RAPDRP programme to help implement smart-grid technologies

RAPDRP programme to help implement smart-grid technologies
S. C. Bhargava, Senior Vice President and Head, L&T Electrical & Automation discussed how the government was taking necessary steps to bring IT and communication technologies in the distribution sector to ensure transparency and accountability.
Please update us on the status of power distribution sector in India and the need for automation.The power distribution sector in India is plagued with high AT&C losses, leading to poor financial health of the DISCOMs. This calls for immediate need to bring in new automation technologies to reduce the losses and make the sector viable. The Restructured Accelerated Power Development & Reform Programme (RAPDRP) — implemented by the government from the 11th Plan — is understood to be bringing in new automation technologies in the power distribution sector and reduce the losses to 15 per cent over a period of time.
Where do you think the Indian power sector stands today in leveraging cutting-edge automation technologies?Due to the RAPDRP programme, the Indian power sector is well prepared to embrace the cutting-edge technologies as adequate funding to implement the technologies is made available by the government and DISCOMs. The state governments are also showing lots of enthusiasm in implementing these technologies.
Do you think the penetration of automation technology is way below the mark, especially in the power sector? Yes, the penetration of automation technology is below the mark in the government DISCOMs, but the private DISCOMs like R-Infra and NDPL have gone ahead and implemented latest automation technologies. With the RAPDRP programme, the government DISCOMs are catching up with the latest automation technologies.
How do you propose to improve that?The government is taking necessary steps by implementing RAPDRP kind of programmes to bring in the IT and communication technologies in the distribution sector to ensure transparency and accountability. We are one of the implementing agencies empanelled by the Ministry of Power under the RAPDRP initiative.
India being the power deficit country, how do you see the opportunities for use of smart grids?The implementation of RAPDRP programme is going to provide a platform for the implementation of smart-grid technologies. Considering India as a diverse country and the woes of DISCOMs on account of their financial health, India-specific smart-grid technology will have to be developed. We cannot directly implement the same solutions that are working in the developed countries.
The government has taken several initiatives like India Smart Grid Task Force and India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) to expedite the process of implementing smart grid technology in India. However, the concept is at a nascent stage and a lot of awareness, sharing of knowledge, capacity building and consumer education etc. is required at various levels to reap the benefits of smart grid.
What are the major barriers for acceptance of smart grids in India?A dynamic regulatory environment is necessary to hasten the process of smart-grid implementation. Various stakeholders like utilities, technology providers, and consumers should be sure and certain about the way smart grid will be implemented.
Another barrier is the aging workforce which needs to be trained to handle the latest technologies.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Most Popular

To Top