Towards a roadmap for smart grid in India


N Murugesan,
Director General,
Bangalore, India — (METERING.COM) — August 19, 2011 – India has long been involved in smart grid activities and long before these became known as smart grid but were known as automation, said N Murugesan, director general of the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), opening the organization’s recent first International Conference on Roadmap for Smart Grid.

Highlighting as the largest in the world both Bangalore-based Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited’s (KPTCL) SCADA and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company’s (Bescom) distribution automation project, Murugesan explained that many smart grid projects are planned to be introduced in India. Thus, it was felt timely for an event for all stakeholders to discuss the various facets of the smart grid.

The event, which was held in Bangalore on August 3-4, attracted hundreds of delegates from across India and further afield, and it covered all smart grid technologies.

The inaugural address was presented by P. Uma Shankar, Secretary in the Ministry of Power, who set the context for a smart grid in India of a growing economy and growing demand for power, but shortages on the supply side, the commitment of electricity for all, commitment to reducing carbon emissions, and the need to reduce losses due to inefficiencies and theft.

Secretary Uma Shankar said that there are six guiding principles for smart grid in India: that it is based on an Indian model developed indigenously, and focuses on power shortage problems, theft prevention and loss reduction, access to power in rural areas, development of alternative sources of power, and on the affordable and sustainable production of power.

The two key government initiatives that have been put in place to date are the India Smart Grid Task Force, which will develop standards and a roadmap for the implementation of smart grid, and the India Smart Grid Forum, which is a non-profit public-private stakeholder association to focus on smart grid technologies.

Secretary Uma Shankar also said that of the many components of the smart grid, he believed that transmission automation and distribution automation have been satisfactorily addressed in India, but others that need to be addressed include renewable integration, demand participation and electric vehicles.

Commenting on experiences from other countries, Secretary Uma Shankar concluded: “We need to decide what can be useful and can be applied in our conditions, rather than just emulate other countries or be driven by the smart grid marketing.”