India has set itself ambitious energy and emissions targets ahead of the Paris climate conference in December. Set against the government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign to increase manufacturing’s share of the economy and its ambition to bring 24×7 power to all by 2020, the scale of the challenge seems formidable.
One of India’s biggest power challenges at present is the state of its grid; in other words, in the distribution set-up. In the coming years, the country will not only need to generate more electricity, but also expand and upgrade the transmission and distribution network to maximise efficiency, reliability and power security. Even though India is among the fastest growing economies in the world, its per capita power consumption is below the global average.
On the national level, the integration of the five regional grids into a national grid is a step in the right direction, but their interconnections need to be strengthened. In particular, the transmission infrastructure needs to be developed to facilitate the transfer of large amounts of power often from remote renewable generation sources to rapidly urbanising consumption centres.