. As of August 2019, India is the third-largest producer and fourth-largest consumer of electricity in the world with an installed capacity of about 350 GW. This power is generated from both traditional and renewable sources.
The advent of newer models such as microgrids, the influx of renewables, and the revised target of having 227 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 has also boosted the power sector. There is a significant push towards electric vehicles as well, with the creation of smarter cities further driving the sector.
However, while installed capacity is sufficient to meet demand, not all of this is available for use. An ageing and inefficient infrastructure with high Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses (all states report losses of over 15 per cent) and lower output compounds the problem, resulting in low quality and sustainability of power for end consumers.
Smart grids are essentially electrical grids that include a variety of operational and energy measures including smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy efficient resources. These leverage developments in sensing, communication and computational technologies to improve the reliability and efficiency of the system. In addition, newer technologies and future-proof solutions such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, virtual/augmented reality, and automation are becoming integral parts.
Smart grids can be implemented in multiple phases and through multiple models. Public-Private-Partnership is the most recommended and effective engagement model, wherein both the solution provider and the utility have an equal stake in the game.