Cutting down on Transmission and Distribution lossesThis is a biggie. Seriously. Transmission and distribution losses currently amount to 34% of our electricity production (2010). According to World Bank data, here is the profile of our transmission and distribution losses over the years till 2009. [table id=6 /] To make it graphically clear: But this, gory as it looks, is not the worst of it. in 2008, the government created the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme APDRPwhich became the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme. Current data from it is really unclear. Particularly significantly, there is no overall number for Transmission and Distribution losses or Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses as it calls them, so there are gaps in information and uniformity. However, there is something very useful. They have the AT&C losses by region and utility, which is very telling. The table has data for only half the places, but it is current. I was able to find data for 415 towns. Utilities with more than 50% AT&C losses in 38 towns:
|Bhind||81.98||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Porsa||80.92||Apr10 to June10|
|Sabalgarh||78.39||Jun10 to Aug10|
|Joura||75.51||Apr10 to June10|
|Damoh||71.05||Feb10 to Apr10|
|Sironj||69.74||Apr10 to June10|
|Ambah||68.9||Apr10 to June10|
|Gohad||68.81||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Morena||68.77||Apr10 to June10|
|Karauli||67.72||Sep09 to Feb10|
|Sheopur||67.6||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Kodinar||67.55||Aug 09 to Jan 10|
|Kodinar||67.55||Aug 09 to Jan 10|
|Sarangpur||64.12||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Shivpuri||63.85||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Bari||63.23||May10 to Oct10|
|Gwalior||63.16||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Datia||61.99||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Mungeli||61.97||Jul10 to Sep10|
|Chhatarpur||60.55||Apr10 to June10|
|Dabra||60.33||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Aland||60.15||Apr10 to June10|
|Bhalki||59.85||Apr10 to June10|
|Shajapur||59.5||Nov10 to Jan11|
|Khetri||59.27||Jul10 to Dec10|
|Medak||59.09||May 11 to May 11|
|Rewa||57.62||Jan11 to Mar11|
|Narsimhapur||57.41||Feb10 to Apr10|
|Sehora||56.27||Dec09 to Feb10|
|Kaman||53.63||Sep10 to Feb11|
|Pipar City||53.19||Nov09 to Apr10|
|Khurai||52.83||Feb10 to Apr10|
|Shahabad||52.51||Apr10 to June10|
|Maihar||52.44||Feb10 to Apr10|
|Nowgaon||51.89||Nov10 to Jan11|
|Phalodi||51.19||Mar11 to Aug11|
|Jaora||50.84||Jan10 to Mar10|
|Panna||50.72||Apr10 to June10|
The official said, “They have reduced their T&D losses by wheeling high voltage current. Now we want to do the same, but there is no testing facility in the country.” At present, power is wheeled into the country at 700 KVA. Though the voltage needs to be scaled up to 1,200 KVA for reducing T&D losses, the country lacks testing facilities for such high-voltage transmission equipment. “As it would be unviable to get the high voltage transmission equipment tested abroad, we want to set up this facility here in India for which we would need South Korea’s help,” the official said. At present, the country faces 30 per cent T&D losses, and the government is making every effort to reduce it to 15 per cent. As per government estimates, T&D losses in the power sector amounted to Rs 45,000 crore for the fiscal ended March 31, 2010, and were likely to touch Rs 68,000 crore by the end of the current fiscal (2010-11).This article was 2010. Now it is 2012 and the T&D losses are 34%. What has been done? But here’s the deal, we have been able to get our AT&C losses very low in many towns too. Here are the single digit AT&C losses from the APDRP list.
|Kurnool||9.85||Jul11 to Sep11|
|Ilkal||9.61||Apr10 to June10|
|PETLAD||8.8||Nov09 to Jan10|
|Chirmiri||8.57||Feb11 to Apr11|
|Samalkot||8.49||Oct 10 to Dec 10|
|Tuni||8.07||Oct 10 to Dec 10|
|Peddapuram||7.94||Oct 10 to Dec 10|
|Kovvur||7.4||Jun11 to Aug11|
|Bhiwadi||6.97||Sep10 to Feb11|
|Anakapalle||5.75||Oct 10 to Dec 10|
|Salur||5.72||Oct 10 to Dec 10|
|Pithampur||4.53||Nov10 to Jan11|
Smart Grid in IndiaA smart grid is a two way communication between the producer and consumer of electricity allowing for intelligent supply of electricity based on needs. A smart grid also provides some capacity for storage, thus blunting outages. India has been hot on the pursuit of smart grids too. The India Smart Grid Task Force is a collaboration between ministries to enhance all aspects of smart grids in India. It also has five working groups focusing on:
- WG1 – Trials/Pilot on new technologies.
- WG2 – Loss reduction and theft, data gathering and analysis.
- WG3 – Power to rural areas and reliability & quality of power to urban areas.
- WG4 – Dist Generation & renewable.
- WG5 – Physical cyber security, Standards and Spectrum.
Improving Electricity StorageWhile much research has gone into producing energy, the fact is that the energy requirements are not constant throughout the day. Combining Smart Grids with efficient storage, surplus electricity can be stored and released back to the grid in times of high demand. This is an area that will become important in the future, because as the role of renewable energy increases, making efficient use of the energy produced will require ways of balancing out excess production and low production from the fluctuations in natural resources. This is less of a problem with thermal or nuclear energy, though it still is important with them, because even if production is stable, demand fluctuates. Siemens has come up with electrolyzer plants as a way of managing this more efficiently than existing solutions. The idea is to divert excess electricity production to the plant, which would use it to generate hydrogen gas from electrolysis of water and store the gas to be used to power gas driven thermal plants during times of low production or increased demand. Something like this could also be incentivized to the consumer. With smart grids, it may be possible to identify times of low demand when the cost of electricity can be cheaper, and homes can charge inverters at such times to minimize cost of using more expensive electricity during load. This opens the possibility of devices that can be smart – refrigerators that do most of their cooling and store some energy for intermittent cooling at programmed times or possibly directly communicating with the grid? Home electricity managing inverters that can help you save on your electricity bills? But this is way into the future. Taking a leaf out of something Bangalore did recently (more on that in the article on solar power), it may be possible to offer routine inspections and efficiency certificates for household wiring and devices that translate into reward discounts in the bill in addition to the lowered costs from the efficiency? Clearly there is much potential to transform our rather inefficient use of the electricity we do have.
Founder at Aam Janata
Vidyut has a keen interest in mass psychology and using it as a lens to understand contemporary politics, social inequality and other dynamics of power within the country. She is also into Linux and internet applications and servers and has sees technology as an important area India lacks security in.
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