“We could have replaced blackouts with brown-outs,” says Sam Pitroda
Samir Sachdeva | July 31, 2012
Western media has described Monday’s failure of northern grid as the world’s worst power crisis in recent years. We will wait for another day to see what they have to say now after we achieved the feat again in less than 24 hours – this time on a much larger scale. Tuesday’s failure of northern, eastern and northeastern grids have plunged over 19 states into darkness. While in Monday’s case, the fault was identified on the Gwalior-Agra sector after many hours, Tuesday has seen no such luck as of yet. One reason cited by the officials though is that various states were overdrawing power which led the grid to trip.
While a power outage hardly bothers us or the media now, the massive scale this time around ensured its comeback on news TVs. Power grids failing in a clean direction-wise synchronisation (northern, eastern and northeastern) is news for any country by the way.
While our philanthropist prime minister went to European Union to commit a $10 billion aid to help it fight the Eurozone financial crisis, he missed a lesson in the power sector of the continent: smart grid. Had there been a smart grid, this crisis could have been easily been avoided. A smart grid would have shared the data in real-time which would have helped to instantaneously identify the fault. Smart grid would have also initiated self-healing and would have cordoned the fault line and restricted the impact of the failure. In a real-time response, it would have also identified the states overdrawing power. Although India has begun efforts to get smart grids, the pace is typically its own.
In an exclusive interview to Governance Now last month, Dr Sam Pitroda who is also the chairman of the India Smart Grid Taskforce stated, “Smart grid will ensure power availability and reliability. It will help identify faults in power supply, for rapid redressal.”
According to him, a better demand management will allow better access to power. He said, “While it may be difficult to guarantee perfect power availability, in the current context, we can at least replace blackouts with brown-outs by providing a basic threshold of power to all households, with which to run at least a few key appliances.”
Pitroda had suggested that power quality can be improved through a combination of key technologies – such as remote terminal units to monitor distribution grids, analytics and asset mapping, load balancing and SCADA.
The taskforce headed by Pitroda has made seven recommendations which are awaiting action from the government. A total of 14 pilot projects were also identified. However, the cabinet approval for financing these projects is still pending.
Governance Now on Thursday bagged the REACH Media Awards for 2017-2018 for best reporting (English category) on tuberculosis (TB) at an event co-hosted by REACH, USAID and Lilly Global Health in partnership with the Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis. Our cover story
N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday parted ways from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the centre. The official quitting of the alliance was preceded by the pulling out of two ministers out of the Narendra Modi government, a week ago. The
What is Narendra Modi’s biggest electoral success during the current term as prime minister? At first blush, most would say the Uttar Pradesh victory. That would be looking at the obvious (UP is the heart of the Hindi heartland) and at mere numbers (it has the maximum Lok Sabha seats). Yes, it was a
The killing of a seven-year-old boy at Ryan International School, Gurgaon, suddenly brought focus on violence by students in school. It was a gruesome case indeed: On September 8 last year, Barun Chandra Thakur dropped his children, including seven-year-old Pradyuman, at school around 8 am. By the time he
Like our jails, our correction centres for juvenile offenders are hardly conducive to bringing about positive change. No one will dispute the fact that an underaged criminal, especially if he or she is a first-timer, needs to be given a chance to reform, however heinous the crime. Unfortunately, society&rs
Finland has emerged as the world’s happiest country, as per the World Happiness Report 2018. The report has ranked 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. This year, the main focus of the report is on migration within and between countries.