- Larger legal practice in the vast scope of Energy Law, with Constitutional provisions to make Energy as a Right.
Energy efficiency is the theme of the future. An energy efficient home is a personal step towards renewable energy, environmental protection and a sustainable lifestyle. Having a home like this helps homeowners keep costs down and is a great investment. However, the legalities around Energy Conservation should also be kept in mind along with its effect on the environment. The Energy Laws scope covers the laws relating to the consumption and distribution of electricity, thefts and other commercial usage and exploitation of energy (any form). With the strict laws there can be a hope for a better future in terms of Energy conservation and Environment protection.