Wednesday, December 30, 2009

$200 Billion investment in Smart Grid by 2015 : Pike Research

According Pike research (A clean-tech market research firm) Smart Grid represent $200 Billion worth of global investment by 2015. Almost 84 % will be captured by Grid automation, whereas Advanced metering infrastructure will have 14 % share. The remaining 2% will be occupied by Vehicle management systems( possibly Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle like Nissan Lehr). At present government across the globe are pushing  for Smart Meter, which is a tip of the ice-berg according to pike. Even though the electric grid is the important and critical  infrastructure of any country and it has spread thousands of miles, the network provide little intelligence. Hence, it is huge opportunity to embed intelligence in the system.

The report mentioned that " key drivers for such a huge opportunities are 1) Improve reliability and Security, 2) Improving operating efficiency and cost, 3) Balancing power generation supply and demand and 4) Reducing the overall impact on global warming"

There are huge challenges including lack of common visions and standards, outdated regulatory framework and business models and lack of awareness among the consumers. Nonetheless these challenges equally represent the opportunities. Government and Industries across the globe has recognized these and are working together to find a sustainable solutions.

The report analyzes Global Smart Grid market for AMI, transmission upgrades, substation automation, distribution automation, energy management systems, and electric vehicle management.It profiles 70 key players of the Smart Grid market and detail global market forecast segmented by region and technology.It indicates that the investment will reached to its peak by 2013.

For India it represent huge business opportunity domestically as well as globally, Indian IT Companies with their low-cost, high quality model are best suited to provide Infrastructure development and support to Foreign Utility and Smart Grid companies. Indian Entrepreneurs should focus their attention on this critical infrastructure opportunity.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Farooq Abdullah presses for Smart Grid Adoption in India

Farooq Abdullah, the Union Minister of Renewable Energy mentioned that India should start working on Smart Grid Infrastructure at a one - day seminar on smart grids organized by Consortium of Electronic Industries of Karnataka (CLIK). Mr. Abdullah voiced, “For India to continue on its path of aggressive economic growth, it needs to build a modern intelligent grid.

The Government should constitute a focus group for Smart Grid in order to draft a policy. The US has long begun this work and it is about to roll out comprehensive reforms for the Energy Grid. India cannot delay its efforts on this important aspect of the Energy. It will also help improve the energy efficiency and reduce Global Warming for which India is committed and have set aggressive target (Reduce 20-25% of CO2 Pre-2005 level by 2020) during recently concluded Climate Change meet at Copenhagen.“Another driver behind the need for a smart grid in India, are trends towards energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy sources. While blanket energy efficiency is important, India would greatly benefit from intelligent energy efficiency in the form of demand response and grid—responsive appliances”, Abdullah echoed at the conference.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Smart Grid Players in India

India has just begun working on Smart Grid. Transforming the old archaic and one of the weakest electric grid in the world is lot more challenging, complicated, arduous task. Nevertheless, India has started working on it. As mentioned by Alex Yu Zheng in its article Smart Grid for India, government is taking steps.
"Recent grid developments
The Indian National Government, in cooperation with the State Energy Board, put forward a road to improvement when it announced the new Electricity Act of 2003, aimed at reforming electricity laws and bringing back foreign investment. The act had several important measures
  1. Unbundling the State Electricity Board’s assets into separate entities for generation, transmission, and distribution, with the intention of eventual privatization 
  2. Adding capacity in support of a projected energy use growth rate of  12%, coinciding with a GDP growth rate  of roughly 8% 
  3. Improving metering efficiency 
  4. Auditing to create transparency and accountability at the state level 
  5. Improved billing and collection 
  6. Mandating minimum amounts of electricity from renewables 
  7. Requiring preferential tariff rates for renewable 
  8. End use efficiency to reduce the cost of electricity "
The present electric grid needs dramatic improvements. The problems have been accumulated through years of neglect.
Power theft,
Low metering efficiency and bill collection
Poorly planned distribution network

Overloading of system components
Lack of reactive power and regulation services

However these problems also offer enormous opportunity for smart grid business. GE is one of the major player active in electric industry and is investing heavily in Smart Grid technologies, particularly in USA and Europe. It has started collaborating with Indian 
utilities and first among them is North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL). NDPL is a joint venture between Tata Power and Delhi Government.
With GE's PowerOn coupled with Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI), and another GE product SmallWorld (GIS), NDPL will be able to effectively monitor repairs and power failure.

Echelon, another smart grid technology player which develops smart metering devices has partnered with HCL Infosystem, a major IT company in India, to roll-out metering and networking infrastructue. more at zdnet.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Indian Energy Scenario

India is one of the fastest growing economy in the world cloaking an average annual growth rate of 7%+ for last 6 years. Simultaneously, the current Indian population at 1.1 Billion is growing at the rate of 1.4 % annually, and it is estimated that India will be the largest populated country by 2050 AD. Energy is the most critical resource for human development and growth.At present, India is unable to meet the existing need of energy to her inhabitants. Though electricity is available to 80% of the population, It is irregular and insufficient.The power interruption is a chronic problem with on average 17 power-cuts per month to manufacturing sector alone. The total installed capacity is 1,50,323.41 MW as of 2009 data published by Ministry of power on its website. However, it is way shorter than the present need and requires enormous investment to meet the existing and future need of the growing population and economy.

This indicates that India is in dire need of Energy. New power plants are being built and more will require however, it want suffice the growing need. Because Indian transmission and distribution losses are amongst the highest in the world amounting 26% of the production. If non-technical losses like theft are included into total, it is around 50%, hence the total effective distribution is only 75161.703 MW out of  150323.41 MW generated capacity.

Thus, India needs smart grid technology more than any other country, which if conservatively can reduce the losses to 20% then it will provide enormous boost to growth. Numerous energy efficiency initiatives have been adopted by the government and Energy distribution companies, however none will be complete without Smart grid technology.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Smart Grid Introduction

What is Smart Grid?

Smart Grid - An energy grid that uses advance digital technologies, which will increase the energy reliability, save energy and cost, and will allow greater consumer participation. The grid will changed from its present centralized model to decentralized model in which consumer can be energy receiver, supplier, and producer. Smart Grid is an umbrella term, which is used for combination of technologies, approaches, and processes. According to Department of Energy (DOE), USA, the grid will have following characteristics.

DOE Identified characteristics

"Informed, involved, and active consumers - demand response and distributed energy resources."

"Many distributed energy resources with plug-and-play convenience focus on renewable"

"Mature, well-integrated wholesale markets, growth of new electricity markets for consumers"

"Power quality is a priority with a variety of quality/price options - rapid resolution of issues"

"Greatly expanded data acquisition of grid parameters - focus on prevention, minimizing impact to consumers"

"Automatically detects and responds to problems - focus on prevention, minimizing impact to consumer"

"Resilient to attack and natural disasters with rapid restoration capabilities"