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IPL Matches at Night - Who cares for ENERGY conservation?

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Me At IPL Match
This photo's source is TravelPod page:

Thanks to current IPL controversies, now many questions are being raised including ethical, moral and social aspects. In all of these, I am trying to ask myself a question, even though I am also a cricket lover as millions others. The question I am asking myself is should the sports be played in night which compels to use flood lights?

Given the IPL context in which most of the matches are played at night, It is no secret that these matches need lighting arrangements consuming hundreds of kilowatts of power.

This in turn has many issues that we all need to look into. First issue is a social question. Should the matches be played at Night? When the cities are struggling with power shortages, is it right for sports managements to conduct matches at night which make use of large amount of energy resources?

Second is a moral question. When every other citizen is waking up and pitching for energy conservation, isn't a time for all of us including sports management to say NO to matches at night?

Third is an ethical question. What is the source of electricity that is given/available at the stadiums? Is it being provided from the public energy grids/corporations? If yes, what is the pricing criteria? If not and if it is from the stadiums own generating arrangements, then the source of the fuel and the price they for?

Going forward, if you all feel we should get some answers to these and other questions, IA, I can certainly volunteer to obtain information via RTIs, friendly email exchanges etc.


silkboard's picture

attacking the wrong side of equation?

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At least for now,  I would focus all RTIs and activism and such on the "supply side" of power equation. Why are we not getting enough electricity so that such posts are not written by people at all? Why do we have to talk about the conservation (demand side) most of the time? Why does it need to be take-from-X and give-to-Y (shortage) situations?.

I want to work, I want to play, and I want to have fun. I want good quality of life, and entertainment is part of that.

On pricing though, that is an interesting and curious question. I am guessing that KSCA pays above normal rates to get uninterrupted supply from BESCOM. Or, they may have a huge captive diesel gen-set of their own.

kbsyed61's picture

It is not all about 'I' !

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 You have read the post completely wrong and so is your line of argument.

 The post is not about me, your and others right to good life. It is about what cost. Just because, I earn handsomely and lead a good life, enjoy cricket should be given of privilege of enjoying a good night of cricket even if it has to spend precious resources. When the energy is a already a precious commodity, should we afford to spend it all in the name of entertainment, when the same game can be played in daytime and sunlight.

Issue raised here is isn't time to play sport in day times so that energy can be preserved. It is not about my deep pockets to buy the entertainment, but it is about my fellow citizens right to availability of power for reasonable time during the day/night.

If I agree with your argument "...'I want to work, I want to play, and I want to have fun. I want good quality of life, and entertainment is part of that...", then the personal vehicle owners are right in their own not to use public transport. It is like saying because I pay for water supply, I have a right to spend as I want to. Is that's the life style we would live? or also care for society and its constituents.

But, I am all with you on other side of the game. Generating electricity and its availability. Count me in for any RTI work on that front.

silkboard's picture

A bit much

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Rigt levels of consumption, consciousness and economics etc can be argued endlessly as each will have own line of what is worth and what is not. I will leave it at that, and sign off from such discussion.

But "does BESCOM supply subsidized power to KSCA" - this question is definitely a good one to ask.

Also, I would say that "energy is a precious commodity" is not the best statement. Some sources of energy (like fossil fuel) are precious commodities, that's more like it.

Vasanth's picture

Cricket Match Flood Lights are run entirely using Generators

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 Cricket stadium flood lights is lit using Generators. Under each flood light, there are two generators, one primary and second one is the standby. Power is not taken from public grid.

But, then comes the question of burning the fossil fuel. People say I have the money, so I will burn just like any car driver!

Ravi_D's picture

....and the diesel used in

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....and the diesel used in those generators is probably the same one subsidized for freight traffic or public transport. Just like gen sets running in almost every building in Bangalore, and every large diesel guzzler SUV you see on our roads. Someone pls tell me I'm wrong.

This whole subsidy thing... well, let me not get carried away here.



