Venkaiah Naidu Rallies for Smart Grid as a Solution for India’s Renewable Integration

The vice president was addressing the inaugural session of GRIDTECH 2019


At the inaugural function of GRIDTECH 2019, the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu called for the promotion of new and renewable energy on a bigger scale. He said moving to renewable energy sources for the rising energy needs would not just ensure energy security but also protect the climate, reduce pollution.

GRIDTECH is an international exhibition and conference, organized by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited to deliberate on new technologies in transmission, distribution, renewable integration, and smart grid communication.

The Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, the officials of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, representatives from conventional and renewable energy sector were present for the occasion.

“Adequate growth in renewable energy would serve a dual purpose – firstly, it would contribute towards achieving energy security to the nation, and it would address the environmental concerns, which need to be tackled on a war-footing,” he said.

The Vice President asked experts to find new technologies to harness renewable energy to fulfill India’s energy demands and also to fulfill India’s international commitment to de-carbonize the electricity generation.

He also called for the promotion of clean and green mode of transport, such as electric vehicles (EVs) on a large scale. He said that they have the potential to save foreign exchange on crude oil import apart from reducing carbon emissions. Naidu also called for the inclusion of renewable energy provisions right from the planning period of towns.

The Vice President said that the world was looking towards India for investments and opined that India’s economic growth was the main factor for the new found enthusiasm of the world community. Noting that rapid urbanization led to increased energy demand and rise of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, he urged technologists to find new methods for tapping the vast potential in the renewable energy sector and also wanted them to educate the common man on the need to cut down GHG emissions.

Underlining that connectivity and electricity were key to development, he stressed upon the need to address challenges such as pilferages in transmission and distribution. He suggested developing a suitable transmission and distribution system to facilitate renewable integration. “Smart grid technologies used by many countries would have the potential to solve the challenges,” he added.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with increasing power demand in the coming years. Historically, the country has also been a power deficit with millions of people without access to the grid. While generation is catching up with especially with the growth in solar and wind, the adequate transmission has always been a challenge leading to grid congestion and curtailment according to Mercom Solar Market Updates.

To meet the increasing amount of power generation and power demand in India, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has published in its National Electricity Plan an important blueprint to develop the transmission systems in the country. These transmission systems are planned to be implemented to evacuate power from generating stations. The plan also focuses on strengthening of an existing transmission network for meeting projected growth in load or demand and optimum utilization of distributed generation resources in different regions.

Recently, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) recommended that POWERGRID can monetize its transmission line towers by offering it to mobile telecom service providers on a commercial basis under section 41 of the Electricity Act, 2003, which allows for effective utilization of assets to benefit the society at large

Mercom recently reported that India was the third largest solar market behind China and the United States with 8.3 GW of solar PV capacity installed in 2018. Japan and Germany were the fourth and fifth largest solar markets in the world.

Image credit: Tata Power Solar

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.