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Home » Power Talk » Digital transformations for power plant performance

Digital transformations for power plant performance

November 17, 2022 3:10 pm

Digital transformations for power plant performance
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The Indian power sector is experiencing significant upheaval, which has altered the industry’s outlook. The power industry in India has a promising future, and ongoing economic growth is driving up electricity consumption. The Indian government’s concentration on achieving “electricity for all” has accelerated capacity addition.
Our total installed thermal power capacity, as of January 22 is 235 GW, with coal accounting for 51.6 percent of thermal power and the remainder coming from other sources including lignite, diesel, and gas. The private sector generates 48.5 percent of thermal electricity in India, while states and the central government generate 26.7 percent
and 24.9 percent, respectively.
Improving power plants’ efficiency
There is a need for modelling and real-time analysis to prevent the situation from deteriorating further. In power systems, for example, we have a unique network system and real-time analysis. This can be done in real-time, given what might happen if coal isn’t provided to plants owing to manufacturing, the supply chain, vehicles not being available, or even when we import coal, the rupee value, which can also have an influence. Additionally, all of these events can be modelled and analysed. Perhaps the government can come up with something, particularly in terms of critical infrastructure. They should look towards systems for modelling, analytics, and impact analysis. If anything is happening, create scenarios and then do this.
The digital transformation of power plants
With COP 26, numerous power utilities in India have announced carbon-neutral ambitions. This raises the possibility of electrification accounting for 50 percent of total energy demand by 2030. However, there are many locations where electrification has yet to occur, particularly in the process sector. Consider green hydrogen and green ammonia as examples. We also need to look at ways to efficiently produce, store, and distribute electricity.
We are also witnessing a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. There is a delusion that this is an upright replacement. But it is a transition where we will still have the conventional power and the energy there because that also provides us with the inertia in the system for the power system to be stable.
On the other hand, renewables are intermittent, and the future will have a sort of hybrid system. We need to see the process of transitioning from conventional forms of energy and the new energy to the hybrid system and other forms of conventional energy plus the new energy from renewable energy, then also use digitalisation to make the transfer faster and also ensure that we can still make the grid stable. So, the power plants have to be ready to adapt to this kind of ecosystem for power generation, transmission, and distribution. Moreover, with conventional energy and renewable energy, the power plant will become more distributed.
India is progressively moving towards building a carbon-neutral future with an ambitious target to achieve net zero emissions by 2070 and to meet half of the electricity requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030. According to a report* by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the total installed renewable energy capacity of India stood at 161.28 GW as of July 2022. This solar energy park is estimated to produce enough electricity to
support 8 million people.

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