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.
We had mentioned earlier this year in January that the Power Ministry is likely to finalise about eight smart grid technologies-related projects on pilot basis worth nearly Rs 500 crore in two months.
As mentioned then, according to reports, the Ministry of Power has said that it is finalising eight smart grid pilots worth Rs 500 crore with a focus on building a distribution business that is smart grid compatible and connects the proposed smart grid to the end consumer through smart metering and related technological interventions.
Addressing a session on Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Power Distribution at the India Energy Congress recently K C Venugopal, Minister of State for Power said that the Government first launched the APDRP and later a Restructured-APDRP scheme in 2008 with a focus on actual, demonstrable performance in terms of sustained loss reduction.
“The need of the hour is to create a base line data for different types of customers and segregation of agricultural and rural connections with the help of information technology.”
He said these issues are getting addressed during implementation of R-APDRP scheme.
The minister added reap the benefits of R-APDRP, Ministry of Power is finalising eight smart grid pilots worth Rs 500 crore with a focus on building a distribution business that is smart grid compatible and connects the proposed smart grid to the end consumer through smart metering and related technological interventions.
The basic idea of a smart grid is to improve overall efficiency of the power sector, especially in transmission and distribution segments, with the aid of information technology.