24 November 2009 – “Transforming the power utility with smart meters and grid technologies”. That was the theme of Smart Energy International’s conference and exhibition that kicked off in Delhi yesterday, which offered utilities, regulators and technology firms a chance to meet to discuss India’s response to the enormous energy challenges it faces.
Former Power Secretary Anil Razdan, who wrote the key body of legislation to enable the reform of India’s power sector said that in many parts of the country it was not a question of upgrading existing technologies, but building them from scratch.
Electricity has been viewed by the Government as a basic human right, like clean water and food, and there are parts of rural India that lacks even a grid, let alone a smart grid, which is why the Government has pledged ‘power for all’ by 2012. As well as widening distribution, India faces surging energy demand thanks to a rapidly growing economy and population – forcasted at 8-9% over the next several years. This will put an enormous strain on the current infrastructure, and smart technologies to transform power delivery are expected to play a big part in meeting the demand.
Over 400 participants packed into the event to hear from all sides of the debate, which was presided over by the Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit, and which featured many CEOs from India and from as far as Mexico, Egypt, China and the USA.