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SMART POWER

The Union Minister for Power, Sushilkumar Shinde has announced that the government was in the process of constituting ‘India Smart Grid Forum’ under the aegis of the Ministry of Power. The Ministry will also shortly launch an ‘India Smart Grid Task Force’ to be chaired by Sam Pitroda, Advisor to Prime Minister Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation.

Inaugurating the Technology Congress on Intelligent Power Management, organised by FICCI and supported by the Ministry of Power, Shinde said, “The proposed ‘India Smart Grid Forum’ will be a non-profit voluntary consortium of public and private stakeholders with the prime objective of accelerating development of smart grid technologies in the Indian power sector. The goal of the forum would be to help the Indian power sector to deploy smart grid technologies in an efficient, cost-effective, innovative and scalable manner by bringing together all the key stakeholders and enabling technologies.”

The Power Minister said that the proposed ‘India Smart Grid Task Force’ would be an inter-ministerial group and will serve as government’s focal point for activities related to Smart Grid.
Shinde said that the present conditions prevailing in the power sector, particularly in the distribution segment, are unlikely to attract private investment unless the pace of reform is accelerated. In this context, the distribution sector should focus on the public private Partnership model for resources mobilization and efficiency gains. The state government should provide necessary legal and regulatory frame-work for smooth implementation of these partnerships.

“I am of the opinion that unless the distribution system becomes financially viable, generation and transmission would be deep financial crisis. The commercial losses of State Electricity Boards remain too high. It is in this back drop the that the Planning Commission is thinking of setting up an Expert Group to go into the entire issue of financial position of distributing utilities including their accounts,” he said.

He said the biggest challenge before the Indian power sector was its high T&D losses. A combination of technical and non-technical factors was contributing to high T&D losses. These losses were 30 per cent in India, compared with 4 to 6 per cent in developed countries, causing a huge drain on the resources of discoms in the country.

The inaugural session of the congress was also addressed by Srinivasa G Raghavan, Vice President–India Head, Tata Consultancy Services; Binod HR, Senior Vice President– India, Infosys and Dr Amit Mitra Secretary General, FICCI.
The two-day congress took a close look at Paying for Technology, Technology Transition, Enhancing Revenue Generation through Technology, Intelligent Technology and Intelligent Transmission & Distribution.

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