Smart Metering Infrastructure | UPSC
How smart metering infrastructure can help distressed power sector
WHY IN NEWS:
AT&C losses are major contributors to overall power losses in the sector.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Energy : Electricity
After reading this article you will be able to answer :
- What is a Smart Grid ?
- National action Plan .
- How can smart metering reduce Attenuation and transmission losses ?
- A comprehensive plan to implement the same .
NEED FOR SMART METERING INFRASTRUCTURE
- Electricity demand is expected to nearly double by 2030.
- The reliance on postal services in sending bills to customers, delayed payments, and collecting tariffs from inaccessible geographical locations has prompted a need to look for an alternative.
- AT&C losses are major contributors to overall power losses in the sector.
- As a result, distribution utilities lose almost 72 paise per unit of electricity they purchase.
- The losses are currently pegged at 20 per cent.
- India is also transforming its energy mix by installing more non-fossil fuel-based energy generation technologies.
WHAT IS A SMART GRID
- Smart grids include various energy measures such as smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy efficient resources.
FEATURES OF SMART GRID
- More efficient transmission of electricity
- Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
- Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers
- Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
- Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems
- Improved security
- Smart grids are entrusted to both integrate renewable energy and reduce AT&C losses.
- The smart-grids are digitally augmented electricity grids .
- It is automated and used to manage the increasing intricacies on the supply as well as the demand side.
- Advanced Smart Metering Infrastructure (AMI) provides a reliable and effective solution for most of these drivers.
- Smart meters can be used for checking data entry errors and cutting costs of manual metering.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ESTABLISHING AMI IS TO ENABLE
- Two-way communications with customers
- Remote meter reading for error-free data
- Identifying network problems
- Load profiling, energy audit
- Partial load curtailment in place of load shedding.
- High upfront cost of advance metering infrastructure projects.
- Establishing a strong business case for smart meter investments
- Another hurdle in smart metering is software integration with the new system.
SMART METERING PROGRAMME
- The Union government has targeted to install smart electricity meters in all households across the country within three years.
- The MoP National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM), has developed an IT-enabled tool for analysing the investments and returns of any project.
- Legacy regulations shall accommodate more technological solutions to ease the doing of business of smart metering.
- Unlike regular metering, it enhances consumer satisfaction through better complaint management, system stability, reliability and transparency.
- Moreover, from the utility’s perspective, the major driver for pushing towards smart meters is the reduction in AT&C loss.
- The Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP) by EESL aims to replace 25 crore conventional meters with smart meters in India and are at various stages of implementation.
- The total project cost would be around 1500 billion.
- The project will include the direct cost of purchase, and hand-holding over 10 years
- Smart meters have been in existence around the world for a long time. However, India lags behind.
- The onset of smart meters would solve some of the power sector’s problems.
Communication with the consumers and addressing the knowledge gaps about the importance of smart meters is crucial.