India needs to chart a course for power sector

“India still needs to make considerable progress towards becoming an energy secure nation,” states Dr AS Prasad, General Manager, Product Management and Marketing, Emerson Network Power India
A long way to goOver the last one year, India has made considerable progress in adding to the size of the overall power generation capacity. With an 8.4 per cent increase in power generation, including a highest annual capacity addition ever and the best generation growth in two decades with the output touching the trillion unit mark, India is gradually moving towards becoming a country that provides energy to all.
However, Dr AS Prasad, General Manager, Product Management and Marketing, Emerson Network Power India observes, “India still needs to make considerable progress towards becoming an energy secure nation. An interesting point to note is India still has to work towards charting a roadmap for undertaking structural reforms and combating the various roadblocks in the power sector.”
Dr Prasad charts some of the roadblocks in the Indian power sector as follows:Outdated technologyWith the power sector worldwide seeing technological announcements galore, India still lacks the resources when it comes to using the best technologies available. Overdependence on coal, increasing demand energy and irresponsible consumption has added to this distress.
Slow clearance to power projectsThough the government is working towards reducing paper work and clearing files on projects in a timely way as possible, there still remain the problems of land disputes, clearances from the environment ministry and other relevant ministries.
Plant load factorWith the Plant Load Factor (PLF) dropping to 65.1 per cent, India’s power sector is sitting on a time bomb as till recently the government was worried only about fuel supplies. 
No takers for the generation capacity in placeThough the demand for energy is high, the government has not been able to collect the monetary resources to pay for this power, due to the poor financial health of the discoms.
India now has an installed power capacity of 158,000 MW with 30,000 MW more in the pipeline. Another 1,00,000 MW would be added from solar power over the next five years, as per the government’s plans. The question that arises here is who will buy all this power if discoms are unhealthy? With the average gap between power generation costs and tariffs charged by state discoms now at 82 paise, it makes generation unviable, with power firms already owing Coal India around ` 8,000 crore as they haven’t been paid by discoms.
No new power projects announcedA bigger roadblock or rather a worry that is important is no new power generation project has been announced in the past two years and the low PLFs as well as lack of clarity on bidding parameters for new ultra mega power projects has only made investments unattractive for now.Business continuity solutions in demandWith the increasing number of new start-ups and businesses in India, there is going to be a huge demand for 24/7 power supply. For example, in the manufacturing sector, one needs constant electricity to ensure production goes on unhindered. Even an hour without electricity can result in the business facing a loss, thereby affecting the profit of a business in the long run. This is one of the reasons that more companies are now looking at becoming energy efficient without compromising their agility and availability.
Some of the sectors which are currently witnessing a  growing demand for business continuity solutions like UPS systems  are IT and IT enabled services (ITeS); banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI); government, manufacturing, telecom and energy sectors. “The government’s initiative to computerise its various departments coupled with ‘The National e-Governance Plan’ is expected to boost the demand for business continuity solutions and systems through the coming years,” adds Dr Prasad.
Emerson Network Power has recognised all these trends early on and is constantly researching and testing new innovative power solutions for businesses and customers. Dr Prasad says, “We continue to identify the emerging market opportunities for our partners and have invested considerably in ensuring that partners can capitalise on market demands by training them. The need for innovative power and back-up solutions is gaining traction because of which we will see a gradual inclination towards solar-powered inverters and related solutions that can feed excess energy back to the grid.”
He adds that the growth is also being fuelled by an increase in demand from new markets primarily in tier II and III cities, as more and more businesses are operating out of these areas where 24/7 energy supply is a major problem.
Ensure constant energy supply For the power sector in India to make a gradual progress in terms of development, innovation and embracing new technologies becomes imperative. To revitalise the power sector on urgent basis, Dr Prasad opines, all of this requires 24/7 energy supply. The same is true for businesses, because to have 24/7 access to data, it is vital that they have constant energy supply to function unhindered and efficiently. Also in light of the above roadblocks, businesses should look at guarding against power outages by investing in UPS and power solutions, Dr Prasad suggests.
