SMART GRID: KEY TO A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE
IN BETWEEN Power Tariff Reforms: Need of the Hour Lalit Jalan
Managing the Load: Integrated Demand Response By Jeff Meyers, PE, Smart Grid Strategy and Development, Telvent
Smart Transmission Grid:Vision and Framework By Dr.L. Ashok Kumar
Experimental smart outlet brings flexibility, resiliency to grid architecture By Staff Writer VIEW POINT: INDIA is obviously expensive and can never be low-cost country for Solar Photo-Voltaics (SPV) -By Praveen Kumar Kulkarni Integrated strategy to accelerate adoption of Renewable Energy sources by consumer communities in India By Swaminathan Mani and Dr. Tarun Dhingra Cloud as IT Strategy For Power Sector By Abhishek Anand and Dr. Devendra Kumar Punia Why Smart Grids are Important to Renewable Energy Sources? By Ramanathan Menon
SMART GRID: A key element in achieving a sustainable energy system By Staff Writer Issues of sustainability of buildings in post Durban period worldwide By Tara Prasad Dhal Coal Power: Pollution, politics, and profits By Kyle Laskowski
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Power Tariff Reforms: Need of the Hour
“One of the biggest challenges for the power sector in India is to find urgent solutions to the dismal financial health of distribution utilities” One of the strongest and starkest realisations for all stakeholders in our country's economic development is about the drastic reform and modernization required f o r I n d i a ' s p o w e r s e c t o r. Moreover, it can be firmly said that any rationalization and modernization of the policy regime in the power sector will set the example for other infrastructure sectors. The clear lesson from the recent Indian experience is that the most critical challenge faced by the power sector lies at the distribution end of the Generation --> Transmission --> Distribution value chain. The dismal and deteriorating financial health of the power distribution entities is already seen to be the key factor
that has led to inadequate investments in the sector. This, in turn, has led to serious power shortfall, as well as poor quality of supply, which are both very serious constraining factors on overall economic output.
Just one fundamental financial figure reveals the pervasive impact and implication of the problem. For the financial year 2011-12, the combined financial losses of all the power distribution companies were estimated at a staggering Rs. 1,200 billion (Rs. 1,20,000 crore or nearly 1.5 % of the country's GDP). These losses arose from the rising gap between average cost of supply and the average realization; going by which distribution companies are losing Rs. 2.00 for every unit of electricity sold by them, The accompanying graph shows trend of such loss-making in the power supply business. [(1) Title for Graph: “Financial Short-circuit”
(2) Sub-Title: Power distribution losses & subsidies borne by public exchequer in India (3) Source: Power Finance Corporation, data upto 2010 Data for 2011, and 2012 based on industry estimates} It is well known that timely tariff hikes in the power sector are probably its most politically sensitive issue. The glaring fact is that many states have not revised tariffs in the last 5 to 6 years, and some for even over a decade. With average cost of supply growing at over 7% (CAGR) in recent years, the situation has become completely untenable! Today, the distribution entities across the country, whether in the public or in the private sector, urgently require tariff hikes of 50 to 60% in order to meet their operating costs, and serve the economy with reliable supplies of power. An increase of this magnitude will seem staggering to the political leadership as well as consumers: but the stark fact is that this hike would still leave unattended the issue of past losses that have accumulated over a period of time due to irrationally low tariffs. It is equally important to take note of the recent positive signs that governments and policy-making establishments have begun to show as proof of their acknowledgment of the dire necessity of tariff reform. Even before the commencement of financial year 201213, seven states revised tariff by 7 to 37 % (Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Tripura, and Madhya Pradesh). It is interesting to note that 9 more states have filed tariff revision petitions and are expected to announce new rates for sale of power in the near future. One factor that has led to this more rational view is to do with the stringent measures made mandatory by banks & NBFC's (Non-banking financial companies) for disbursal of any fresh loans to the distribution companies, and the empowerment of state power regulators to revise tariffs by the relevant appellate tribunals. Of course, the logic behind rationalization of power tariffs has to be put to work on a perennial basis. This implies that permanent mechanisms and practices to pass through to consumers any variation in power costs. The critical consideration here is that purchase costs for power typically constitute up to 80 % of the total cost of the distribution operation. Since the 'truing up' process, involving a fix on the gap between cost of power purchases and the revenues from sales, can take as much as a few years for reasonable estimation, it is important to institute and
implement mechanisms that enable immediate pass through of any variation in power costs. This will avoid build up of socalled 'regulatory assets' (actually amounting to current operating losses) and cash flow problems which are the excruciating experience for most distribution companies at present. There are other bedeviling issues, too. Everybody agrees upon the need for reduction in cross-subsidies between diverse consumers. The high level of subsidy to the domestic and agricultural segments complicates the problem further. One testimony to the twisted deal in such arrangements is provided by the fact that 24% of entire electricity supplied flows to the agricultural sector, but yields less than 6% of the total revenues. The hard fact that domestic and agricultural consumers have to face relatively higher hikes in the electricity they consume can not be denied for long, or permanently. Once again there are few signs of rational regulation, albeit early ones. A beginning has been made in Tamil Nadu, which has increased tariff on electricity supplied to its agricultural consumers by 589%, to Rs. 1.75 per unit. Countries around the world have also adopted other innovative practices that bring in viability and sustainability to power tariffs, for suppliers and consumers alike. Multi Year Tariff (MYT) implementation that sets in advance
About the Author: Lalit Jalan is the CEO of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. He concurrently holds the post of Chairman of BSES Rajdhani & BSES Yamuna Pvt.Ltd. In 1984, Anil Ambani, chairman of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, who had studied with him at Wharton, persuaded him to join and head a new Reliance initiative in the polypropylene business. He was the youngest Chief Executive Officer at Reliance. In less than four years, Jalan grew this venture into a Rs. 6000 crore ($1 billion+) revenue company despite having no background in the petrochemicals industry. Jalan has served Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, India's largest private company in the power sector and other infrastructure development, in many roles, including CEO of the Delhi power distribution company, where he reduced power theft from 55% when he took over and turning it around, and as CEO of Reliance Infrastructure in Mumbai, managing several large infrastructure projects in power generation, urban infrastructure, airports and metro rail. His areas of expertise include policy & planning, finance and logistics across the Infrastructure, Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) and Energy sectors. Mr. Jalan completed his B. Tech from IIT Kanpur in
performance improvement targets (for AT&C losses, cost reduction etc) for utilities, has played a notable role in not only bringing greater efficiencies but also reducing regulatory risks. In India, ten states have adopted MYT (Multi-Year Tariff) practices in recent years. Time-of-Day (ToD) tariffs which are so effective in flattening peak demands, and therefore the peak deficits in supply, are increasingly being implemented (in some 12 states), too. Even so, tariff reform is clearly paramount. The state of Delhi is a good example what can be done and what can be undone if tariff rationalisation lags behind other reforms in the power sector. The entry of private distribution companies has led to such a remarkable turnaround in that state's power supply: aggregate technical and commercial (AT & C) losses have come down from an annual average of over 60% to around 15%, alongside a dramatic improvement in quality and reliability of supply, as well as vastly better customer care services. Yet all the improvements and the entire reform of the Delhi electricity supply market is under risk for want of urgent tariff rationalisation. Stagnant tariffs over a period of time have led to huge build up of future receivables (regulatory assets) impacting sustainability of operations for all distribution businesses in the country's capital. Clearly, we have to find a national will towards cost reflective tariffs.
