Modern civilisation is always some way or the other sustained by electricity. A simple thought ‘What would not happen and not work in the absence of electricity’ is all one needs to be on toes. A healthy electricity sector is majorly what a country like India needs to eliminate long-standing problems and drive economic and infrastructural growth all the while keeping an eye on environmental sustainability. However, though we expect the electricity demand to be doubled in the coming decade, it is of utmost importance to evaluate how this electricity is generated. One of the prerequisites for any advanced economy is uninterrupted power supply.
Indian power sector is said to be the most diversified in the world where oil and natural gas plays the primary role. Owing to that, the electricity demand in the country is bound to only shoot up in the years to come. Every Indian have now embraced the need to transform the power and energy industry of India. To fulfil the objective of ‘Power to all’ every industrial sector of the Indian economy, has openly pledged to reform the Indian power industry. Here, we discuss the undergoing massive power transformation, how electrification of all sectors can sustain India’s economy and India’s game changing initiatives.
Indian power sector has been undergoing major transformation
In an era of accelerated change, trying to limit climate change and achieve sustainable growth is strengthening the momentum of the global energy transformation. Yogesh Mudra, Director, UBM India says,” Being one of the largest producers of energy from renewable sources, it has achieved a remarkable milestone in 2017-18 with a renewable generation of over one lakh gigawatt hours (GWh) in a single year for the first time.”
The power sector stands at an all important juncture and crossroads which we will determine the path ahead for may be next few decades. Shashi Shekar, Advisor, E.I. Dupont Clean Technologies, says, “Not long back thermal power sector was considered to be the backbone of the economy but gradually we have started to witness the huge financial distress and delay in project implementation resulting into cost overruns.”
The recent focus which is all the need of the hour from the government to focus more on Renewable energy has altogether opened the new avenues for power sourcing.
The efforts are being made for strengthening of transmission segment for reliable system availability and renewable off take. Nithyanandam Yuvaraj Dinesh Babu |Team Leader, EY India, “The key global disrupting trends in the sector like smart grids, electric vehicles, solar rooftop, battery storage etc. are either under implementation or are knocking the door.”
Electrification of all sectors
Government’s ‘Make-in-India’ program has placed India on the world map as a manufacturing hub. It’s has given global recognition to the Indian economy. Sunil Misra, Director General, IEEMA positively says, “India is expected to become the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world by the end of year 2020 wherein the manufacturing sector has the potential to touch US$ 1 trillion by 2025.”
Electrification of energy demand is linked to high growth in India. In India, geographically all the regions are expanding in energy production, considering the use of available natural resources like high wind velocity sites, water availability and agricultural waste etc. Parag Yelegaonkar, Manager – Business Development, Testo India Pvt. Ltd. says, “These renewable energy sources are used for generating the required electricity for the respective states & thus driving growth of the economy with nearly meeting the targets set by the Indian Government.”
H. K. Mishra, Acting Director, Electrical Research and Development Association,” Though the direct energy demand from the individual households will not be very high but this electrification will support a lot of small rural industries.” This may generate substantial demand in the rural areas if stable power supply can be provided to the rural areas.
With mandate to electrify every household of the country, the government has done a lot, and the result can be seen in the demand growth of various states. Rajesh Kumar Mediratta, Director Business Development, IEX Ltd. is of the opinion that most DISCOMs are avoiding load shedding and are trying their best to supply power even at higher price.
With special emphasis on rural electrification, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) was launched to provide continuous power supply to rural India, and as recently declared by the Prime Minister, all villages in India have access to electricity now. Neeraj Nanda, President – South Asia (T&D, Solar), KEC International Limited says, “The Indian Government’s enhanced push for on Renewable Energy (RE) is expected to be a potential game changer for the sector.”
For some, UDAY has been a real game changer especially for DISCOMs where there was a reduction of T&D losses from 24 per cent to 19 per cent. UB Reddy, Managing Director, Enerfra Projects (India) Pvt. Ltd.,” UDAY has led to a 70 per cent reduction in financial losses and all the while taking tough action against power theft that was occurring in a highly organized manner”.
Another initiative which has majorly influenced the electricity sector is government’s “Smart Cities” project. These projects have been transforming urban governance. They have set in motion a virtuous cycle of growth and development.
Mr. Vivek Yadav, Vice President, Havells India Ltd. says, “The smart city initiative is widely expected to push demand for quality electrical equipment and thus, open up massive growth opportunities for electrical equipment manufacturers.”
Another laudable initiative is the SAUBHAGYA program that focuses on achieving universal household electrification up to the last mile connectivity. Tomohiko Okada, Managing Director, Toshiba India Pvt. Ltd., “A successful SAUBHAGYA program means that all our efforts, collaborations between the government and private companies like us, have finally paid off by making a difference in lives of the citizens.”
The initiatives by the Government of India for energy saving measures applicable to the lighting industry has definitely proved to be a game changer for them. Dilip Kumbhat – President, Indian Society of Lighting Engineers and CEO, K-Lite Industries says,” By establishing a separate company known as EESL, and directly procuring and distributing millions of LED lamps, Government has made a turn around to bring down the prices considerably.” The prices are less than 60 per cent of what it was earlier. Now the general public are themselves opting for LED lamps.
Now, all that matters is to keep the momentum going on the road to be ‘renewable India’. To fuel this march, it is imperative that India focuses on its infrastructure.