With a demand supply gap of 66 billion units and peak shortage of 16,000 MW, it is estimated that India needs to add nearly 80,000 MW of power generation capacity (to the existing 140,000 MW in 2007-08) by year 2012. This expansion is estimated to entail investments to the tune of $258 billion in the power sector. So what is the way forward? If we look at the dynamic global platform for inspiration, the newly appointed US president Barack Obama seems to show the way forward. President Obama’s strategy to invest $11 billion to create smarter electrical grids is a progressive move which shows that in order for power sector to become viable and sustainable what is required is not only reforms but IT oriented reforms. Indian government too sensing the hourly need has initiated reforms in power sector around two broad themes i.e. privatising the state-owned distribution utilities, and funding IT-enabled measurement of the transmission and distribution losses and it’s reduction initiatives at utilities that continue to be state-owned.
The global Information Technology (IT) market for the power distribution sector provides a wide range of technologies and solutions. These solutions address the entire business value chain in power distribution– from setting up distribution network and service connection to distribution load management, delivery of power and customer services. IT has the potential to contribute signifi cantly in the power reforms process, particularly in the areas of business process automation, revenue and commercial management, distribution system automation, consumer relationship management (CRM) and ATC loss reduction. Moreover in the wake of the Indian Electricity Act 2003, the complexity and challenges of the power sector have increased manifold. The Act invokes the philosophy of liberalisation, competition and commercial motive for business survival. This makes the process of balancing the commercial objectives vis-à-vis the social concerns even more challenging.
In this June issue of egov magazine we endeavor to highlight the role played by ICTs in the reformative movements within the power sector. Through articles like ‘Technology to Enable Power Sector Reforms’ and ‘Role of IT in Power-Sector Reforms’ we have tried to enrich our readers with the current development and the way forward in the power sector in India. Also, in this issue we present you the outcome of discussions in two conferences which we had conducted under our knowledge exchange series. Apart from this, we also bring to you studies and success stories on the increasing signifi cance of ICT in various facets of governance like rural banking, general elections and G2C service delivery systems etc.
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