Pankaj Kumar, an Indian Telecom Services officer of the 1991 batch, brings to the table 27 years of experience. As secretary, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) he is in charge of administration and finance, and helps the programme divisions in formulating and implementing programmes and activities. Prior to joining BEE, Kumar served as director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Communications and IT.
According to Kumar, the government’s two-pronged approach for the power sector is aimed at catering to the rising energy demand and ensuring that emissions do not cause irreversible damage to the global ecosystem. The promotion of renewables and low-carbon technologies is being taken up on the generation side. Efforts are also being made to use energy efficiently on the demand side through innovative policy measures such as standards and labelling of equipment and appliances; energy conservation building codes for commercial buildings; and energy consumption norms for energy-intensive industries. The biggest unresolved challenges, according to him, pertain to the high T&D losses, household electrification for all, and provision of clean, green and affordable power to all. While schemes like Saubhagya, UDAY and DDUGJY are helping address these challenges, greater emphasis on energy efficiency can help. “Every unit saved on the demand side will result in avoiding capacity addition and reducing T&D-related expenditure,” he says. BEE has developed standards for energy-intensive industries, and energy conservation building codes and star labels for household appliances to educate consumers. These efforts resulted in energy savings of 150 BUs in 2016-17, comprising 2.6 per cent of the total primary energy demand of the country. Going forward, BEE’s initiatives are expected to result in energy savings of 500 BUs by 2030, indicating an avoided capacity addition of 100 GW.
Kumar’s first assignment as head of a large telegraph division in Bhagalpur, during 1995-97 was the most memorable one of his career. He says he follows a flexible management style, oriented towards results, and focuses on the big picture. A graduate in electronics and communications, Kumar also has an MBA in financial management and a master’s degree in public policy and management from the London School of Economics. He likes to unwind by listening to music, taking a walk and reading.