Smart Systems and Smart Grids for Effective Governance of Electricity Supply in India

  • Veena AggarwalEmail author
  • Parimita Mohanty
Part of the Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements book series (ACHS)


Despite several reform measures, the electricity sector in India is grappling with multiple challenges including significant system losses, supply shortages, demand management and integrating renewable energy into the system network. At the same time institutional arrangements and relations have also transformed and consumers are asserting their demand for improved quality and services through the regulatory process. Both utilities and policy makers see Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as an important tool in meeting growing aspirations in the electricity sector. Many state utilities have improved their interaction with consumers through IT enabled web-based systems. Some are providing billing, payment and grievance redressal facilities online. Utilities also see significant use of ICT in improving operational efficiencies, theft detection, mapping of assets, managing load, outage management, etc. Integration of all urban basic services as envisaged under a smart cities, requires collection and analysis of electricity consumption data on real-time basis. Most utilities have deployed, automated meter reading (AMR) systems, prepaid meters and time of day meters for large revenue industrial consumers. In future, advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) compatible smart meters are expected to facilitate two-way communication between utilities and consumers. A Smart Grid Vision for India has been drafted to ‘transform the Indian power sector into a secure, adaptive, sustainable and digitally enabled eco-system that provides reliable and quality energy for all with active participation of stakeholders’. With part funding from the central government, state utilities are experimenting with smart pilot projects and if successful and effective, these pilots would be rolled out in a bigger way. The Energy and Resources Institutes (TERI’s) recent initiative on making a renewable-based mini-grid smart showcases the possibility and utility of smart technologies in load management and reduced need for human intervention. The drive for smart grids and smart cities would certainly improve quality of civic life. However, it would require huge investments, resources and greater co-ordination between state level electricity providers and city governments. The investments envisaged will result in greater stress on state and city governments and ultimately on consumers. Hence, policy makers and regulators will have tread cautiously and weigh the costs and benefits of the smart initiatives in light of the equity objectives of the country.


Smart cities Smart grids ICT Electricity Smart meters Mini-Grid Renewable 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)New DelhiIndia

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