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The Indian government is working towards creating an ambitious grid programme in order to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing quality power to all by 2019, Minister of State with independent charge for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said while inaugurating the fifth edition of the international exhibition and conference GRIDTECH at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on April 8.

Organised by Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd with the support of Ministry of Power, GRIDTECH is aimed at providing a platform to manufacturers, suppliers, academicians and consultants for showcasing their state-of-the-art products, technologies and expertise in the field of transmission, distribution, renewable energy integration, smart grid and communication. The biennial event along with the concurrent conference programme also gives an opportunity to power utilities, planners, policy makers, regulators, manufacturers, research institutions, academicians and consultants to get exposed to emerging technologies in the transmission and distribution domain.

“The Prime Minister’s vision for 24/7 quality power for all depends on the transmission and distribution sector to reach the bottom of the pyramid. With the new technologies we are bringing in, we will now create an ambitious grid programme which will meet the country’s demand,” Goyal said at the inauguration ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Devendra Chaudhury, Special Secretary, Ministry of Power, said the entire power sector was gearing up to meet the government’s vision of power for all and that an access platform had to be created to help provide electricity to the entire population.

PGCIL Chairman and Managing Director R.N. Nayak pointed out that the government’s ambitious plan to provide 24×7 power to all in the country by 2019 would require deployment of latest technologies in the field of transmission, distribution, intelligent devices, information and communication technology. GRIDTECH 2015, he added, was the foremost platform where all leading stakeholders reiterated their commitment to bringing about a transformative change in the sector to ensure quality and affordable power for all citizens.

The three-day GRIDTECH 2015 witnessed the participation of several leading players in the power sector, both from India and abroad. The participating companies got an opportunity to showcase their expertise in various domains of the power sector, launch new products and technologies and identify business opportunities in the electricity market. The conference programme that was held alongside the exhibition on April 8 & 9 saw industry experts exchanging views and insights on integration of renewables and emerging trends in substation technology, HVDC and FACTS technology, smart grid, distribution as well as energy efficiency.

Like in previous editions, GRIDTECH 2015 brought together domestic and international manufacturers, planners, policy makers, investors, consultants and research institutions on a single integrated platform while showcasing latest technologies and expertise in the transmission and distribution domain.

India’s electricity demand is estimated to increase fivefold over the next two decades. In order to meet the increased demand, the government has set very ambitious targets with the objective of enhancing generation capacities. Currently, more than 70 per cent of the electricity demand is met through fossil fuels. The renewable capacity penetration stands at just 13 per cent with 32 GW of installed renewable generation capacity.

The government’s focus now is on increasing energy contribution from renewable resources and boost renewable capacity penetration to about 30 per cent by 2030. Increasing penetration of highly intermittent and variable renewable energy sources as well as decentralised distributed generation presents a number of challenges in grid integration.

Given the government’s plans for gigantic capacity addition in the coming period through both conventional sources as well as renewables, there is need to explore and adopt the latest technological developments in the field of transmission, distribution, intelligent devices, information and communication technology, high-speed computing and visualisation. Already, new technologies in the form of WAMs, FACTS, VSC-based convertors, High Temperature Super Conductor Line, fault current limiter, O&M techniques, dynamic reactive compensation, flexible resources including energy storage, Advances Metering Infrastructure, demand side management/demand response and other smart grid functionalities are being progressively adopted throughout the power supply value chain in the country.

Experts point out that it is imperative to continuously explore new technologies for making the Indian transmission and distribution network more efficient.

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