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  • Sustained economic growth and burgeoning energy demand continue to drive the expansion of the country's power sector. An investment of around Rs 2.6 trillion is required in the transmission sector alone to meet the future peak load, which is expected to reach 234 GW by 2021-22.

  • A significant portion of the future investment will be for the expansion of physical grid infrastructure. The private sector is expected to play an important role in achieving the country's grid expansion targets as competitive bidding gains momentum at both the interstate and intrastate levels. The competitive bidding process for interstate projects has resulted in the discovery of low tariffs and the faster execution of projects. State utilities are also looking to offer projects through the competitive bidding route.

  • Grid expansion over the next few years will be be driven by the government's ambitious plan to scale up renewable energy to 175 GW by 2022. To develop associated power evacuation infrastructure, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid) along with state utilities is implementing the Green Energy Corridor project to connect 55 GW of new solar and wind capacity.

  • A key challenge in rolling out a robust transmission infrastructure is financing. While Powergrid and state utilities continue to receive support from the government and multi-lateral donor institutions to execute their grid expansion plans, private developers are experimenting with innovative financing models such as InvITs. Recently, IREDA announced its plans to extend loan to transmission projects.

  • The sector is expected to immensely benefit from major policy and regulatory reforms such as amendments to the Electricity Act and the Tariff Policy. Initiatives like Make in India and the directive to allow Powergrid to utilise its transmission assets for telecommunication purposes auger well for public and private developers, as well as domestic manufacturers.

  • The creation of a regional power market is expected to help unlock the electricity trade potential in the region and optimise energy costs by sharing resources. Several cross-border projects are already under way or being finalised in this regard. These links are part of the country's larger plan of creating an integrated SAARC power market.

  • Going forward, there will be a greater focus on cybersecurity as the adoption of smart technology picks up pace. Several regulatory and policy measures are already in place to address the issue of cybersecurity in the sector. These include the National Cyber Security Policy and regulations for communication systems for transmission. Further, the increasing energy storage capacity and large-scale electric vehicle (EV) deployment are expected to alter the demand-supply patterns and the grid must also be prepared to manage these changes effectively.

  • Utilities are also expected to invest significant sums in new technologies to make grids more reliable, resilient, secure and smart. This translates into greater opportunities for high voltage transmission systems, innovative tower designs, substation automation, high voltage transformers and superconductors. While Powergrid has taken the lead in many of these areas, other transmission companies are expected to follow suit.

  • The mission of this conference is to discuss the trends and developments and highlight the future plans and opportunities in the Indian power transmission sector. The conference will highlight some of the new and emerging challenges in the sector, and the possible solutions and strategies to address these. The conference will also showcase relevant technologies and noteworthy projects.
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