Power Ministry Heralds Greener Age

by CXOtoday Staff    Oct 31, 2008

A hi-tech plan has been drafted by the Bangalore-based Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) and Infosys to bring about changes in power distribution for economic growth and meeting society needs. The focus is on checking aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses in electricity distribution.

“We need to transform power distribution by adopting convergence technologies and developing a smart card. Though generation and transmission have improved in economic terms, it is the distribution system that needs to be fixed for optimising energy use,” said Nandan Nilekani, vice chairman of Infosys.

According to the report, ageing and poorly maintained assets, unreliable and overloaded systems, low demand side management, lack of skilled resources and training and absence of corporate governance in discoms (distribution companies) are the reasons for high AT&C losses.

The roadmap includes plans to advocate a technology trajectory for energy distribution, with advanced metering being held imperative to trim AT&C losses, which are untenable. According to Nilekani, to achieve this, inter-operability among systems is critical to power distribution as it has been in mobile communications, banking and other networked sectors.

“IT, communication, and automation to measure and control the flow of power on a real-time basis are key to manage distribution and check losses. Similarly, a smart grid to intelligently manage outages, load and congestion and shortfall has to become pervasive to use energy efficiently and optimally,” said Nilekani.

The report said end-users are an integral part for bringing about the transformation through transparency and accountability on all sides. The country is expected to require about 800gW of electricity by 2030 as against the present installed capacity of 140gW

The report reiterates that while technology is a powerful enabler, it is not a solution by itself. If business needs determine the technology, trained and equipped people are equally critical to the successful management of any such system.

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