Interview (M V S Vijay Kumar)

M V S Vijay Kumar,
Director at Global Energy Consulting Engineers

“What trends do you foresee in 2019 in the Indian Energy management space?”

Energy is one of the key enablers for India’s economic development, given we’re one the world’s fastest growing major economies and with India being the third largest energy consumer in the world. According to International Energy Agency (IEA), India’s aggregate energy consumption will more than double by 2040.

Providing access to clean, affordable energy is essential to India’s sustained accelerated growth. The year gone by saw some major milestones and I believe the quest for cleaner energy will further accelerate in 2019 as India veers towards more sustainable energy measures. On the energy conservation front, the Indian government has launched an ambitious programme of distributing millions of LED bulbs across the country, paving the way for reduced power consumption in many households and making power more affordable.

Additionally, the policy on electric vehicles (EVs) charging infrastructure will also allow individuals to establish charging stations for commercial use. Roof top solar panels, Green Transmission Corridors etc. are going to see more adoption.

“How important is cloud for energy management players?”

At the outset, cloud offers tremendous benefits to utilities on the IT infrastructure side, minimizing the need for capital investment for establishment of servers, operating systems, manpower allocation, database and elasticity. While some utilities are still hesitant to make a full-fledged move to the cloud, because of data security concerns, many acknowledge that it’s impending - more a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. In my view, cloud presents a great opportunity to Indian utility companies to transform into smarter, modern entities – because cloud is the bedrock of innovation and the foundation for emerging technologies like AI/ML, IoT, chatbots, blockchain etc.

“How are emerging technologies such as AI/ML, blockchain, IoT and the like transforming energy management in India?”

Emerging technologies such as AI/ML, blockchain, IoT, chatbots are transforming almost every industry and play a pivotal role in how businesses operate today. These technologies unlock opportunities far beyond our purview today and are an important part of energy management in the future, in India as well as in other countries.

Adoption of IoT in India in our sector has been faster, and utilities have already started adopting this technology by placing AMR, Smart meters and SCADA etc. IoT is transforming the energy management in many different ways, key ones including:

•Asset performance management and asset health monitoring: better visibility, real-time tracking means lesser downtime and disruptions, leading to higher productivity
•Operational optimization and aggregation: real-time supply and demand platform, real-time network controls through connected & inter-operable devices
•Comprehensive customer services: rising demand for flexible, cleaner and cheaper solutions. Smart energy management services to soon become table stakes

Blockchain will help the utilities in transactional security and reliability in areas like bill payment, solar renewable energy certificates, e-charging infrastructure. We expect that in future, all electricity meters could be fitted with blockchain nodes, making them capable of plugging into a single power exchange to directly exchange electricity between themselves.

“Please share more details on GECE with Energetica India readers”

Global Energy Consulting Engineers, India (GECE), is an indigenously developed software solutions provider serving the needs of power distribution sector end to end. Global Energy Consumer limited, is the first company in India to get OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) certification for GIS software "POWERGIS". Another software, used for network analysis - "POWERNET", the results offered by it complies with the IEEE standards.

Our journey so far has been very rewarding as we have been able to expand our reach in majority of the states in India; Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan in South Asia, Ethiopia and Tanzania in East Africa, Nigeria and Ghana in West Africa, Oman in Middle East. There is still a lot of opportunities in Africa, Central Asia, and Middle East apart from South Asia and we are working towards it.

“What cloud solutions from Oracle are you using? What are some of the business benefits you’ve achieved?”

Oracle is a strategic technology partner and we’ve been associated with them for a number of years. We use Oracle Cloud DbaaS (Database as a Service) and Oracle Spatial Database, which we believe is very unique in the industry.

Global Energy Consulting Engineers, India (GECE) provides Cloud Services for Smart Distribution Management System (SDMS). It gives customers an opportunity to accelerate speed and performance of marketing software and allows the option of trial run within hours if they have the required data and good internet connection. Oracle’s modern, enterprise-grade next generation cloud has enabled us to offer our customers the option of “pay as you go” model. Our solutions running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offer the most cost-effective solution for any utility not only in India but across the globe.

Interview 29/04/2019 by Moulin
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