1979. He then completed his MS in Computer Science from the Moore School, University of Pennsylvania in 1982. Mr. Jalan also received his MBA in Finance from the prestigious Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, being placed in the Directors Honours and Dean's List at Wharton. From 2003 onwards, he has led the metamorphosis of the erstwhile electricity distribution utility BSES to one of the largest infrastructure companies Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, involving three key phases: BSES Mumbai to Reliance Energy transformation of a conventionally well run DISCOM to a cutting edge world class utility; BSES Delhi transformation of a profusely bleeding DISOM to a robust and shining example of electricity privatization; Reliance Energy to Reliance Infrastructure the final steps in transformation of a utility beyond recognition into a mega infra player operating airports, metro trains, roads and sealinks. Recognising his achievements, in 2009, Mr. Jalan was in Elite list of India's 100 Most Powerful CEOs of the Economic Times. He was also selected to the prestigious IITK@ 50 at the Golden Jubilee Alumni Convention at IIT Kanpur in Jan' 2010. He has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT, Kanpur. He was also showcased as one of the IIT system's top 15 achievers at the 1st PAN IIT meet in California in January' 2003.
Managing the Load: Integrated Demand Response By Jeff Meyers, PE, Smart Grid Strategy and Development, Telvent
â€œManaging peak load is one of the most critical drivers in the utility industry today, despite recent slower economic activity and correspondingly flatter load growth. With India's rapid economic expansion and increasing energy demand, conservation and smart energy use continues to be a major policy objective, leading many utilities to concentrate on using a smarter grid to help delay or even eliminate new base generationâ€? Many smart grid projects coming on line are focused on reducing peak load, using a variety of technologies from distributed renewables to energy storage, and from customer-incented load reduction to grid optimization. These last two techniques are among the most promising, if very different, initiatives. As smart metering and building technology proliferates, demand response (DR) programs are growing in number and sophistication. Looking at the problem from the opposite perspective, a few leading utilities are implementing advanced distribution management systems (advanced DMS) to optimize the network for voltage and VARs, using a technique labeled distribution system demand response (DSDR) to reduce peak demand. These two approaches try to address the peak load problem by starting from different points; DR works from the demand side, while DSDR seeks to make the supply side more efficient. Each can be effective at limiting peak load. A closer look at both ideas will give a sense for the current technology and help us imagine a future where both supply and demand management are combined to create a holistic approach to controlling peak load.
load management from the supply side. The DSDR concept is to reduce load by reducing voltage. Voltage drop is an inherent characteristic of all distribution feeders; voltage is higher near the source substation and declines the farther electrically each load is from the source. Utilities need to maintain delivery voltage within a certain range to provide quality of service, thus providing adequate voltage is often the key driver in feeder configuration. DSDR works by flattening the voltage profile of feeders in the system under normal operating conditions, providing margin to reduce voltage under emergency or peak load conditions. The DSDR concept involves both information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) improvements. OT changes and additions usually include adding more voltage regulation and capacitive reactance (VARs), and may also involve switches and even tie line additions to increase operating flexibility. IT improvements involve using advanced analytics to monitor and control voltage and VARs, keeping the system within a tight operating range for normal conditions. It is this optimization that enables the distribution operator to reduce voltage under peak conditions, without compromising system reliability. When system voltage is reduced, all real power loads are reduced in proportion.