Access to finance is the keyAccording to Dr Prasad, from the long term perspective, more focus on investment and ensuring that power companies get easier access to finance options will be the way to ensure sustainability. From the regulatory and governmental point of view, he suggests, “The efforts should be led to ensure more investment in tapping renewable energy sources as well as clearing regulatory hurdles for energy focused projects. The country needs to strengthen its position as a manufacturing hub on the global platform, and as such investments and measures to give manufacturing sector a fillip in the right direction.”
Promote RERBI’s decision of granting special status to the renewable energy sector by categorising the renewable energy sector as a priority sector to lend to is expected to accrue large benefits for the sector overall. 
As renewable energy gains traction, solar options integrating with the power backup will become a force to be reckoned with. Solar grid-tied or off-grid would be standard inverter solutions available with smart controls to maximise the potential of solar energy. For rooftop markets with regards to on-grid and off-grid solutions, end-consumer market is price sensitive and quite a few customers derive electricity through open access at rates lower than industrial tariffs.
However, Dr Prasad points out that, commercial customers face a different set of challenges. He says, “The primary issue is that they do not own the building rooftop. With regard to regulatory and government support for driving the adoption of rooftop solar projects there is a need for a uniform net metering policy across the country with no specific limit on the amount of power to be fed back to the grid.” Meeting the power needExplaining the long-and-short term strategies, Dr Prasad briefs, “Emerson Network Power has invested considerably in central inverters and maintains a good market share in the off grid solar market. Emerson has also made substantial progress by working closely with the government post its registration with the MNRE and has been graded with the ‘SP2A’ rating by CRISIL for its solar projects.” 
Emerson designs and manufactures solar inverters for the residential market as well as for and small businesses. These small, light-weight and efficient solar inverters facilitate time-saving installation and help reduce reliance on costly as well as non-renewable fossil fuel sources with their great power density and the ability to pass on excess power back to the grid. Emerson Network Power believes in continuously innovating to come out with new UPS systems and power management solutions to meet the power needs of businesses and remain successful.
“Our power management solution for data centres helps organisations bring about greater efficacy to the way their data centre functions.  Additionally, our power management systems include a wide range of products which allow data centres to function in peak condition as well as with efficacy,” concludes Dr Prasad.

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India needs to chart a course for power sector

“India still needs to make considerable progress towards becoming an energy secure nation,” states Dr AS Prasad, General Manager, Product Management and Marketing, Emerson Network Power India
A long way to goOver the last one year, India has made considerable progress in adding to the size of the overall power generation capacity. With an 8.4 per cent increase in power generation, including a highest annual capacity addition ever and the best generation growth in two decades with the output touching the trillion unit mark, India is gradually moving towards becoming a country that provides energy to all.
However, Dr AS Prasad, General Manager, Product Management and Marketing, Emerson Network Power India observes, “India still needs to make considerable progress towards becoming an energy secure nation. An interesting point to note is India still has to work towards charting a roadmap for undertaking structural reforms and combating the various roadblocks in the power sector.”
Dr Prasad charts some of the roadblocks in the Indian power sector as follows:Outdated technologyWith the power sector worldwide seeing technological announcements galore, India still lacks the resources when it comes to using the best technologies available. Overdependence on coal, increasing demand energy and irresponsible consumption has added to this distress.
Slow clearance to power projectsThough the government is working towards reducing paper work and clearing files on projects in a timely way as possible, there still remain the problems of land disputes, clearances from the environment ministry and other relevant ministries.
Plant load factorWith the Plant Load Factor (PLF) dropping to 65.1 per cent, India’s power sector is sitting on a time bomb as till recently the government was worried only about fuel supplies. 
No takers for the generation capacity in placeThough the demand for energy is high, the government has not been able to collect the monetary resources to pay for this power, due to the poor financial health of the discoms.
India now has an installed power capacity of 158,000 MW with 30,000 MW more in the pipeline. Another 1,00,000 MW would be added from solar power over the next five years, as per the government’s plans. The question that arises here is who will buy all this power if discoms are unhealthy? With the average gap between power generation costs and tariffs charged by state discoms now at 82 paise, it makes generation unviable, with power firms already owing Coal India around ` 8,000 crore as they haven’t been paid by discoms.
