Vice President Naidu stresses on solar cities, smart grids, and EVs

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India needs to promote new and renewable energy in a big way, said Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu, adding that adequate growth in renewable energy would serve the dual purpose of achieving energy security and addressing the environmental concerns.

Speaking at GRIDTECH 2019—an international exhibition and conference organised by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited—Naidu urged experts to find out new technologies to harness renewable energy to fulfill India’s energy demands and also meet international commitment to de-carbonize the electricity generation.

“India, like some other countries, is planning to develop solar cities and I would like the urban local bodies to be in the forefront in adopting renewable energy technologies and converting their cities into renewable energy cities,” said the vice president.

Under the “Solar City” concept, the aim is to reduce the projected demand for conventional energy by 10% at the end of five years by enhancing supply from renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures.

Naidu also called for the adoption of electrical vehicles (EVs) in a big way as these have the potential to save foreign exchange on crude oil import apart from reducing carbon emissions.

Smart grids will smoothen integration

As renewable generations are intermittent and variable in nature, and also have low gestation period compared to conventional generation, the vice president said, the associated transmission and distribution system should be developed in a suitable manner to facilitate renewable integration.

Facilitating large-scale renewable energy integration with grid would require more flexible generation from conventional energy sources, grid-scale energy storage facilities, flexible transmission system and demand side management through customer participation, he stated.

Further, distribution sector is the most crucial link in the electricity supply chain.  While the government is making concerted efforts to improve the distribution sector through various programmes, the aim is to bring down aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses to the level of 15% or below, Naidu shared.

Experience of various countries worldwide has shown that emerging smart grid technologies have the potential to solve the challenges posed by the distribution sector. They can also help in better integration and distribution of large-scale renewable energy. As a matter-of-fact, several smart grid projects are being undertaken in India, he added.