DSDR: The 'Other' DR Approach Making the distribution system more efficient seems like a worthwhile goal. Most distribution systems have plenty of head room when it comes to operating efficiency, including managing voltage and VARs for optimum performance. Some utilities are discovering that, among many other benefits of distribution automation, significant peak reductions can be achieved through implementing a DSDR approach to peak
By using Advanced DMS to optimize voltage and VARs on the distribution system, utilities are able to decrease demand and thus power delivered without impact on customers
Of course, volt/VAR optimization isn't trivial, especially in large and complex distribution systems. In order to operate the distribution grid within a tight range of parameters, a detailed network model and a highly advanced analytical engine are required. That's where a tool like advanced DMS earns its keep, monitoring and controlling the grid as load and configuration change. The advanced DMS manages complexity, becoming the 'better brain' of the smart grid. DSDR benefits can be significant. Depending on the characteristics of the utility, including generation profile and distribution configuration, savings of 1.5 to 3.0 percent in peak are within reach for many companies. And since DSDR typically replaces peaking power that is generated or purchased at the highest incremental cost, the savings are substantial. Customer-Facing Demand Response A number of DR models are in play today, but all rely on the basic idea that a customer can achieve economic (and possibly other) benefits by altering or reducing load at certain times. There are the simplest direct load control schemes, where the network operator can send a signal to turn off certain appliances and equipment, and the more sophisticated methods based on time-of-use tariffs that allow the customer to decide on energy usage using pricing signals. But in all cases, DR programs aim to reduce peak by offering incentives to the customer. Many grid operators interact directly through programs
with their customers, while others choose to engage an aggregator to manage DR programs. Aggregators sell DR services, signing up end-use customers by offering rate incentives and broker total peak load reductions to the grid operator (or at times, the transmission or generation operator). Some industry observers speculate that the expansion of smart meters will make it easier and more desirable for the utility to have a direct DR relationship with its customers, potentially eliminating the role of the aggregator. While smart metering provides a potential platform for extending DR capabilities to all electric customers, the nature of load at most utilities dictates that the key targets for demand management are usually commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. On average, C&I loads make up a small percentage of metered customers but represent a significant majority of total load, so they constitute a fertile field for DR-based peak reduction. Further, owing to the rapid growth in smart building technology, many larger electrical consumers are better equipped to automate the management of their energy usage while minimizing the impact on overall operations. In fact, smart building technology has progressed to include managing energy and demand in an integrated environment with process and machines, IT and server room, building asset, and security management, all under a single umbrella. Through implementing an integrated smart buildings toolset, college campuses, factories and large commercial retail operations, can see significant savings in energy and demand costs, as much as 2.5 to 5 percent or more, without noticeable impact in commercial operations. A Look into the Future: Integrated Demand Response
Smart Buildings Integrate Comprehensive Management Systems to provide significant savings in energy and demand costs
Both DSDR and DR can be effective tools for reducing peak demand, representing significant enough savings to merit the term 'virtual generation'. But each has its drawbacks. DSDR can only constrain peak for purely resistive loads, which means that, while significant, there is a limit to the peak load that can be shaved. Customer-facing DR peak savings can be unpredictable, as contractual requirements and customer response can vary. And, as load continues to grow, it may be necessary to reduce peak demand more dramatically than can be achieved by either technique separately. That's why integrated demand
response (IDR), bringing together DR and DSDR, may be the answer for the future of peak demand management. What would the world of IDR look like? First off, enabling IDR will require implementing the correct process flow. Starting with a detailed, up-to-date network model for analyzing the distribution grid, the IDR process would optimize voltage and VARs using DSDR as a peak approaches. After solving for the optimal configuration, advanced DMS would forecast additional reduction needs that may require a customer-facing DR event. Any DR requirements would
Once the DR event is initiated, the advanced DMS could track the impact of load reduction through closed loop control, re-tuning the DSDR solution to re-optimize for the prevailing load and switching configuration. Through closed loop control, using bi-directional communications between the advanced DMS and devices in the field, the distribution grid can become even smarter, adjusting for peak demand conditions and responding to changes in the IDR program. The advanced DMS-managed grid would be the truly smart grid.
The benefits of the distribution system supervised by advanced DMS would extend far beyond more efficient demand response. The advanced DMS-enabled grid would also support integrating renewables and energy storage to help manage peak and mitigate renewable generation intermittency. Analysis and control of electric vehicles could be another significant benefit. In fact, the advanced DMSmanaged network could become the medium of energy exchange, the marketplace where virtual generation through With an integrated demand response program, an ADMSintegrated demand response, and real renewable managed grid will truly be a smart grid generation and storage are bought and sold, while be projected on a localized basis, defining not only the safety, reliability and operational efficiency thrive. absolute amount of load curtailment required, but also the areas of the network where peak reduction can do the most good. For example, an overloaded substation or feeder segment could be targeted for relief using DR.
Jeff Meyers is a second-generation electrical engineer, and former president of Telvent Miner & Miner. In his 30-year utility career, Meyers has designed electric substations and transmission lines, and developed system planning and protection studies. Since 1987, he has worked on more than 50 GIS development projects for a variety of gas, electric and other utilities, based on the developing and evolving technology of ESRI and Telvent. Meyers is a registered professional engineer in several states of the U.S. and a five-time Speaker of The Year award winner of GITA. Most recently, Meyers has been evangelizing the message of Smart Grid and how the use of integrated technology can bring energy efficiencies to the industry. His contact email: email@example.com
Smart Transmission Grid:Vision and Framework By Dr.L. Ashok Kumar
A modern power grid needs to become smarter in order to provide an affordable, reliable, and sustainable supply of electricity. For these reasons, considerable activity has been carried out to formulate and promote a vision for the development of future smart power grids. However, the majority of these activities emphasized only the distribution grid and demand side leaving the big picture of the transmission grid in the context of smart grids unclear. This paper presents a unique vision for the future of smart transmission grids in which their major features are identified. In this vision, each smart transmission grid is regarded as an integrated system that functionally consists of three interactive, smart components, i.e., smart control centers, smart transmission networks, and smart substations. The features and functions of each of the three functional components, as well as the enabling technologies to achieve these features and functions, are discussed in detail in the paper.