Naveen's picture

Future is Wind & Solar lighting

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There is a city called Palm springs in southern california (abt 2 hrs drive from LA or San Diego) which has some 55% of it's power sourced from wind energy - one amongst many eco-friendly initiatives by this city. The highway/s leading to the city are dotted with very large numbers of wind mills.

When we had visited a museum in the city, there were exhibits that stated that since California had abundant sunlight, the city was going to exploit sources of solar enery to maximize use of even more green sources.

Read more here.

Palm springs has a big lesson for India - we have so much more sunlight than many other coutries, but programs for exploiting such green sources are moving along at snail's pace with no real thrust, just like all other such initiatives. Countries like Singapore, Malaysia & even China have progressed far ahead & left us way behind.

These sports stadiums can easily set examples by installing huge solar panels & wind mills around to supply a large percentage of power necssary for their lighting. Wonder how much of recycling they undertake for water being used.

Asim's picture

IPL carbon footprinting

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Everytime there is a discussion on energy conservation, we get limited by absence of any data which leades to open-ended discussions on what's good to do and what's not. There need to be a scientific approach to how we approach the problem with researched data to be at the heart of solution.

I was discussing the same issue of electricity consumption in IPL matches with guys from no2co2 campaign who are measuring carbon footprinting of the IPL tournament (IPL has to do this as UNEP literally forced them as they are conducting one of world's biggest sports tournament without taking into cognizance the environmental degradation they are doing). So in our discussion, it came out that electricity consumption to be only 3% of overall footprint. The maximum damage is being caused by huge no. of flights(more than 15,0000) and the 5 star hotel stay being done in these 2 months. And this is not just for teams and Lalit Modi but all the vendors who are managing various parts of this event.

So the point I am trying to make is that we have almost saturated our open discussions on environment conservation and solutions like close your lights, water taps or use CFL. There is an urgent need to quantify carbon footprinting at individual as well organizational levels. For eg - ideal level of footprint is 2 tonnes/annum for every individual. Global average is 3.9 t/a, US's is 19.6 t/a and India's is 1.6 t/a. India's low t/a for individual is just because of 72% population living in rural areas, if you checkout urban its much more. I guess there is a need of consciousness required at indvidual level to first know your footprint then neutralize it as much as possible. At the same time look at organizations and tournaments to keep them carbon neutral events to the maximum degree possible.


Naveen's picture

Alternative enery sources - needs more thrust

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Hi Asim,

Concur with what you say, but a sports or such other large scale event is bound to have some negatives as the logistics necessary for arranging this multi-location event is really gargantuan.

What our weakness has been is that though we make efforts in just about every sphere, they usually are merely token efforts without any data or study & only to pay lip service. There have been very few serious governmental efforts that move along progressive or long-term perspectives, particularly for energy conservation & urban transport, even when cheaper proven technologies are available.

The power shortage problem, at least for domestic lighting can easily be solved if there is serious commitment & incentives offered for developing & marketing affordable solar light systems, but ones available today in India are only for the rich.

If we were able to reduce domestic loads by about 25% through solar or wind energies, our power shortage problems would be much more manageable if not over, but such politically unattractive decisions, though necessary for the country's betterment are never taken & left largely to the vagaries of how they evolve, & when they do evolve, it's usually too late !

Vasanth's picture

Coming to Solar Energy - A company's story

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 A Bangalore based company called Selco has lit up thousands of villages using solar energy also arranging loans from nationalized banks. They manufacture solar based lighting, inverters etc. Their story has come across many international channels.

Here is the link for the company website :





Naveen's picture

Solar Power - Efforts Insufficient

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Thanks for the info about Selco. Selco, perhaps one amongst a few such in the country, is a private enterprise that is striving hard, to make solar power affordable to lower income groups & the poor, for which they need to be commended, no doubt.

My question was much broader - why is it that we continue to have lethargic govts that never see much merit in pushing hard for these long-term solutions for energy sufficiency ? Without encouragement, support & incentives from govt, we are likely to see only a few isolated efforts such as Selco's.

