Interview

Rural Electrification Corporation: Powering India

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www.recindia.nic.in

“ERP is playing a major role by improving the internal infrastructure to increase the efficiency resulting in consumer satisfaction. The REC financed projects are monitored by the ERP solutions. It helps in making the solutions and the strategies available to all resulting in the faster decision making. For its own growth and sustainability and to live up to the status of the premier company, REC will venture for diversification in the power sectors in the years to come.”

With the grids being integrated, the faults will be automatically known and then can be rectified accordingly. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is also aimed at bringing better transparency, better quality of distribution and transmission and for allowing people to contribute or express their views, thereby participating in the progress in this area.

REC aims to facilitate electricity for accelerated growth and for enrichment of quality of life of rural and semi-urban population. What is the strategy adopted to achieve this vision?

Rural Electrifi cation Corporation Ltd. (REC), a premier fi nancial institution in Power Sector under the aegis of Ministry of Power is implementing the fl agship programme of Government of India viz, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY). The programme aims to provide electricity to all the villages in the country as also to provide ‘electricity to all’ by 2012. Supplementing the above programme, REC is also fi nancing for electricity Transmission, Distribution and Generation projects. In far fl ung and remote areas where conventional grid is not possible, REC is fi nancing Decentralised Distributed Generation (DDG) schemes as well. Various agencies engaged in providing 100% electrifi cation programme have been allocated with specifi c areas, strategies and targets and are monitored at various levels periodically and issues redressed.

What are the causes for high level of
energy losses. What in your opinion is required to make the power sector fi nancially viable and self sustaining?

Presently, the Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses (AT & C) in the country is around 35% and the target is to bring it down to 15% by the end of the current fi ve year plan. In order to reduce the losses, the automation of the grids at the higher/macro level is initiated along with the integration of the system. Another major step taken by REC is fi nancing for up-gradation / modernisation of old transformers for its full utilisation and optimisation, bringing in uniformity in the distribution of power. With the up gradation of the transformers, 2-3% of the losses can be pre-emptied. REC has been playing signifi cant role in fi nancing all such type of projects.

The current Five Year Plan is focused on the capacity power generation. In the previous fi ve year plan, the target for total additional power generation was 40,000 MW, out of which only 21,000 MW power could have been generated. The capacity is targeted to be augmented by additional 78000 MW during the current fi ve year plan. For this purpose, all states are coming up with the new power projects. Many new private players have also joined in for the additional capacity of power generation and distribution. Similar capacity addition is likely to take place in future also to meet the demands of the present sustainable growth rate.

To make the power sector self sustainable, there are two major opportunities: one is the additional capacity power generation and other is the consolidation of the existing one.

How could ICT help in shaping the
power distribution reforms in India?

For the reforms in the power sector, grid automation and distribution is very important as it plays a major role. For this purpose, regional grids have also been set up by the government at the higher, the macro level which has been integrated with the hooter. To bring in reforms in the power sector, talks are also on with the other countries, Bangladesh being one of them for the integration of the power sector in the country. Power fl ows from the higher level, from where it comes to the distribution level and then ultimately it reaches the consumer.

Another major part of reforms in the power sector would be the distribution of power will be regulated by a meter and the bills will be generated automatically. With the grids being integrated, the faults will be automatically known and then can be rectifi ed accordingly. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is also aimed at bringing better transparency, better quality of distribution and transmission and for allowing people to contribute or express their views, thereby participating in the progress in this area.

In short, reducing the losses including AT & C losses can be achieved by use of ICT like smart metering, modernisation of transformer, computerised billing system, integration of grids and optimisation of the distribution of power at the national as well as cross border level.

What are some of the challenges of ICT adoption in power sector?

The major challenge faced is extending the services up to the consumer level, which is a mammoth task in itself, since the main problem faced is the ignorance of the consumers. As per the international standards the services have to be stabilised, which needs to evolve for further benefi ts not only in India but all around the world.

Tell us about ERP implementation in REC?

ERP is playing a major role by improving the internal infrastructure to increase the effi ciency resulting in consumer satisfaction. The REC fi nanced projects are monitored by the ERP solutions. It helps in making the solutions and the strategies available to all resulting in the faster decision

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