New Delhi: Addressing Grid India’s employees on the occasion of the 7th Grid-India Day, Minister for Power RK Singh said that the future growth in the power sector is bound to be disruptive and Grid India, as the backbone of the power sector, should be ready for tackling those changes. He exhorted Grid India’s employees to brace for future challenges, in line with the demands of a growing economy which aims to transition to increased share of renewable energy.
“The growth up till now has been linear or sequential, but the future growth is going to be hugely disruptive. The rate at which the country is growing and the rate of transformation of power sector means that the future is going to be totally different,” said Singh. The minister said that the transition to clean energy will pose a major challenge for Grid India since it is the backbone of the power sector. The 7th Grid-India Day was celebrated on Wednesday to commemorate seven years of independent functioning of Grid Controller of India Limited as a Central Public Sector Enterprise.
Elaborating on the challenges that will come with greater integration of renewable energy (RE), the minister said that the future will witness introduction of new systems, increasing share of renewable energy and distributed renewable energy. “A lot of new systems are being introduced. Up till now, we have been able to integrate renewables, but going forward, the share of renewable capacity in total capacity will become larger and larger, posing greater challenges in integration. We are trying to reduce intermittence by adding storage to any future capacity addition to renewables. The other part of the challenge is that a lot of renewable energy is going to be distributed generation, with initiatives such as rooftop solar, thereby making consumers into prosumers. We are going to make cooking electric and electric mobility too is being promoted in a big way,” he said.
Emphasising that Grid-India will need to tackle these challenges, the minister asked the employees to think of challenges arising in the light of ambitious goals for the nation. “Think of what needs to be done if solar is to be put on every roof, think of what will happen when cooking becomes totally electric, think of the scenario when crores of (electric) vehicles need to be plugged in and plugged out,” said Singh.
Singh said that while these challenges are ones we can anticipate and prepare for, challenges in the area of cybersecurity are those which we may not be as adequately prepared as we should be. “We need to be very careful. In previous years, we were not very careful about where from we procure our systems. Now, we have introduced the system of buying from trusted vendors only. Do not allow the internet to be connected to your system. Enemies will always be there. So, cybersecurity challenges are an ever-present danger which we need to prepare for and tackle. We need to have greater capacity for testing equipment when we purchase so that we are able to spot malware,” the minister said.
Speaking of the future, the minister said that bundling of renewable energy will be a key part of the future energy systems. “Bundling of thermal power and renewable power or hydro and renewable energy is the future. Rules and regulations are meant to be changed to meet the future. While there is no doubt about the fact that we need to transition, we are going to do it in an orderly manner,” said Singh.
The Power Minister asked Grid-India officials to embrace change, professionalism and lead the nation to the promising future. “The future for India is going to be great. We have been the fastest growing economy in the world for the next 2-3 decades. We are going to be the third largest economy in 2027. Hence, I want all of you to be aware that the future is going to be a challenge for the power sector in meeting these growth needs. You need to think of the huge capacities which are being added and where they are being added. Start thinking about change. We need to be up to it.”
SR Narasimhan, CMD of Grid India, in his welcome address, said, “The history of grid operations in India dates back to 1964 when five electricity boards were constituted. RLDCs have changed ownership over the years, and now under Grid-India, even as we synchronized regional grids to form a national grid. Today, I salute all predecessors for setting up a robust electricity grid.”
The CMD said that the name change from POSOCO to Grid Controller of India has been initiated by the Power Minister in 2022 and that it has been well-received both within India and abroad. He said that Grid-India is ready to take on new responsibilities whenever envisaged. “We strive to rise to the challenge of maintaining the stability of the grid, in line with the rising and growing power demand,” he said.
The CMD pointed out that the 7-8 percent annual growth demand in power, coupled with new loads such as e-cooking, will place new challenges on capital adequacy front. “Supply chain management issues will pose a challenge. Grid-India’s capability would be in anticipating these challenges and keeping the grid secure,” he said. The CMD thanked the Power Minister for administrative interventions to ensure effective functioning of electricity markets.
During the event, the Power Minister unveiled a report titled ‘Electricity Demand Pattern Analysis,’ compiled by Grid-India. The report seeks to offer insights into the diurnal, seasonal, and annual patterns of electricity demand, providing valuable information for strategic planning by both central and state-level power agencies. The report delves into seasonal fluctuations, time-of-day variations, day-of-week trends, and regional diversity, presenting a comprehensive understanding of the intricate electricity demand patterns.
Grid India is entrusted with the crucial responsibility of ensuring the integrated operation of the electricity grid in a reliable, efficient, and secure manner. Its structure comprises five Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDCs) and the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC).