Tech View

Vitality of energy to an economy

Ankush Jindal, Co-Founder, The Solar Labs

“The Solar Rooftop Demand Aggregation Program will unearth Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) mode for Delhi consumers”

Ankush Jindal, Co-Founder, The Solar Labs, suggests key priorities for the government to move forward to help India ramp up its capacity in a sustainable way.

Focussing on energy security
The electricity consumption per capita figure points to a country’s growth and power. India has one of the lowest figures in the world owing to more than 60 per cent of the population living in poverty and low energy access. The target to increase electricity generation must also keep in mind energy security with an aim to reduce dependence on imports. India loses precious FOREX importing oil, coal and gas from foreign nations. India must aim to become independent of other countries for its power needs, and the way forward is renewables.

Electricity as an energy carrier
Telecommunications need electricity to function, manufacturing leads to job creation not only in the factory, but also indirectly as well in supply chain and increases consumption. Energy access must also come from far flung areas of the country and must not be restricted to urban cities. A case in study is given by the FICCI Secretary General on how not having electricity leads to eroding of wealth. Due to power scarcity, industries are asked to slow down manufacturing and sometimes shut factories for a few days a month. Studies suggest a one per cent increase in GDP per capita with 1.3 per cent increase in electricity use per capita on average across several countries. Converse is also true. Increasing energy access will increase the GDP growth of India.

The Solar Labs and rooftop
As a company, The Solar Labs firmly believes in rooftop solar. We believe in the new concept of demand aggregation that is being undertaken in many states, nowadays. India has sufficient wealth and credit worthiness in the urban sector to unlock a major chunk of the market. The Solar Rooftop Demand Aggregation Program will unearth Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) mode for Delhi consumers.

Curbing the T&D losses
There are essentially two components of distribution losses: technical and non-technical. Technical losses are due to inherent properties of current flow and cannot be avoided. They can, however, be calculated and monitored. Some losses are due to harmonics distortion, long single phase lines, unbalanced loading – overloading and low voltage and poor insulation. Non-technical losses result from connection mismatch, incorrect meter reading and billing, non-collection of dues, collection and credit mismanagement. Technology such as load balancing, DT management and power factor improvement can help reduce technical distribution losses. Proper energy accounting and billing mechanisms can reduce non-technical losses. Hence, smart meters become very important here.

Accurate energy auditing
The Indian distribution system has been functioning with inadequate metering, hence proper energy auditing does not happen. We see the movement for 100 per cent metering of 11 kV feeders and distribution transformers as a positive step. State estimation technology is also poised to add a lot of value to correctly assess distribution loss.

Smart meters increasing energy efficiency
In the US, initiatives like PACE programme have created new business models focused on increasing efficiencies by reducing electricity consumption and increasing solar adoption through leasing models, all through private innovation.

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