20 May 2019

Guest Article-Mark Westermayer, Marketing Director, Rockwool India

Insulation - A strategic partner to meet India’s energy demand

India is one the fast developing country and it’s in the early stages of a major transformation. Energy sector will be pivot to support the rapidly developing economy. The sector is expanding quickly but is set to face further challenges as India’s modernisation and its economic growth gather pace, particularly given the policy priority to develop India’s manufacturing base. Coal remains the backbone of the Indian power sector, accounting for over 60 per cent of power generation. Author of the article is MARK WESTERMAYER, MARKETING DIRECTOR, ROCKWOOL INDIA PVT LTD.


As per India Energy Outlook report 2015 released by international energy Agency.

  • India’s energy consumption has almost doubled since 2000 and the potential for further rapid growth is enormous.
  • India is set to contribute more than any other country to the projected rise in global energy demand, around one-quarter of the total.
  • India’s power system needs to almost quadruple in size by 2040 to catch up and keep pace with electricity demand that – boosted by rising incomes and new connections to the grid – increases at almost 5 per cent per year.


How can Thermal insulation material supporting India’s energy need?

Electricity demand in India is estimated to triples over the period to 2040 to the tune of around 3 300 TWh. Industry remains the largest consumer of electricity in India around 40 per cent of total demand. Building is the second largest consumer of electricity and pie is expected to grow thanks to increasing income, appliance ownership and demand for cooling.

To answer the above question; In brief Insulation material enhances thermal and acoustic comfort in a building with minimum energy. Insulation guaranty process stability by maintaining the required temperature of fluids while stored or while transporting over long distance in pipes. In the process insulation reduces energy wastage leading to saving in energy, cost and carbon emission. Broadly insulation can be classified as organic and inorganic based material. Inorganic insulation, such as mineral wool, are fire safe, high resistance to fire with negotiable smoke release and are suitable for low and high temperature applications. In contrast, Organic based insulation including PUF, XPS, EPS, Bubble wrap are petroleum based and are combustible in nature and these will emit toxic smoke in case of fire. Let us consider the contribution of insulation, to save power in buildings, industries and also in reducing carbon di oxide emission.


Insulations in buildings: The main requirement of insulation in construction building is on energy savings, comfort and safety. Right insulation solutions preserves the room temperature and helps in reducing energy required to run the air conditioning equipment.

It is estimated that 20 per cent of room cooling and heating energy can be saved with proper insulation of buildings. With the growing affordability towards comfort, it is estimated that the average electric consumption for cooling in household alone will be around 761kwh per year in 2040. If good insulation can save 20 per cent energy in buildings, which translates to energy saving potential of around 75GW of power in a year which is roughly equivalent of turning off 190 of current total of 431 coal power units in India.


In Industries: Insulations helps in reducing energy requirement by maintaining the desired temperature of the equipment and fluids in industrial Pipes, tanks and other heating equipment. Energy demand in the industry sector is projected to increase rapidly, by 4.4 per cent annually to 2040, so as to account for more than 50 per cent of final consumption by 2040. As per the industry claim, in Europe the annual energy savings potential in industries are identified to be more than 750,000 MWh/year. Insulation is one of easiest, fast and cost effective options available to optimize the use of energy, reduce co2 emission and save cost in industries. Outdated and old insulation specifications or No-Insulation on components are the main reason for energy wastage in Industries in India.



Recently India has signed Paris agreement. With this India has declared that it will treat its national laws, its development agenda and the means of implementation to be aligned with the global commitment to combating climate change, and moving towards cleaner energy sources. Current Installed power capacity in India will surge from below 300 GW today to over 1000 GW in 2040. Nearly half of this requirement will be met by coal-fired generation. As per the estimated report by International energy agency; CO2 emissions from power generation in India will reach around 2.3 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2040. This estimate is after considering Renewable energy deployment and the use of more efficient coal-fired technologies. In general, for the generation of every KW of power by a coal powered plant, around 1kg of carbon di oxide is emitted. Considering earlier industrial energy saving potential of 750,000 MWh/ year will reduce potentially more than 500,000 T CO2—equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of almost 110,000 cars.



In general, Insulation awareness in India is way too below the global standard and there is a huge energy and carbon footprint saving demand considering India’s massive energy requirement. It is a common practice in so called developed countries to install insulation in every building including residence for energy saving as well as acoustic comfort reasons. The popularity of insulation materials are so high that insulations are even available in general stores.

Even in industries which has knowledge and has been using insulations for many years requires revision.

The new generation industries needs efficient insulation specifications, solutions, standards and evaluation tools.

India may require a cumulative $2.8 trillion in investment in energy supply by 2040, three-quarters of which goes to the power sector and a further $0.8 trillion to improve energy efficiency.

In conjunction with government policies and private enterprises’ initiative towards energy saving and co2 reduction in buildings and industries will contribute significantly in sustaining the positive economic
growth with minimum effect to the environment.

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