Interaction Meeting of India Smart Grids R&D Platform (ISGP)

Experts discussed and reviewed the status of smart grid infrastructure and technology in the country at the 5th Interaction meeting on Smart Grid organized by the Department of Science & Technology, (DST) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi on 22nd  July 2019.The meeting brought together 40 experts (15 of them joined through web) working in the area of Smart Grids including academia, utilities, industries etc. from all over the nation.

The main agenda of this meeting was to present the outcomes of six smart grids R&D tasks (Program of Work) discussed during the 5th MI IC1 Workshop held in Vancouver from 29th to 31st May, 2019 and, analyse Smart Grids Country Report - 2019. Experts deliberated the strength and best practices of the smart grids in 16 countries and European Union (Mission Innovation Challenge 1 member countries) showcased in Smart Grid Country Report 2019. The discussion further identified key areas in smart grids in reference to the Indian context.

Smart grid implementation involves a series of actions, which starts with innovation in technology to address the interfacing issues related to renewable energy sources, implementing models and studying various shortcomings related to the different sub systems such as energy storage, on/off grid operations, integration of large amount of decentralized renewable power in distribution networks and developing technologies at the level of consumers for demand side management (demand response). All of this can be possibly accomplished efficiently with grid connected battery-based energy storage system (BESS).

The experts estimate that BESS installations would grow from 6 GW to 15 GW by 2023 with Li-ion – the primary battery technology platform for grid scale application. Experts discussed the strategy for the most appropriate grid-scale energy storage technology to integrate 160 gigawatts (GW) of intermittent solar and wind power by 2022. In conjunction with this, India is also planning to potentially connect millions of electric vehicles to the grid by 2030 and bring more discipline to grid operations. Also need of the distribution system operator (DSO) for Indian scenario was well accepted and the team agreed to strive to develop a DSO as per the Indian requirement.

After the discussion Dr. Sanjay Bajpai, Head, Technology Missions Division (Energy, Water & all Other), DST suggested the importance of bilateral and multi-lateral collaboration with the countries which are pioneer in above mentioned smart grid technologies.  He emphasized on the collaboration based on the mapping of complementary expertise which could span a wide range of R&D, Test Bed and solutions.He urged the group to conduct a detailed study of identified smart grid technologies and prepare a five-year action plan to enable R&D led development of future smart grids powered by large scale renewable energy sources.

The meeting concluded with vote of thanks to the chair.