Being a country vast in size, India faces a lot of challenges. And the foremost challenge is to ensure that the country’s economy continues to grow. However, the economic growth largely depends on the energy supply. And when the country faces energy deficit, it affects its GDP. In this context, ICT is truly an enabler for the energy sector, including power and utilities and oil and gas in India. If appropriate and pragmatic ICT investments are made, most of the problems in this sector can be contained. In this regard, Dataquest takes a note of the current condition in the power and utilities and oil and gas space and how ICT can solve most of the problems.
POWER AND UTILITIES
Power and utilities companies globally face the triple challenge of improving environmental performance, keeping consumers’ costs down, and maintaining system reliability. These challenges more or less exist in the similar form in India. ICT in the power distribution sector is perceived as an enabler in delivering electricity from suppliers to end-consumers and enables energy saving, cost reduction, and increased reliability and transparency. ICT can help these companies judiciously utilize their resources and improve productivity. However, it requires them to invest in solutions that can really work for them. At the same time, the sector offers business opportunity to the IT players which have solutions designed mainly for the power and energy sector.
There are several challenges in the existing power distribution system, but there are many IT-enabled solutions which can tackle these problems. These solutions enable these companies to monitor and control every kWh of power flowing through the system. Such a distribution system seamlessly interfaces with consumer equipment to signal pricing and grid stability conditions.
Challenges are Opportunities
According to a study, over 400 mn people in India lack basic access to electricity, requiring additional power generating infrastructure. Peak demand shortage and average energy shortage runs in double digit. Total aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) loss stands up to 27.15%. Depleting energy resources, enhancing access to energy, and ensuring energy-security are the major challenges facing the Indian power sector. Imagine, if this loss is prevented, it can light millions of homes in India. The ICT solution providers for the energy sector have a great chance to solve these problems and make money. ICT can lead to improvements in the efficiency, reliability and flexibility of all the sub-sectors viz. generation, transmission, distribution, including the activities of power exchanges.
The generation and transmission sub-sectors have seen significant penetration of ICT and is progressing further depending on the need. However, in the distribution sub-sector, which is presently the weakest link in the power supply chain, ICT interventions are taking place at a very slow pace. At the same time, cost-effective ICT interventions in distribution sub-sector can go a long way in improving the operational and financial performance of the entire power sector.
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August 31, 2015