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.


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