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Power grids need to be more intelligent, feels Alstom chief

According to reports, India is a world leader in the power transmission business, but lags behind in the transmission end of the business, said Gregoire Poux-Guillaume, Executive Vice-President, Alstom, and Head of Alstom Grid Worldwide, here on Wednesday.

Speaking at the inaugural session of ELECRAMA 2014, an international event of the power transmission and distribution industry, Mr. Guillaume said, “The problem is mainly because of under-investment as a result of the heavy losses being made by companies.” Observing that the global energy markets are ‘changing like never before’, Mr. Guillaume said, ‘Grids need to be more intelligent’.

For instance, digital sub-stations were needed to cope with the dynamic nature of energy supply and demand. He pointed out that the rising proportion of renewable energy in the energy mix had resulted in the emergence of ‘prosumers’ — entities that generate energy at certain times but also draw energy from the grid at other times. “Greater automation of the grid is, thus, a necessity,” he observed.

The rapid expansion of the grid capacity in the last few years belied the notion that economic growth in the country had tapered off, contented Devendra Chaudhry, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Power. He pointed out that about one lakh circuit kilometres of capacity was to be added to the distribution network, and about 2.8 mega volt amperes of transmission capacity was to be added in the next few years. “I do not think this kind of expansion can be termed a slowdown,” he quipped.

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