September 21, 2010 - Capgemini SA, the France-based IT and consulting firm, has made India the research and delivery hub for smart energy solutions and services, with plans to treble investments in the country in the sector this year.
Capgemini’s global hub for innovation in energy services, which has been christened Calorie, is part of the 20 innovation labs to be set up by the company in India for various sectors.
Calorie will come out with a portal for electricity consumers in the western markets in the next six months.
Capgemini, which houses a fourth of its 95,000 global workforce in India, sees a massive potential in the emerging global need for intelligent use of energy resources.
Smart energy solutions include controlling power usage at home and making payments online. It also includes services such as sending alerts on excessive usage and advising on intelligent ways of power usage.
Smart energy solutions also address distribution losses, which are pegged as high as 40%, and billing hassles.
“Worldwide policy makers are firm on the need to better utilise existing energy resources as setting up newer sources of power generation is considered expensive, time consuming and against the environment. The smart energy usage approach can help utility firms reduce wastage and monetise pilferage of power and simultaneously reduce costs by efficient demand management,” said Perry Stoneman, vice-president - global leader, smart energy services, Capgemini Canada Inc.
Stoneman said the India innovation hub for energy services will treble the investment made last year. He did not provide any investment detail though.
Capgemini sees global demand for smart energy usage doubling in the next five years. According to it, North America has about 158 million metered electricity consumers, Europe 253 million and East Asia 361 million.
“Replacing an electricity meter in the US currently costs about $200-$250. The deployment of about 63 million smart meters in the US alone is going to throw an opportunity of about $13.4 billion,” said Somnath Chatterjee, vice-president, energy, utilities & chemicals at Capgemini India Pvt Ltd.
The firm is also seeing interest from various government and private sector power generation and distribution firms in India as well. “The smart meter usage is being piloted by government organisations in Maharashtra and Delhi. We hope to close our first deal in smart energy services in India very soon,” said Chatterjee.