The Electric power transmission grid has been progressively developed for over a century, from the initial design of local dc networks in low-voltage levels to three- phase high voltage ac networks, and finally to modern bulk interconnected networks with various voltage levels and multiple complex electrical components. The development of human society and economic needs was the catalyst that drove the revolution of transmission grids stage-by-stage with the aid of innovative technologies. As the backbone used to deliver electricity from points of generation to the consumers, the transmission grid revolution needs to recognize and deal with more diversified challenges than ever before. It should be noted that in this paper the word â€œgridâ€? refers not only to the physical network but also to the controls and devices supporting the function of the physical network, such that this work is aligned with the on- going smart grid initiative. This paper summarizes the
Fig. 1.Vision of a smart transmission grid.
challenges and needs for future smart transmission grids into four aspects. a) Environmental challenges. Traditional electric power production, as the largest man-created emission source, must be changed to mitigate the climate change. Also, a shortage of fossil energy resources has been foreseen in the next few decades. Natural catastrophes, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados can destroy the transmission grids easily. Finally, the available and suitable space for the future expansion of transmission grids has decreased dramatically. b) Market/customer needs. Full-fledged system operation technologies and power market policies need to be developed to sustain the transparency and liberty of the competitive market. Customer satisfaction with electricity consumption should be improved by pro- viding high quality/price ratio electricity and customers' freedom to interact with the grid. c) Infrastructure challenges. The existing infrastructure for electricity transmission has quickly aging components and insufficient investments for improvements. With the pressure of the increasing load demands, the network congestion is becoming worse. The fast online analysis tools, wide-area monitoring, measurement and control, and fast and accurate protections are needed to improve the reliability of the networks. d) Innovative technologies. On one hand, the innovative technologies, including new materials, advanced power electronics, and communication technologies, are not yet mature or commercially available for the revolution of transmission grids; on the other hand, the existing grids lack enough compatibility to accommodate the implementation of spear-point technologies in the practical networks. Whereas the innovation of the transmission grid was driven by technology in the past, the current power industry is being modernized and tends to deal with the challenges more proactively by using state-of-the-art technological advances in the areas of sensing, communications, control, computing, and information technology. The shift in the development of transmission grids to be more intelligent has been summarized as â€œsmart grid,â€? as well as several other terminologies such as IntelliGrid, GridWise, FutureGrid, etc.
The IntelliGrid program, initiated by the Electric Power Research Institution (EPRI), is to create the technical foundation for a smart power grid that links electricity with communications and computer control to achieve tremendous gains in the enhancements of reliability, capacity, and customer service. This program provides methodologies, tools, and recommendations for open standards and requirement-based technologies with the
implementation of advanced metering, distribution automation, demand response, and wide-area measurement. The interoperability is expected to be enabled between advanced technologies and the power system. The SmartGrids program, formed by the European Technology Platform (ETP) in 2005, created a joint vision for the European networks of 2020 and beyond. Its objective features were identified for Europe's electricity networks as flexible to customers' requests, accessible to network users and renewable power sources, reliable for security and quality of power supply, and economic to provide the best value and efficient energy management. A Federal Smart Grid Task Force was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) under Title XIII of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In its Grid 2030 vision, the objectives are to construct a 21st century electric system to provide abundant, affordable, clean, efficient, and reliable electric power anytime, anywhere. The expected achievements, through smart grid development, will not merely enhance the re- liability, efficiency, and security of the nation's electric grid, but also contribute to the strategic goal of reducing carbon emissions. Remarkable research and development activities are also on- going in both industry and academia. The majority of previous work has placed great emphasis on the distribution system and demand side as evidenced by the wide range of emerging technologies applied to them. The big picture of the whole transmission grid, in the context of smart grids, is still unclear. This paper presents a unique vision for future smart transmission grids by identifying the major smart characteristics and performance features to handle new challenges. The proposed vision regards the power transmission grid as an integrated system that functionally consists of three interactive parts: control centers, transmission networks, and substations. It takes into account each fundamental component of the smart grid. II. FRAMEWORK AND CHARACTERISTICS OF SMART TRANSMISSION GRIDS The vision of a smart transmission grid is illustrated in Fig. 1. The existing transmission grid is under significant pressure from the diversified challenges and needs of the environment, customers, and the market, as well as existing infrastructure issues. These challenges and needs are more important and urgent than ever before and will drive the present transmission grid to expand and enhance its functions towards smarter features with the leverage of rapidly developing technologies. As a roadmap for research and development, the smart features of the transmission grid are envisaged and summarized in this paper as digitalization, flexibility, intelligence, resilience, sustainability, and customization. With these smart features, the future transmission grid is expected to deal with the challenges in all four identified areas. A.Digitalizaton The smart transmission grid will employ a unique, digital platform for fast and reliable sensing, measurement, communication, computation, control, protection,
visualization, and maintenance of the entire transmission system. This is the fundamental feature that will facilitate the realization of the other smart features. This platform is featured with user-friendly visualization for sensitive situation awareness and a high tolerance for man-made errors. B. Flexiblity The flexibility for the future smart transmission grid is featured in four aspects: 1) expandability for future development with the penetration of innovative and diverse generation technologies; 2) adaptability to various geographical locations and climates; 3) multiple control strategies for the coordination of decentralized control schemes among substations and control centers; and 4) seamless compatibility with various market operation styles and plug-and-play capability to accommodate progressive technology upgrades with hardware and software components.
customers with more energy consumption options for a high quality/price ratio. The smart transmission grid will further liberate the power market by increasing transparency and improving competition for market participants. To achieve the aforementioned smart features and characteristics, the enabling technologies include the following. 1) New materials and alternative clean energy resources. The application of new materials and devices in power systems will improve the efficiency of power supply by increasing power transfer capabilities, reducing energy losses, and lowering construction costs. The high penetration of alternative clean energy resources will mitigate the conflicts between the human society development and environment sustainability. 2) Advanced power electronics and devices. Advanced power electronics will be able to greatly improve the quality of power supply and flexibility of power flow control.