This lack of recognition of various such feasible alternatives to solve the country's many problems are going to cost us a lot in the future & keep the country backward indefinitely.

murali772's picture

right perspective

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@Asim - thanks for bringing in the right perspective. Leave alone managers, what about the "cheer-leaders"? Couldn't have imagined we will ever reach a stage where we will be burdening ourselves the carbon footprint of this imported lot.

@SB - the power supply side problems and solutions have been discussed at length here. The problem again (as with bus transport services) is the government monopoly in distribution.

@ Naveen - There's enough on solar power on PRAJA itself - check this for instance

Muralidhar Rao
Asim's picture

Role of Govts and Institutions

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@Naveen and all others

I have seen way too often, people expecting govt. to bring about policy changes or laws to change our approach towards things of which energy conservation is one example. I want to contest this approach in a philosophical question of authority vs voluntary. Why do we need govt. laws or policy to tell what should be we doing with environment (good or bad), why can't it be more of voluntary change from individuals towards a sustainable living. Why should we keep on shifting blames to govt. and institutions and not trying to do things at our level. Remember the policy makers or IPL managers or Corporate Heads are in the end individuals. I think at this stage of evolution, we should be looking at large scale changes, emanating from the needs and desires of the individual and cease to rely on some higher authority to change things.

Naveen's picture

Govt does have a role

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I'm referring generally to the ill-informed, uneducated poor who may never have heard about renewable energy sources & it's benefits for the country or the planet. Unfortunately, they are a sizable majority that cannot afford solar lights or wind mills, or cannot mange to individually acquire & maintain them. Such systems are available at prices driven largely by the market - as of now, only rich farmers can afford them individually.

Govt has traditionally been extending subsidized power to farmers & this power is mostly coming off power plants that are gas guzzling & therefore polluting & environmentally unfriendly. The govt needs to either divert subsidy onto collective solar or wind power plants & offer the same to these poor folks, or to reduce or cut off subsidy step by step & encourage private enterprises such as Selco to produce more & more power through renewable sources & offer it to the poor at competitive rates, but for this, it has to be done on a very large scale since the poor cannot clearly do this themselves & need some assistance.

If left to individual initiatives & expect poor farmers to commit themselves to improve things (as the situation is at present), it is doubtful if there will be any takers at all since subsidized power through thermal plants is available anyways at much lower prices, & progress on this front will be left largely on how market conditions evolve, as I had mentioned previously.

Even the educated urban folks living in cities do not presently see much point in committing themselves to renewable sources though they can afford them since thermal power is anyway available at lower prices.

I believe that the govt does have a role to play here - It is of course desirable for all individuals to think & care for the environment as a matter of course, but the economic reality will command what eventually happens on the ground.

idontspam's picture

These sports stadiums can

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These sports stadiums can easily set examples by installing huge solar panels

I agree. Chinnaswamy stadium has a vast tin roof serving no purpose other than make the interior hotter, if the BCCI/IPL money was put to some good use they could have covered it with solar panel. The lighting towers can have solar cladding as well.I am sure that would have cost them less than a single opening ceremony.

Nevertheless, see how our propensity to keep our city dirty has led to cops ignoring explosives, they probably thought it was garbage thrown like everything else. Cant accept excuse for shoddy policing. KSCA should share blame for not putting up CCTV around the perimeter. I am sure it will cost less than the cheer leaders.

The quote of the week heard from CPI(M). Nationalize IPL. Yes we need another public sector undertaking. The next navrathna with a trade union which politicians can milk.

Vasanth's picture

England's stance of Cricket Should Be Played under Sun is good

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England  has a stance that cricket should always be played under the sun and best of the best stadiums in England such as Lord's is not having flood lighting although sun light especially during winter is very poor in England.

A stance like this by all the cricket associations like the BCCI would have done the trick. Matches in the night means more spectators, more advertisement revenue, more money hence the night matches.

idontspam's picture

England  has a stance that

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England  has a stance that cricket should always be played under the sun ... although sun light especially during winter is very poor in England.

That is exactly why. You dont get enough sun and even if you do its not beating down at 45 C comment guidelines

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