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Renew | March 2016

Smart grid will benefit the common population of India

Manu Puri| Principal, Resources group, Accenture

What are the opportunities for smart grid players in India?

For consulting and IT consulting companies like us, there are a lot of opportunities on the analytics front. When smart grids are implemented, through various applications, there will be a huge amount of data that will be generated from applications like MDMS etc. This data, if not churned properly will be of no use. Organisations like ours have tremendous capability on analytics. Secondly, with smart grids coming up there will be a lot of work that is non-core to utilities, which they would want to outsource. Work like call centre of F&A data processing etc, are all not core work of the utilities and these need to be outsourced, which is where organizations like ours come in.

How the implementation of smart grid is likely to enhance the quality of power?
Smart grid is simply a well-connected grid. As part of a smarter grid, the grids will be self-healing grids, which will enable more reliable power transmission. The utilities will be able to detect outages before the user notices an outage and will be able heal the same faster. This will benefit the common population of India, as with more reliable transmission, the common public will get better power.

What will attract more demand as far as smart grid is concerned transmission, distribution or generation?
While smart grids are applicable across all three, but the demand is more on the distribution side, as changes on the distribution side will benefit the customer the most.

Is there enough encouragement for utilisation of smart grid technology in India?
Smart grid as we have known in India, was mainly concentrated on AMI solutions. That did not take off well, as it was difficult to prove the ROI.

Now the definition is changing and the new Smart Grid may come out in a new merged form with larger initiatives like smart cities etc, of which smart grid can be a part of.

When do you see demand for smart grid technology picking up?
I do not see the standalone demand picking up for smart grid in the near foreseeable future. However, it will definitely come merged with smart cities or renewable projects.

Smart grid as a concept in India is under development, how will it witness a turnaround?
We need to be innovative in provide smart grid solutions. I think it will not sell the way it has been sold till now. The turnaround will be when smart grid solutions are solutions which solve customer problems or increased revenues of the utilities.

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