C. Intelligence Intelligent technologies and human expertise will be incorporated and embedded in the smart transmission grid. Self-awareness of the system operation state will be available with the aid of online time-domain analysis such as voltage/angular stability and security analysis. Self-healing will be achieved to enhance the security of transmission grid via coordinated protection and control schemes. D. Resiliency The smart transmission grid will be capable of delivering electricity to customers securely and reliably in the case of any external or internal disturbances or hazards. A fast self-healing capability will enable the system to reconfigure itself dynamically to recover from attacks, natural disasters, blackouts, or network component failures. Online computation and analysis will enable the fast and flexible network operation and controls such as intentional islanding in the event of an emergency. E. Sustainability The sustainability of the smart transmission grid is featured as sufficiency, efficiency, and environmentfriendly. The growth of electricity demand should be satisfied with the implementation of affordable alternative energy resources, increased energy savings via technology in the electricity delivery and system operation, and mitigation of network congestion. Innovative technologies to be employed should have less pollution or emission, and decarbonize with consideration to the environment and climate changes.
3) Sensing and measurement. Smart sensing and measurement and advanced instrumentation technologies will serve as the basis for communications, computing, control, and intelligence. 4) Communications. Adaptive communication networks will allow open-standardized communication protocols to operate on a unique platform. Real-time control based on a fast and accurate information exchange in different platforms will improve the system resilience by the enhancement of system reliability and security, and optimization of the transmission asset utilization. 5) Advanced computing and control methodologies: Highperformance computing, parallel, and distributed computing technologies will enable real-time modeling and simulation of complex power systems. The accuracy of the situation awareness will be improved for further suitable operations and control strategies. Advanced control methodologies and novel distributed control paradigms will be needed to automate the entire customer-centric power delivery network. 6) Mature power market regulation and policies. The mature regulation and policies should improve the transparency, liberty, and competition of the power market. High customer interaction with the electricity consumption should be enabled and encouraged. 7) Intelligent technologies. Intelligent technologies will enable fuzzy logic reasoning, knowledge discovery, and self-learning, which are important ingredients integrated in the implementation of the above advanced technologies to build a smarter transmission grid.
III. SMART CONTROL CENTERS
The design of the smart transmission grid will be clienttailored for the operators' convenience without the loss of its functions and interoperability. It will also cater to
The vision of the future smart control centers is built on the existing control centers, originally developed approximately a half-century ago. The expected new functions, such as
monitoring/visualization, analytical capability, and controllability of the future control centers, are discussed in this section. Also discussed is the interaction with electricity market, although this work excludes the market operation from the control centers' functions. A. Monitoring/Visualization The present monitoring system in a control center depends on state estimators, which are based on data collected via SCADA systems and remote terminal units (RTUs). In the future control center, the system-level information will be obtained from the state measurement modules based on phasor measurement units (PMUs). The PMU-based state measurement is expected to be more efficient than the present state estimation since synchronized phasor signals provide the state variables, in particular, voltage angles. As a comparison, the present state estimation demands additional running time and is less robust ,since the data collected from the RTUs is not synchronized and significant effort must be made for topology checking and bad data detection. The present visualization technology displays the system configuration with one-line diagrams that can illustrate which buses are connected with a specific bus. However, it is not exactly matched to the geographic location. In addition, it is typical that only buses in the control area, together with some boundary buses, are displayed in the monitoring system. In the future, the results from state measurement shall be combined with a wide-area geographical information system (GIS) for visual display on the screens of the control center. The wide-area GIS shall cover a broad region including the control center's own service territory as well as all interconnected areas, and even the whole Eastern Interconnect or WECC system. This will increase the situational awareness across a broad scope and prevent inappropriate operations when a neighboring system is not fully known. Since the future visualization and monitoring technology will cover a much broader scope, an increased information exchange is needed. The present technology for communications includes a mix of obsolete and current technologies, such as telephone lines, wireless, microwave, and fiber optics. In the future, the communication channels are expected to be more dedicated such as employing a fiber optic network for communications with quality of service (QoS) implemented. Not surprisingly, this also demands a unified protocol for better communications among different control areas.
With the state variables obtained from state measurement and GIS data, it is desirable to display the system stability measures in real time. The present technology typically displays the voltage magnitude. As the system is more stressed and voltage collapse becomes a recurring threat, not merely depends on voltage magnitudes alone, a true indicator of voltage stability margin is needed for better monitoring. Similarly, the present technology monitors the local frequency.
However, if the global frequency and particularly the frequency change can be monitored and traced, it is possible to identify the fault location, even in a remote location, through the use of possible frequency wave technology. Once these new monitoring technologies are implemented with the wide-area GIS data, the voltage stability margin and frequency wave can be displayed on top of the actual widearea map in real time. This will greatly assist the operators in identifying potential problems in the real-time operation. Another noteworthy technology can be the alarming system. The present technology typically presents alarming signals without priority. The future control centers should be able to provide the root cause of possible problems to enable the operators to provide closer monitoring. B. Analytical Capability The present online analytic tool in control centers typically performs steady-state contingency analysis. Each credible contingency event is analyzed using contingency power flow studies allowing line flow violations to be identified. In the future control center, it is expected that online time-domainbased analysis, such as voltage stability and transient angular stability, should be available. In addition, online small-signal stability analysis is expected. C. Controllability In the present control centers, the ultimate control action, such as separation, is taken based on offline studies. In the future, the system separation will be performed in real time to better utilize the dynamic system condition. Similarly, the present restoration plan based on offline studies should be replaced with online restorative plans. Presently, the protection and control settings are configured as fixed values based on offline studies. In the future, these settings should be configured in real time in a proactive and adaptive approach to better utilize the generation and transmission asset when the system is not stressed and to better protect the system under extremely stressed conditions The present technology lacks the sufficient coordination of protection and control systems. Each component takes actions based on its own decision. This uncoordinated control could lead to an overreaction under the present contingency plan. The future control centers shall have the capability to co- ordinate multiple control devices distributed in the system such that optimal coordination can be achieved simultaneously for better controllability. D. Interactions With Electricity Market The electricity market is highly intertwined with the future smart grid. An efficient electricity market is powered by an advanced grid infrastructure. On the other hand, a smart grid would not be called â€œsmartâ€? without achieving higher market efficiency. The constantly changing electricity market requires the control center to adapt to the dynamic transition during the market's development. The control center associated with a market actively interacts with other control centers, existing market participants, and new entrants. Thus, modern control centers should be able to cope with the changing business architecture. More
sophisticated tools should be provided by the control centers to facilitate the system operators' ability to monitor and mitigate market power. Furthermore, given the increasing interest in utilizing renewable energy and controllable load to meet future demand, the smart control center should be flexible to include such energy resources into the unit dispatch. The market clearing algorithms should be robust enough to accommodate the volatile nature of certain renewables such as wind generators with finer forecasting and scheduling methods. Demand-side participants should have access to the market through certain communications, control, and information channels. Congestion management is another important feature of the smart control centers. The control centers should forecast and identify the potential congestions in the network and alleviate them with help from the wide-area GIS systems. IV. SMART TRANSMISSION NETWORKS This vision of the smart transmission networks is built on the existing electric transmission infrastructure. However, the emergence of new technologies, including advanced materials, power electronics, sensing, communication, signal processing, and computing will increase the utilization, efficiency, quality, and security of existing systems and enable the development of a new architecture for transmission networks.
