Smart grids and meters can prevent blackouts, says expert

August 30th, 2012 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, August 30 (IANS) India needs smart grids that can prevent recurrences like the worst power blackout last month, a senior power expert said Thursday.

“We need efficient command and control structures because we’ve integrated all our grids, except the southern one. Soon we’ll have a fully integrated national grid handling around 200,000 MW power at high voltage and we absolutely cannot have another blackout,” former power secretary Anil Razdan said here at a conference on the power industry.

A smart grid with components that can quickly isolate problematic points on the grid before it affects larger areas - called islanding - is the technical command and control solution suggested by Razdan.

“Installing smart meters is the way ahead. You are connecting all (through the national grid), so inefficiency, greed (for power) can easily bring on a grid collapse,” he said.

“Smart meters can control and isolate rogue elements,” Razdan said.

Europe had a huge campaign for smart meters, Razdan informed the conference and said that “India is projected to have a demand of 130 million smart meters by 2020.”

Razdan said that the way ahead to meaningful reforms in the power sector is to consider the consumer as the “fourth element” in the power structure, that has been ignored before.

“Till now the three elements in power have been production, transmission and distribution. Innovations like smart grids and meters for optimising on installed capacity will bring the consumer in as the fourth element,” said Razdan.

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