Interview

India dependent on imported CRGO

Vinamra Agarwal, President, Technical Associates Ltd

“Efficiency of the grid is a fundamental requirement for efficient and reliable delivery of electricity”

Vinamra Agarwal, Director, Technical Associates Limited, believes it is important to achieve 100 per cent electrification not only for driving economic growth, but also to allow people to claim what is rightfully theirs.

Transformation in economic growth
The Indian power sector has indeed been undergoing major transformation. A few key trends are:
• Massive changes introduced on account of a bigger population of renewable.
• Distributed generation.
• Increasing urban concentrations along with increasing urban loads coupled with far higher use of electricity for transportation needs is a realty today
• Achieved greater rural penetration, which would lead to 100 per cent electrification in a short time.

Electrification drives India’s growth
Electrification of underserved regions will definitely drive India’s growth in the medium to long term. Non-availability of power is proving to be one of the major challenges being faced by a whole host of e-governance initiatives that have been launched in the country. Hence, it is important to achieve 100 per cent electrification not only for driving economic growth, but also to allow people to claim what is rightfully theirs. It has also been seen that access to electricity opens up all sorts of new economic opportunities for communities, which is a basic driver for economic growth.

UDAY- a game changer
The UDAY scheme is a major game-changer. While initiatives have been taken in the past for re-capitalisation and financial turn-around of loss making DISCOMs, UDAY is different for the manner in which it has been structured and the continuous monitoring of committed targets by DISCOMs.

Efficient and reliable delivery of electricity
Efficiency of the grid is a fundamental requirement for efficient and reliable delivery of electricity. An efficient grid, where transmission and distribution losses are minimised, will lead to optimisation of energy delivery infrastructure, generation infrastructure, higher energy availability for the same generation and consequently financial health of the utilities and lower per unit costs.

Benefits and the need of green transformer
Indian energy efficiency standards for transformers are at par or higher than energy efficiency standards across the globe. Despite this, our cumulative T&D losses are higher than most of the developed world. This should definitely lead us to question whether it even makes sense to focus on higher energy efficiency in transformers while the same effort, if focused on other parts of the value chain that contribute to high T&D losses, could perhaps yield faster dividends.

While use of natural esters is attracting its fair-share of popularity, with the kind of capital investment required in our country and the fact that natural esters continue to be a relatively nascent technology. A serious analysis needs to be done to understand the cost benefit advantage of using natural esters in transformers.

Limitation faced by transformer manufacturers
The constraints being faced by transformer manufacturers is that we are completely dependent on imports for our requirement of CRGO. The government should actively work towards setting up of CRGO manufacturing in the country to boost competitiveness of Indian transformers.

However, the government still needs to work aggressively on improvement of ease of doing business in the country, which would definitely lead to drastic improvements in our global competitiveness.

Trends in the transformer industry
One of the major trends emerging in the transformer industry is an increasing amount of instrumentation and electronics being installed on the transformer.

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