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smart Grid refers to an improved electricity supply chain that runs from a major power plant all the way
inside your home. In short, there are thousands of power plants throughout the United States that
generate electricity using wind energy, nuclear energy, coal, hydro, natural gas, and a variety of other
resources.These generating stations produce electricity at a certain electrical voltage.This voltage is then
stepped-up (increased) to very high voltages, such as 500,000 volts, to increase the efficiency of power
transmission over long distances. Once this electrical power gets near your town or city, the electrical
voltage is stepped-down (decreased) in a utility substation to a lower voltage for distribution around your
town or city. As this electrical power gets closer to your home, it is stepped-down by another transformer
to the voltage you use in your home. This power enters your home through your electrical meter. The
voltage in your home is typically 110-120 volts for most appliances, but may also be 220-240 volts for an
electric range, clothes dryer, or air conditioner.
In many areas of the United States, the electricity delivery system described above is getting old and
worn out. In addition, population growth in some areas has caused the entire transmission system to be
over used and fragile. At the same time, you have probably added more electronic devices to your home,
such as computers, high-definition TVs, microwave ovens, wireless telephones, and even electronic
controls on refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers. These new appliances are more sensitive to variations
in electric voltage than old appliances, motors, and incandescent light bulbs. Unfortunately, the entire
electrical grid is becoming more fragile at the same time the appliances in your home are getting more
sensitive to electrical variations. In short, the reliability of electrical power in the United States will decline
unless we do something about it now.
Adding new transmission lines will help the utilities get more power from the power plants to your home.
However, many communities dont want new power lines in their areas. In addition, adding new capacity,
although needed, will not increase the reliability of all the old electrical equipment reaching the end of its
useful life. What is needed is a new approach that significantly increases the efficiency of the entire
electrical delivery system. This approach will not only increase reliability, but will also reduce energy in the
delivery process and thereby reduce greenhouse house emissions. We call this new approach Smart
The basic concept of Smart Grid is to add monitoring, analysis, control, and communication capabilities to
the national electrical delivery system to maximize the throughput of the system while reducing the energy
consumption. The Smart Grid will allow utilities to move electricity around the system as efficiency and
economically as possible. It will also allow the homeowner and business to useelectricity as economically
as possible. You may want to keep your house set at 75 degrees F in the summer time when prices are
low, but you may be willing to increase your thermostat to 78 degrees F if prices are high. Similarly, you
may want to dry your clothes for 5 cents per kilowatt-hour at 9:00 pm in stead of 15 cents per kilowatthour at 2:00 pm in the afternoon. You will have the choice and flexibility to manage your electrical use
while minimizing your costs.

Smart Grid builds on many of the technologies already used by electric utilities but adds communication
and control capabilities that will optimize the operation of the entire electrical grid. Smart Grid is also
positioned to take advantage of new technologies, such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, various forms
of distributed generation, solar energy, smart metering, lighting management systems, distribution
automation, and many more.


While much of the attention in the smart grid industry has been focused on the U.S. market
gotta take advantage of that close to $4 billion in smart grid stimulus funds developing
countries like India, China and Brazil are also looking to make their power grids smarter. For
these countries, some of which are experiencing rapid economic growth (translates to more
homes and buildings getting connected to the grid) there are some similar, and some very
different, reasons to make the grid smarter compared to the developed world.

China is predicted to be one of the hottest smart grid markets in the coming years given its
energy needs are expected to double in 10 years, and the countrys dominant power
distribution company, State Grid Corp., has a goal of building out a smart grid by 2020. India
might not have the same momentum, or government funds in the pipeline as China, but
Indian utilities are still looking at pilot projects and the Bangalore Electricity Supply
Company (BESCOM) is working on a smart grid pilot project. According to research from
the Bangalore-based nonprofit Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy
(CSTEP), these are five reasons why developing countries need, and want, smart grids.
Stopping Power Theft: Not such a problem in developed countries, but in India with little
oversight of the grid and higher poverty rates, power theft is quite common. Rahul
Tongia writes in his white paper for CSTEP that just basic grid accounting knowing where
the power is flowing when will be a strong driver to cut down theft. (Theft of diesel to
power off-grid cell phone stations in rural areas of developing countries is quite common,
too, see GigaOM Pros How Mobile Networks Can Cut Carbon, subscription required).
Higher Quality/Reliability of Power, Fewer Blackouts: If homes in developing countries
are connected to the grid, often times the connection is poor, and users can only access
electricity during certain times of the day. Grid load balancing and distribution automation
services,can help keep power flowing more continuously and alert utilities to blackouts
(see New Opportunities In the Smart Grid, GigaOM Pro). Utilities in the U.S. are also
making grids smarter to be able to react much more quickly to blackouts.

Leapfrog to Smart Grid: In many developing countries, power grids have not been fully
built out in Tanzania 80 percent of the population lives within 5 kilometers of a
transmission line but only 10 percent has access to electricity. But smart grid technology
can represent an opportunity for developing countries to leapfrog in the growth of their
power sector to more manageable, reliable, and scalable designs, writes Tongia. Basically
skip the older systems, and start with the newer IT-based ones. Many have speculated that
developing countries could do the same thing with renewable power.
Growth Justifies the Cost: Some developing nations like China, which will double its
energy needs in a decade, are growing at such a rapid pace that the addition of smart grid
technologies can be justified to utilities by the growth of power consumers. The hardest part
for utilities in the U.S. is making the economics of smart grids work, but in China the
addition of many new customers can help with the return on investment.
Renewable Power Needs Smart Grid: If developing countries are more successful in
adding distributed clean power than developed countries, utilities will need a smart grid to
manage problems caused by intermittency (the sun and wind only happen during certain
times of the day) and distributed power. Tongia writes that distributed clean power will
fundamentally change the design of the grid, beyond any policy or regulatory changes
distributed end-user generation entails.
What are the Smart Grid Implementation Challenges in India?