in the transmission network to provide a flexible control of the transmission network and increase power transfer levels without new transmission lines. These devices also improve the dynamic performance and stability of the transmission network. Through the utilization of FACTS technologies, advanced power flow control, etc., the future smart transmission grids should be able to maximally relieve transmission congestions, and therefore fully support deregulation and enable competitive power markets. In addition, with the trend of increasing penetration of largescale renewable/alternative energy resources, the future smart transmission grids should be able to enable full integration of these resources. HVDC lines are widely used to provide an economic and controllable alternative to ac lines for long distance and high-capacity power transmission and integration of large wind farms. Power electronics-based fault current limiters or current limiting conductors may achieve maximum utilization of line and system capacity, increased reliability, and improved system operation under contingencies. Solidstate transformers are used to replace traditional electromagnetic transformers to provide flexible and efficient transformation between different voltage levels. Solid-state circuit breakers are used to re- place traditional mechanical breakers. These solid-state devices are free from arcing and switch bounce, and offer correspondingly higher reliability and longer lifetimes as well as much faster switching times.
A. High-Efficiency and High-Quality Transmission C. Self-Healing and Robust Electricity Transmission Networks In the concept of smart transmission networks, ultra- high-voltage, high-capacity transmission corridors can link major regional interconnections. It is thus possible to balance electric supply and demand on a national basis. Within each regional interconnection, long-distance transmission is accomplished by using controllable high-capacity ac and dc facilities. Underground cables are widely used when overhead lines are not practical, mostly in urban and underwater areas. Advanced conductors, including high-temperature composite conductors for overhead transmission and high-temperature superconducting cables, are widely used for electricity transmission. These conductors have the properties of greater current-carrying capacity, lower voltage drops, reduced line losses, lighter weight, and greater controllability. In addition, new transmission line configurations, e.g., 6- or 12-phase transmission line configurations, allow for greater power transmission in a particular right-of-way with reduced electromagnetic fields due to greater phase cancellation. B. Flexible Controllability, Improved Transmission Reliability and Asset Utilization Through the Use of AdvancedPower Electronics In a smart transmission network, flexible and reliable trans- mission capabilities can be facilitated by the advanced Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS), high-voltage dc (HVDC) devices, and other power electronics-based devices. FACTS devices (including traditional large-scale FACTS and new distributed FACTS devices are optimally placed
Smart transmission networks will extensively incorporate advanced sensing, signal processing, and communication technologies to monitor operating conditions of transmission lines, transformers, and circuit breakers in real time. A cost-effective distributed power line condition monitoring system, based on a distributed power line wireless sensor net in which each distributed intelligent sensor module incorporates with advanced signal processing and communication functions, is able to continuously measure line parameters and monitor line status in the immediate vicinity of the sensor that are critical for line operation and utilization, including measurement of overhead conductor sags, estimation of conductor temperature profile, estimation of line dynamic thermal capacity, detection of vegetation in proximity to the power line, detection of ice on lines, detection of galloping lines, estimation of mechanical strength of towers, prediction of incipient failure of insulators and towers, identification of the critical span limiting line capacity, and identification of the fault location of the line. A sophisticated transformer monitoring system is able to monitor health and efficiency, measure dissolved gases-in-oil, and load tap changers of transformers in real time. A circuit breaker monitoring system is able to measure the number of operations since last maintenance, oil or gas insulation levels, and breaker mechanism signatures, and monitor the health and operation of circuit breakers in real time. Based on the parameters and operating conditions of transmission facilities, it can automatically detect, analyze, and respond to emerging problems before they impact service;
make protective relaying to be the last line of defense, not the only defense as it is today; quickly restore the faulty, damaged, or compromised sections of the system during an emergency; and therefore enhance dynamic and static utilization and maintain the reliability and security of the transmission system.
3) Coordination: The smart substation should be ready and find it easy to communicate and coordinate with other substations and control centers. Adaption of protection and control schemes should be achieved under coordination of control centers to improve the security of the whole power grid.
D. Advanced Transmission Facility Maintenance
4) Self-healing: The smart substation is able to reconfigure it- self dynamically to recover from attacks, natural disasters, blackouts, or network component failures. The main functions of a smart substation are summarized as follows:
In the smart transmission networks, live-line maintenance can be used to clean and deice conductors, clean and lubricate moving parts that open and close, replace spacer/dampers, disconnect/connect breakers, tighten or replace bolts, and install sensors and measuring devices. Advanced maintenance and power line condition monitoring technologies allow for prioritized equipment ranking, condition based maintenance, prevention programs, smart equipment replacement programs, and right-of-way maintenance. This reduces catastrophic failures and maintenance costs, and improves the overall reliability of the transmission system. E. Extreme Event Facility Hardening System An extreme event facility hardening system is able to identify potential extreme contingencies that are not readily identifiable from a single cause, develop various extreme event scenarios (e.g., floods, extreme weather, etc.), develop modular equipment designs for lines and novel system configuration to manage failures, and enable rapid system restoration under catastrophic events.
