Arun Mahesh Babu


The development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) is poised for significant growth and evolution in the coming years. Key factors driving this development include technological advancements, supportive government policies, and increasing consumer demand for electric vehicles, shared Arun Mahesh Babu, Managing Director, Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd., in an exclusive interaction with Hemangini Kanth Rajput of Elets News Network (ENN).

How do you see the role of energy storage in the future of the grid?

Energy storage is critical for grid stability and enabling greater renewable energy integration. We’re investing in battery technology to optimise energy distribution and reduce losses. Energy storage allows excess renewable energy to be captured, reducing greenhouse gas emissions that would have been produced by conventional fossil fuel-fired backup generation. Storage helps maintain the balance of electricity systems despite fluctuations in wind and solar power availability, enabling cost-effective deep decarbonisation without compromising reliability.

What initiatives has UGVCL taken to promote grid-scale energy storage?

We’ve implemented battery energy storage systems (BESS) through Gujarat Power Corporation Limited at Modhera, Gujarat, which marks a significant step towards enhancing energy efficiency and grid stability. BESS technology allows for storing excess energy generated during periods of low demand, which can be released during peak demand times, thereby balancing supply and demand more effectively. This capability is particularly beneficial for integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, which are abundant in Gujarat but inherently intermittent. By implementing BESS, GPCL can mitigate the variability of renewable energy, reduce reliance on conventional power plants, and enhance the overall reliability of the power grid.

Adopting Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in Modhera town, Gujarat, represents a pioneering initiative in India’s energy landscape. Modhera, known for its historical Sun Temple, is transforming into a model for renewable energy use and sustainability. The BESS installation in Modhera enables the town to store excess energy generated from solar power during the day, ensuring a stable and reliable power supply even after sunset. This system enhances the integration of renewable energy by addressing the intermittency issues associated with solar power, thus providing continuous, 24/7 clean energy to the residents. By adopting BESS, Modhera has become a sustainable, energy-efficient town, paving the way for broader adoption of such technologies across the country.

How do you envision developing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles?

The development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) is poised for significant growth and evolution in the coming years. Key factors driving this development include technological advancements, supportive government policies, and increasing consumer demand for electric vehicles.

Also Read:- Gujarat is Actively Exploring and Prioritizing Renewable Energy Sources

We anticipate a robust expansion of charging networks across urban centres and key highways, catering to various charging speeds and types to meet the diverse needs of EV owners. Integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar power, will play a pivotal role, aligning with the state’s ambitious renewable energy targets and promoting sustainable transportation solutions. Smart charging technologies will optimise energy usage, leveraging Gujarat’s strengths in digital infrastructure and AI to manage grid demand effectively. Government policies incentivising infrastructure investments and mandating EV-friendly urban planning will accelerate deployment, ensuring convenient access to charging facilities in residential areas, commercial hubs, and public spaces. This holistic approach supports clean mobility goals and positions Gujarat at the forefront of India’s transition towards a greener and more energy-efficient transportation ecosystem.

How do you see solar EV charging points contributing to a sustainable energy future?

Solar EV charging points are crucial for reducing carbon emissions and promoting clean energy. They offer long-term cost savings through free solar energy post-installation and can be deployed flexibly in various locations, including remote areas. Additionally, they drive the broader adoption of renewable energy technologies, spurring innovation and supporting global green mobility initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate goals.

Integrating solar power with EV charging supports the adoption of renewable energy sources, enhances grid stability by alleviating stress during peak demand, and provides scalable and flexible solutions suitable for various locations. Additionally, they increase resilience during power outages and promote environmental stewardship, paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable energy ecosystem.

What message do you have for the industry regarding the future of energy distribution?

The future of energy distribution lies in embracing disruptive technologies like energy storage, EV charging infrastructure, and renewable energy integration. The industry must prioritise innovation and sustainability by integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, into the grid more effectively. Collaboration and innovation are essential for a sustainable energy future. Digitalisation, through advanced data analytics, IoT, and AI, is revolutionising energy distribution by optimising grid operations, predicting maintenance needs, and managing demand more efficiently. A customer-centric approach, providing consumers with real-time energy usage data, dynamic pricing, and personalised energy solutions, will enhance engagement and satisfaction.

 

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