The Power Industry calls for a complete switch into the next generation
through automation. Despite monetary issues, power utilities need to begin
with basic automation systems eventually upgrading to the advanced
systems. By analyzing the growing power demand and market competence,
this is the only way-forward for the domestic power industry. The
implementation of Smart Grid is not going to be an easy task as the Indian
power sector poses a number of issues such as minimizing T&D losses,
power theft, inadequate grid infrastructure, low metering efficiency and lack
of awareness.
Power theft: Power theft has been one of the major issues in India. A few
ways to help prevent the power theft are the use of overhead lines that are
insulated and the LT overhead wires used for distribution of power could be
replaced with insulated cables in order to minimize the theft of energy
through hooking. The conventional energy meters could be replaced with
digital tamper proof meters and the use of prepaid card is yet another
solution to eradicate theft of energy.

Inadequate Grid Infrastructure: For India to continue along its path of

aggressive economic growth, it needs to build a modern, intelligent grid. It is
only with a reliable, financially secure Smart Grid that India can provide a
stable environment for investments in electric infrastructure - a prerequisite
to fixing the fundamental problems with the grid.
Low metering efficiency: The commercial losses are mainly due to low
metering efficiency, theft & pilferage. This may be eliminated by improving
metering efficiency, proper energy accounting & auditing and improved
billing & collection efficiency. Fixing of accountability of the personnel /
feeder managers may help considerably in reduction of AT&C loss.
Lack of awareness: The understanding of consumers on how power is
delivered to their homes is very minimal. Before implementing Smart Grid
concepts, they should be educated about the Smart Grids, the benefits of
Smart Grid and Smart Grids contribution to low carbon economy. Consumers
should be made aware about their energy consumption pattern at home,
office etc. Utilities need to focus on the overall capabilities of Smart Grids
rather than mere implementation of smart meters. Policy makers and
regulators must be very clear about the future prospects of Smart Grids.
The major challenge for implementing smart Grid in India is availability of
funds. Huge investments are required in order to setup a link between the
customers and the Smart Grid. The cost of setting up more plants can be
deferred drastically. At that point of time, more emphasis will be on overall
development of T&D efficiency based on demand response, load control and
many other Smart Grid technologies. With timely and detailed information
provided by Smart Grids, customers would be encouraged to avoid over use,
adopt energy-efficient building standards and invest continually in energy
efficient appliances. To tackle the Smart Grid future, we need to have
compelling Smart Grid consumer products, collaborative vendor partnerships
and a willing investment community. The policy makers and regulators have
to implement a robust incentive model frame work to attract more and more
private investments keeping the rate of return, based on the output
generated. Policy makers and regulators can mitigate this by seeking
economies of scale and implementing advanced digital technologies.
What role does IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) have for smart
grid development in India?
India is ranked as the third largest market for smart grid investments. Smart
grid is a strategic area of focus for IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA).
Through India Smart Grid Task Force, an initiative of Ministry of Power, India,
IEEE-SA have been able to create an initial momentum in this area. The India

Smart Grid Task Force is an inter ministerial group and serves as a

government focal point for activities related to Smart Grid.
To drive the smart grid development in India, IEEE-SA is dedicated to working
with industry professionals, academia and government officials. A Standards
Interest Group (SIG) for India has been formed as the first step and it
provides a platform for the Indian technical community to participate in
global standards development. As one of the world's leading standards
development organizations, IEEE-SA acts as a catalyst to bring standards
developed in India on a global scale. In addition to standards development,
IEEE-SA is focusing on creating awareness and educating about smart grid
through various workshops and panel discussions across the country. Efforts
are being made in India to create a collaborative environment which will
work towards setting global standards wherein deployment of interoperable
technologies using the Smart Grid will become a reality faster.
What are the key achievements, actions and initiatives of IEEE-SA in
IEEE-SA is actively growing its engagement in India to educate, and
promoting Smart Grid Standards interests in the country. With the formation
of Standards Interest Group (SIG) for India, IEEE-SA has successfully engaged
India and its professional technical community in global standards
development including those for the Smart Grid. Outreach programs like
Smart Grid workshops deliberating the role of standards and challenges in
the Indian context are also being conducted across cities. IEEE-SA have
conducted outreach programs to directly interact with Indian companies in
order to focus on the field of power, communications and information
technology, to solicit their interest to participate in IEEE standards projects.
Smart Grid Cyber security being a major challenge- what impact,
according to you, will Standards have on the Smart Grid Cyber
With the transition to digital electricity infrastructure comes the challenge of
communication security and data management; as digital networks are more
prone to malicious attacks from software hackers, security becomes the key
issue to be addressed. Smart Grid success depends on the successful
handling of two major IT issues, i.e security & integration and data
handling. With an increase in computers and communication networks the
threat of cyber-attack has also increased invariably. Utilities can use and
implement cyber security standards to reduce the venerability to the
consumers and provide a higher reliability that their valuable information is
being protected. Implementing cyber security measure through the use of
standards will help reduce software and implementation cost.
As it is observed, there has been certain degree of backlash and
apprehension to Smart Grid implementation in developed countries,

particularly in the USA. How do you think a country like India with
its vast diversity and political complexities should address these
IEEE-SA is closely working with groups in India, such as the engineering community including vendors, utilities, academics
to participate in the standards development and work towards implementing smart grid successfully in India. Also having the
technical participant from India provide requirement to ensure standards development groups to understand and identify any
possible gaps and address some of India technical issue. Also because of the challenges that India has, a more robust grid
will be welcomed.