In a smart substation, all measurement signals will be time stamped with high accuracy by using a global positioning system (GPS) signal. The RTU function will be replaced by a PMU in the future. The traditional electromechanical current transformer (CT) and potential transformer (PT) will be re- placed by an optical or electronic CT and PT whose advantages include wide bandwidth, high accuracy of measurement, and low maintenance costs. Computational intelligence technology will be incorporated in the sensing and measurement circuits to reduce the burden of communications. B. Communications
The smart substation concept is built on the existing comprehensive automation technologies of substations. It should en- able more reliable and efficient monitoring, operation, control, protection, and maintenance of the equipment and apparatus in- stalled in the substations. From the operation viewpoint, a smart substation must rapidly respond and provide increased operator safety. To achieve these goals, the major characteristics of a smart substation shall include the following.
Each smart substation has its own high-speed local area network (LAN) which ties all measurement units and local applications together. Each smart substation also has a server that connects to the higher level communication network via a router. A smart substation should be based on a selfhealing communication network to significantly improve the reliability of monitoring and control of substations. Based on intelligent and ubiquitous IT techniques, proposed a prototype platform of smart substations that provides a compatible connection inter- face for various wired and wireless communication capabilities, flexible networking for wired and wireless topologies, un- interruptible SCADA network. If existing wired (serial bus) net- works have a fault or accident, then the ubiquitous network re- configures itself to bypass or detour around the fault in the local substation.
1) Digitalization: The smart substation provides a unique and compatible platform for fast and reliable sensing, measurement, communication, control, protection, and maintenance of all the equipment and apparatus installed in a variety of substations. All of these tasks can be done in the digital form, which allows for easy connection with control centers and business units.
The communication protocol of a smart substation should be standardized and open. A good option is the IEC 61850 standard, which provides an open interface not only among the intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) inside a substation, but also between substations and between substations and control centers. This improves the interoperability of communication networks significantly.
2) Autonomy: The smart substation is autonomous. The operation of the smart substation does not depend upon the control centers and other substations, but they can communicate with each other to increase the efficiency and stability of power transmission. Within a substation, the operation of individual components and devices is also autonomous to ensure fast and reliable response, especially under emergency conditions.
C. Autonomous Control and Adaptive Protection
V. SMART SUBSTATIONS
A. Smart Sensing and Measurement
A smart substation should contain fully intelligent decentralized controllers for auto-restoration, remedial actions, or predictive actions or normal optimization. Traditional automatic voltage/Var controllers based on local measurement information in a substation will be coordinated by control centers. Voltage instability conditions can be assessed much faster based on local PMU measurement
information. Further, the results of voltage stability assessment calculations can be directly incorporated into remedial action schemes to improve the power system security. In a smart grid, a great improvement is that the settings of protective relays can be remotely modified in real time to adapt to changes in the grid configuration. A smart substation will serve as an intelligent unit of special protective schemes (SPS) to improve the reliability of the power grid. Advanced protective relay algorithms based on travelling waves are under development.
status changes and trips. For example, smart substations can provide immediate alarm warnings to authorized users via cell phones, pagers, and the intranet to improve awareness. While an increasing amount of data about fault conditions is gathered in a substation, a more intelligent alarm management and processing system, such as an expert system, should be developed to find the root cause of the fault. Traditionally, these common devices, such as battery chargers, UPS systems, and fire alarm systems, alarm a fault condition locally; but unless a substation visit is performed, the fault may go undetected for extended periods. Ignoring these faults could cause more catastrophic failures to occur.
D. Data Management and Visualization F. Diagnosis and Prognosis In a smart substation, widely deployed decentralized applications require a strong distributed database management system, which will manage and share all data in the substation and communicate with other communication units such as the control centers and other substations by just publishing the data to the communication network with the publishersubscriber infrastructure. All the data from the PMU units, relays, fault recorders, power quality monitors, and equipment
Fast diagnosis and prognosis are necessary in a smart substation, and several technologies have been produced to achieve this. Online asset condition monitoring based on advanced sensor technology provides stable operation and reduces the re- pair time. Expert system based fault diagnosis technology provides intelligent maintenance and management of devices in a substation.
Fig. 2. Interaction among smart transmission grid, generation, and distribution.