No new power projects announcedA bigger roadblock or rather a worry that is important is no new power generation project has been announced in the past two years and the low PLFs as well as lack of clarity on bidding parameters for new ultra mega power projects has only made investments unattractive for now.Business continuity solutions in demandWith the increasing number of new start-ups and businesses in India, there is going to be a huge demand for 24/7 power supply. For example, in the manufacturing sector, one needs constant electricity to ensure production goes on unhindered. Even an hour without electricity can result in the business facing a loss, thereby affecting the profit of a business in the long run. This is one of the reasons that more companies are now looking at becoming energy efficient without compromising their agility and availability.
Some of the sectors which are currently witnessing a  growing demand for business continuity solutions like UPS systems  are IT and IT enabled services (ITeS); banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI); government, manufacturing, telecom and energy sectors. “The government’s initiative to computerise its various departments coupled with ‘The National e-Governance Plan’ is expected to boost the demand for business continuity solutions and systems through the coming years,” adds Dr Prasad.
Emerson Network Power has recognised all these trends early on and is constantly researching and testing new innovative power solutions for businesses and customers. Dr Prasad says, “We continue to identify the emerging market opportunities for our partners and have invested considerably in ensuring that partners can capitalise on market demands by training them. The need for innovative power and back-up solutions is gaining traction because of which we will see a gradual inclination towards solar-powered inverters and related solutions that can feed excess energy back to the grid.”
He adds that the growth is also being fuelled by an increase in demand from new markets primarily in tier II and III cities, as more and more businesses are operating out of these areas where 24/7 energy supply is a major problem.
Ensure constant energy supply For the power sector in India to make a gradual progress in terms of development, innovation and embracing new technologies becomes imperative. To revitalise the power sector on urgent basis, Dr Prasad opines, all of this requires 24/7 energy supply. The same is true for businesses, because to have 24/7 access to data, it is vital that they have constant energy supply to function unhindered and efficiently. Also in light of the above roadblocks, businesses should look at guarding against power outages by investing in UPS and power solutions, Dr Prasad suggests.
Access to finance is the keyAccording to Dr Prasad, from the long term perspective, more focus on investment and ensuring that power companies get easier access to finance options will be the way to ensure sustainability. From the regulatory and governmental point of view, he suggests, “The efforts should be led to ensure more investment in tapping renewable energy sources as well as clearing regulatory hurdles for energy focused projects. The country needs to strengthen its position as a manufacturing hub on the global platform, and as such investments and measures to give manufacturing sector a fillip in the right direction.”
Promote RERBI’s decision of granting special status to the renewable energy sector by categorising the renewable energy sector as a priority sector to lend to is expected to accrue large benefits for the sector overall. 
As renewable energy gains traction, solar options integrating with the power backup will become a force to be reckoned with. Solar grid-tied or off-grid would be standard inverter solutions available with smart controls to maximise the potential of solar energy. For rooftop markets with regards to on-grid and off-grid solutions, end-consumer market is price sensitive and quite a few customers derive electricity through open access at rates lower than industrial tariffs.
However, Dr Prasad points out that, commercial customers face a different set of challenges. He says, “The primary issue is that they do not own the building rooftop. With regard to regulatory and government support for driving the adoption of rooftop solar projects there is a need for a uniform net metering policy across the country with no specific limit on the amount of power to be fed back to the grid.” Meeting the power needExplaining the long-and-short term strategies, Dr Prasad briefs, “Emerson Network Power has invested considerably in central inverters and maintains a good market share in the off grid solar market. Emerson has also made substantial progress by working closely with the government post its registration with the MNRE and has been graded with the ‘SP2A’ rating by CRISIL for its solar projects.” 
Emerson designs and manufactures solar inverters for the residential market as well as for and small businesses. These small, light-weight and efficient solar inverters facilitate time-saving installation and help reduce reliance on costly as well as non-renewable fossil fuel sources with their great power density and the ability to pass on excess power back to the grid. Emerson Network Power believes in continuously innovating to come out with new UPS systems and power management solutions to meet the power needs of businesses and remain successful.
“Our power management solution for data centres helps organisations bring about greater efficacy to the way their data centre functions.  Additionally, our power management systems include a wide range of products which allow data centres to function in peak condition as well as with efficacy,” concludes Dr Prasad.

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