Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Power crisis hits N, NE India .. Need for Smartgrids ..

Huge power failure has again gripped over parts of N India and NE India from noon today, 31 July 2012. Metro has stopped and about 500 trains are stopped on the tracks as signal systems have crashed. Worst case in 11 years .. 600 million Indians without power. 

Commuters wait for buses outside a station after Delhi Metro services were disrupted following a power outage in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Waiting for buses and trains ..

VIPs and VVIPs are spared .. !!

International airport was spared, though all other systems suffered.


It brings to the forefront importance of proper energy management and finding alternate sources of power generation .. .. Overdrawing power from the grid by farmers in North India due to water shortage has led to the collapse is what we get the reasons from authoritative sources as reported in newspapers. ..

Former power secretary giving his comments .. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Blackout-in-20-states-should-lead-to-power-sector-reforms/articleshow/15317995.cms

The reasons on first analysis according to me are
1. power mismanagement by the states, resulting in overdrawal from the grid and low frequency of transmission
2. vagaries of a fluctuating rainfall causing North India farmers to work their water pumps more
3. More stress on building new energy generation plants than proper efficient utlisation of the existing ones
4. high ratio of transmission losses / pilferage losses in the system, due to poor monitoring and discipline
5. lopsided tariff scheme offering free power to farmers, with an eye on votes ..
6. improper / ineffective penalty to erring states

It is said a 9% shortage between demand and supply of power is annually shaving off 1.2% of GDP growth. (Washington Post 31 July 2012 http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-M7YDKA0YHQ0X01-79TK1GQCDQF2C5AQ5A383U7GQR)

The need for the Indian PM to think seriously on the proposed $400 billion investment ( as highlighted by Washington Post) to strengthen the energy infrastructure in the country, given that the GDP growth has slipped to 5.9 % now, brings to light the excellent business opportunities for Infrastructure firms to open shop in India. 

Can our Dilli and Assam friends comment on the state there ?? With summer at peak, what to say ?? We have a booming low capacity captive power generation industry in the country, which thrives on incompetent power management and power sector investment policies in the country.

Smart grids which can monitor online the generation, transmission, distribution of energy and its final consumption to efficiently plan for usage, is the need of the hour.


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