India has been referred to as a “SmartGrid pilot” incubator, and it’s pretty clear why. As an emerging economic powerhouse, India is third in the world for SmartGrid investment, and spending on Smart Grid, alone, is anticipated to increase from $1.1 billion today to $1.9 billion by 2015, according to Zpryme Research & Consulting.
While India’s GDP grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the previous quarter — far exceeding U.S. GDP growth of 2 percent during that same period — there are still more than 400 million people without power in the country. Given average transmission line losses of 50 percent, the prevalence of energy theft, and the fact that peak demand often exceeds supply by 7 to 11 percent, the need for a modernized “Smart Grid” is unquestionable.
To help stimulate economic growth, the Indian government is pouring money and human resources into the modernization, and development, of India’s electrical infrastructure — with the Ministry of Power’s (MoP) recent creation of the Smart Grid Task Force and the commitment to invest billions into the power grid.
“Smart Grid is not a luxury [in India], it’s a necessity,” said Mr. P. UmaShankar, India’s Secretary of Power, at GridWeek 2011.
In many ways, India gets to build a Smart Grid from scratch, and it’s looking to technology experts, consultants and energy companies in the U.S. and abroad to help make that transition.
Focused on regional infrastructure opportunities, the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA) is keen to foster strategic partnerships among U.S., Indian, and Asian companies to begin developing a modernized grid.
With this in mind, IEEMA has partnered with Clasma Events to organize GridWeek Asia, which is located with the largest T&D trade show in the world, ELECRAMA 2012, anticipated to attract 125,000 attendees in Mumbai, India, January 16-18, 2012.
This article first appeared in NEMA’s eiXtra: December 19, 2011 and is republished with permission.