The Growing Importance of SMART GRID in INDIA

The Smart Grid, is referred to as the evolutionary next-generation power distribution system. Smart Grid will conceptualize the two way communication channel in contrast to the unidirectional channel existing in the traditional grids to deliver a radical large-scale, highly-distributed, and hierarchical communication network.

Different hardware, software and networking the work together in the core of smart grid architecture. This together increases the complexity of the smart grid resulting in an increased array of security vulnerabilities. Cyber-attacks on the smart grids have already been realized and are here to stay. The next sections highlight the growing adoption of smart grids worldwide and the security concerns multiplying in the parallel.   

The power sector in India had an installed capacity of 310 GW as of December 2016, which stands fourth largest in the world with even the per-capita consumption yielding one-fourth of the world’s average. The prime reason attributing to the low consumption of electricity is the lack of accessibility of the core electrical network to a substantial geography across India. Researchers have estimated that by 2032, the potential demand for electricity may reach to attain a mammoth capacity utilization of 900 GW.  Recently, India announced its projected renewable energy generation target of a significant 175 GW, contributed by 100 GW from solar power, 60 GW from wind power, 10 GW from bio power and 5 GW from small hydro power by 2022. With this vast reliance on renewable energy to optimize the energy value chain, efficient management plays a key role.

 India also recently launched a National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) with a target of 6 million electric vehicles (4 million two-wheelers and 2 million four-wheelers) by 2020 in order to promote hybrid and electric vehicles in the country. Such visionary measures display the criticality and urgency to exalt electrical distribution infrastructure with smarter system which will control simultaneous charging of multiple electric vehicles from the same feeder. Corresponding support from policy enhancement to strengthen infrastructure for integration of Electric Vehicles which can store energy during surplus generation and support during moments of deficit.

A smart grid allows massive integration of unpredictable and sporadic renewable sources and distributed power efficiently with the inclusion of intelligent control system. Successful implementation of smart grid require a holistic and integrated approach A transparent and comprehensive plan is in place for smart grid which would help technology development, capacity building and investment planning. As per smart grid road map plan, it is defined in the table below where all three five year plan are discussed

 
Description 12th Plan (2012-17) 13th Plan (2017-22) 14th Plan (2022-2027)
1
Power for ALL
Electrification of Household by 2017
24 hour supply in all urban areas
24 *7 power supply to all categories of consumers across the country
2
Loss Reduction
Reduction of AT & C losses in all distribution utilities to below 15%
Reduction of AT & C losses in all distribution utilities to below 12%
Reduction of AT & C losses in all distribution utilities to below 10%
3
Smart Grid Rollouts
Smart Grid Pilots and development of micro grids  in 1000 villages/industrial parks/commercial hubs
Smart Grid roll out in all urban areas and development of micro grids in total 10,000 villages/industrial parks/commercial hubs
Smart Gird roll out nationwide and development of micro grids in total 20,000 villages/industrial parks/commercial hubs
4
Policies and Tariffs
Implementation of dynamic tariffs & demand response program for select categories of consumers
Open access to consumers in metros and select urban areas
Open access to all consumers
5
Green Power and Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency programs for lighting & HVAC in Metros & State Capital
Energy efficiency programs for lighting & HVAC in Urban Areas
Dynamic energy efficiency programs nationwide
6
Electric Vehicles & Energy Storage
EV charging stations in Urban areas and along selected highways and Introduction of energy storage system on trial basis
EV charging stations in all urban areas and strategic locations on highways and large roll outs of energy storage systems
EV charging stations in all urban areas along all state and national highways


The traditional power system in India is faced with the constant challenge of huge transmission and distribution losses across the nation. The reasons may range from the varying weather conditions to dynamic user behavior. This leads to a variation in the energy demands, at differing levels. Increasing population with high usage of electrical dependent devices ranging from air-conditioners, electric heaters, geysers, microwave oven, CFLs lights etc. stresses the sanctioned electric load capacity.  The underlying electrical infrastructure is primarily designed for worst load conditions in order to cater to maximum load requirements, so typically during non-peak hours the system is typically underutilized. Such utilization and performance issues with the existing electrical architecture leads to the requirement for a smarter and intelligent systems that automatically adopts to the underlying variations in electricity generation and consumption.

Smart grid is an electrical network which uses digital and cutting-edge technologies to meet the dynamic electricity demand of users by effectively and efficiently managing the transmission of energy from various generation sources like wind, solar, coal, nuclear etc. Thus, it helps to minimize environmental impact and operational cost by prioritizing type of energy like giving precedence of renewable over non-renewable source. It also helps to maximize system consistency, tractability and stability.  

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