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Minister Says India Needs To Develop Smart Power Grids

'For many years, we planned on the basis of shortages but today we have an elbow room to plan smartly with surplus in our hand'

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Smart power grids need to become a norm rather than an exception in India, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.

"Smart meter can be a game changer when it comes to planning in the electricity sector in the long run", Goyal said, emphasising the need for intelligent electricity provision in the country with smart planning.

"For many years, we planned on the basis of shortages but today we have an elbow room to plan smartly with surplus in our hand," he said.

Recalling the 2012 grid failure, Goyal called for smart provision of electricity and last mile connectivity with private sector participation.

Speaking at the inaugural of the INTELECT 2017 & DISTRIBUELEC power industry event, the minister said, "India is the world's largest market for this sector and we have billion people aspiring for better quality of life and have a nascent and latent energy demand which will expand this sector by almost four times in next 15-17 years. This is one sector where any amount of investment made has the fastest payback".

Apart from private sector participation, Goyal urged young engineers to come up with India-specific indigenous solutions.

With technology growing at a rapid pace, the minster said India needs rolling plans as plans made today might not hold relevance in next 3 years. He also envisions the transmission infrastructure and the grids going underground in future with the ministry trying to come up with solutions for problems like high voltages.

Also present at the exhibition, Sanjay Kumar Shukla, managing director, MP Power Management Company, and energy secretary of the Madhya Pradesh government, spoke about the time MP had to undergo distribution losses in the range of 50% and how today it is a 24/7 power supply state.

"We have doubled the base in the last 2 years via government schemes and a strict financial, operational and administrative functioning. We formulated our own capital expenditure of around 11 thousand crore and would remain surplus for the coming 5-6 years," he said.