Energetica India


“Transformation of Utilities”, World Utility Summit, Elecrama 2018

Energetica India

“India has one of the fastest growing energy markets and we will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Electricity will play a larger role in the future energy chain in India as we will move towards more self-reliance and lower carbonization”

Conventional definition of utility is “a firm that owns and/or operates facilities used for generation and transmission or distribution of electricity, gas, or water to general public”.

However, with more and more penetration of the renewable energy into the grid, utilities are embracing the smart grid technologies, internet of things (IoT) and usage of real time data to enhance the performance and structure of future Utilities. The rise of the digital technology and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) are also key focus of the future utilities, which are bringing the much needed transparency in the system resulting in better consumer engagement. With the help of digital technology, there is lot more convergence of activities of different types of industries and Utilities are more focused on convergence of technology and services.

World Utility Summit™ (WUS) is a pioneering thought leadership forum, which attempts to set the agenda for the future, actively playing the role of a key enabler for the eco-system and to develop optimal solutions, technology & products. World Utility Summit™ is attended by CXOs and senior management team members of utilities, energy efficiency bodies, standards organizations, regulators, finance professionals and policy makers from around the world. This event was co-located with Elecrama 2018.

ELECRAMA is the flagship showcase of the Indian Electrical Industry ecosystem and the largest congregation of power sector ecosystem in the geography.ELECRAMA brings together the complete spectrum of solutions that powers the planet. Featuring not just equipment &technology, but peerless thought leadership platforms for everything electric – from technical conferences to industry summits.

WUS-2018 was spread over three days from 11th to 13th March, 2018 and provided common ground for electricity, water and gas utility personnel to discuss with Industries, Consultants, Service Providers, Researchers and Regulators and re-define the “Utility of Utilities” in the changing business environment.

The summit focused on the following topics:

  • Empowering electricity, water and food security
  • Harmonizing the regulatory frame work for utilities
  • Racing with technologies
  • Impact of environmental regulation on Utility
  • Convergence of Utility business
  • Transportation electrification, storage and renewable energy integration nexus

Energetica India catches up with Mr VikramGandotra , General Manager (Marketing &Strategy) EA, Siemens Ltd to learn more about the challenges utilities face today globally  and his views on how Indian electricity ecosystem will change in the long term future.

Mr VikramGandotra served as theConvenor – World Utility Summit 2018, India

Energetica India: Please share the challenges that utilities are facing these days?

V.Gandotra:The utilities today face challenges from all sides. On one side are their customers who aspire excellent reliability of supply with minimal outages, economic supply prices and full engagement with respect to their consumption and availability of supply. Regulators define the framework within which the utility must operate their assets and systems and regulate the tariffs. Then there are huge financial losses that several DISCOMs are burdened with as a result of several factors, T&D losses being one of them. The network and equipment of most utilities are old and needs to be modernized, more visibility of the real time situation and ability to control the network is required. With the new dynamics of renewable energy pricing there is a difficult situation with respect to long term purchase agreements.

The utilities also face the challenge that their highest paying customers could also go out of their networks by either having their own generation (e.g. rooftop) or purchase through open market transactions.  On top of all these issues the most important challenge that utilities face are workforce related - to have a motivated and trained team with the right skills needed to manage modern digital equipment and a stable strong management team.   

Energetica India:What is your view about the evolution of the energy sector & how is the future energy world shaping?

V.Gandotra:We are seeing more and more of electrification in the energy chain. As we all have committed towards lowering the carbon emissions we will shift from fossils to cleaner energy sources.  We are seeing these new dimensions in the energy sector both in the source side ( with renewables playing an increasingly major role) and consumption side ( with new types of loads like EVs, more gains seen with energy efficient technology and demand response), added with new elements like storage. This will lead to greater innovation in new technology and also newer business models. The sector will be very exciting and dynamic.

Energetica India:What is your vision for the future of the energy system in India?

V.Gandotra:India has one of the fastest growing energy markets and we will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Electricity will play a larger role in the future energy chain in India as we will move towards more self-reliance and lower carbonization. With the expected deregulation we will see a role for newer players like intermediaries for services. With the advent of renewables we will also see newer ancillary markets and players for providing stability to grid. To serve empowered consumers the utilities will need to revamp their networks with modern technologies and also leaner management structures. Domestic R&D, product development and manufacturing will play a very important role in the future.

| Article published on 12/06/2018 by Moulin

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