Ranchi: Power officials from all over the country who gathered in Ranchi for a two-day national meet on ‘Regulatory Framework In Electricity Industry in India’ stressed that new IT initiatives like prepaid meters and relevant regulations were needed to be put in place to ensure viability and grid discipline for uninterrupted power for all.
Officials from Power System Operation Corporation (PSOC) New Delhi, Central Electricity Authority, Solar Energy Corporation of India, NTPC, IIT Kanpur, Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam Limited, Jharkhand Urja Sancharan Limited, Power Grid, National Power Training Institute, Teesta Urja, Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Authority, Eastern Region Load Despatch Centre and Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited.
The two-day meet will attempt to draw up a regulatory framework for the power sector in India, mechanisms for renewable energy generation and grid integration, smart grid policies, power demand forecasting and grid discipline. The conference is being jointly organized by National Power Training Institute, JBVNL and PSOC.
“We have electrified 30 lakh households in the last two years. Four lakh households will be electrified within the next one month. Many of these households are in remote and more difficult areas of the state. Ensuring quality power for such many households within such a short span has been a formidable task, though it is now posing serious problems in billing and revenue collection,” JBVNL managing director Rahul Purwar said. He added, “To overcome this problem, appropriate IT initiatives along with needed regulations are needed to be put in place to ensure that the power distribution company remains viable. Even people’s habits need to undergo a change.”
State energy secretary, Vandana Dadel, pointed out that consumption of power in the state, which stands at 612 kilo watt (KW) is much below that of the national average of 1,122KW. The state’s power distribution company is facing a huge financial burden which has serious repercussions. She stressed that a complete road map along with regulatory frameworks were needed to be framed to ensure that discoms remain financially viable.
Former Damodar Valley Corporation chairman R N Sen, however, suggested that introduction of prepaid smart meters is a good solution since the initiative would ensure flow of sufficient cash to the power distribution company , to help them meet coal purchase costs and run their operations.
“Another area which needs attention is the high incidence of Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses. Average AT&C losses in the country are very high around 40%. Though power distribution companies have been projecting their respective AT&C losses at around 22%, the truth is completely different,” Sen said, adding that regulations were needed to be framed to ensure viability of power distribution companies.
Even Rajendra Kumar Pandey, director general, National Power Training Institute, stressed that the Indian power scenario faces innumerable challenges and needed to be looked at again. “There are many people who have installed roof top solar power panels. These roof top solar power generators have sufficient power storage capacity and need to be categorized as power generators with license to sell their surplus power to neighboring buildings, for which special regulations need to be framed,” he added.