monitors should be efficiently managed and displayed. Real-time data visualization provides the operators with a clear picture of the current operation status of the local substation as well as the grid through distributed intelligence. E. Monitoring and Alarming Advances in modern communications enable remote operators to be informed immediately of equipment
G. Advanced Interfaces with Distributed Resources Smart substations should provide advanced power electronics and control interfaces for renewable energy and demand response resources so that they can be integrated into the power grid on a large scale at the sub transmission level. By incorporating microgrids, the substation can deliver quality power to customers in a manner that the power supply degrades gracefully after a major commercial outage, as opposed to a catastrophic loss of power, allowing more of the installations to continue operations. Smart
substations should have the capability to operate in the islanding mode taking into account the transmission capacity, load demand, and stability limit, and provide mechanisms for seamlessly transitioning to islanding operation. H. Real-Time Modeling A real-time model of substations should be built for better control inside and outside a smart substation. In order to pro- duce a reliable and consistent real-time model for a substation, the substation level topology processor will build the substation topology while the state estimator at the substation level will estimate the substation states to provide a more reliable and full view of the substation. Previous work focusing on the distributed state estimation has already provided the idea of building the substation-level state estimator and related filter technology. VI. INTEGRATION FRAMEWORK The integration framework of the above three components as well as the future generation and distribution can be briefly illustrated in Fig. 2. Under the general framework of the smart transmission grid with the advanced communication infrastructure, the backbone of the integration is the distributed intelligence at the smart transmission networks and substations, which can assist with making decisions based on local information to reduce the work load of the control center. Meanwhile, the control center oversees the entire system and sends the system-level decisions, such as various control actions, to remote devices or substations. Also, the intelligent agents at transmission network devices or substations may interact with neighbor agents to achieve broader information in order to make im- proved decisions without extensive communication back to the control center. In short, the actual control action will be a combination of local decisions from the distributed intelligent agents, central decisions from the smart control center, and the â€œregionalâ€? decision based on the information exchange among peer substations and network devices. Each type of action shall have a different response time and is most efficient for a
particular type of work. The actual control process may require a few iterations among the three types of actions. Fig. 2 also shows the generation and distribution systems that will be equipped with distributed intelligent agents for local decisions as well as interactions with peer agents and the control center through the communication infrastructure. Under a disturbance in the generation or distribution system, local decisions may be made for a fast response and central decisions are necessary for global control, especially for severe disturbance. Mean- while, the interactions with other peer agents at various sites in generation, transmission network devices, substations, and distribution are highly desired for a regionally optimal decision. Details of this interactive, decentralized architecture shall be the subject of possible future research. Development and implementation of the proposed integration framework demands a concerted effort to apply and extend the existing technologies through initiatives in the near future, while promoting forward-looking research and development to solve underlying critical issues in the long term to ensure economic prosperity and environmental health. To achieve this goal, government agencies, utility executives, energy policy makers, and technology providers must agree on a common vision and take action to accelerate the process towards final deployment. Given the scale of the effort required and the enormity of the challenges ahead, collaboration among different sectors is essential and should be developed through various channels in order to ensure and accelerate the success of realizing the smart transmission grid. VII. CONCLUSION This paper has presented a unique vision of the nextgeneration smart transmission grids. It aims to promote technology innovation to achieve an affordable, reliable, and sustainable delivery of electricity. With a common digitalized platform, the smart transmission grids will enable increased flexibility in control, operation, and expansion; allow for embedded intelligence, essentially foster the resilience and sustainability of the grids; and eventually benefit the customers with lower costs, improved services, and increased convenience. This paper presents the major features and functions of the smart transmission grids in detail through three interactive, smart components: smart control centers, smart transmission networks, and smart substations.
The author has completed his B.E., (EEE) from University of Madras and ME(Electrical Machines) from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and MBA (HRM) from IGNOU, New Delhi and PhD (Wearable Electronics) from Anna University, Chennai. He has both teaching and industrial experience of 14 years. At present he is working as Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Electronics Engg. He has got 11 research projects from various Government funding agencies. He has published 32 Technical papers in reputed National and International Journal and presented 65 research articles in International and National Conferences. He has received YOUNG ENGINEER AWARD from Institution of Engineers, India. He is a member of various National & International Technical bodies like ISTE, IETE, TSI, BMSI, ISSS, SESI, SSI & TAI. His areas of specializations are Wearable Electronics and Renewable Energy Systems. His contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Experimental smart outlet brings flexibility, resiliency to grid architecture By Staff Writer
Sandia National Laboratories has developed an experimental “smart outlet” that autonomously measures, monitors and controls electrical loads with no connection to a centralized computer or system. The goal of the smart outlet and similar innovations is to make the power grid more distributed and intelligent, capable of reconfiguring itself as conditions change. Decentralizing power generation and controls would allow the grid to evolve into a more collaborative and responsive collection of microgrids, which could function individually as an island or collectively as part of a hierarchy or other organized system. “A more distributed architecture can also be more reliable because it reduces the possibility of a single-point failure. Problems with parts of the system can be routed around or dropped on and off the larger grid system as the need arises,” said smart outlet co-inventor Anthony Lentine. Such flexibility could make more use of variable output energy resources such as wind and solar because devices such as the smart outlet can vary their load demand to compensate for variations in energy production. “This new distributed, sensor-aware, intelligent control architecture, of which the smart outlet is a key component, could also identify malicious control actions and prevent their propagation throughout the grid, enhancing the grid's cyber security profile,” Lentine said.
Anatomy of a smart outlet The outlet includes four receptacles, each with voltage/current sensing; actuation (switching); a computer for implementing the controls; and an Ethernet bridge for communicating with other outlets and sending data to a collection computer. The outlet measures power usage and the direction of power flow, which is normally one-way, but could be bidirectional if something like a photovoltaic system is connected to send power onto the grid. Bi-directional monitoring and control could allow each location with its own energy production, such as photovoltaic or wind, to become an “island” when the main power grid goes down. Currently, that rarely occurs due to the lack of equipment to prevent power from flowing back toward the grid. The outlet also measures real power and reactive power,
which provides a more accurate measurement of the power potentially available to drive the loads, allowing the outlets to better adapt to changing energy needs and production. Similar technology could be built into energy-intensive appliances and connected to a home monitoring system, allowing the homeowner greater control of energy use. What is different about the smart outlet is that distributed autonomous control allows a homeowner with little technical expertise to manage loads and the utility to manage loads with less hands-on, and costly, human intervention. Utilities currently use mostly fossil fuels and nuclear reactors to generate base load electric power, the amount needed to meet the minimum requirements of power users. Utilities know how much power they need based on decades of usage data, so they can predict demand under normal conditions. “With the increased use of variable renewable resources, such as wind and solar, we need to develop new ways to manage the grid in the presence of a significant generation that can no longer supply arbitrary power on demand,” Lentine said. “The smart outlet is a small, localized approach to solving that problem.” The research was supported by Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD), Sandia National Laboratories, U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000, LDRD Project Number 130752, titled “Scalable microgrid for a safe, secure, efficient and cost effective electric power infrastructure.” Editor's Note: Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness. For Sandia news media contact: Stephanie Holinka, email@example.com
VIEW POINT: INDIA is obviously expensive and can never be low-cost country for Solar Photo-Voltaics (SPV) -By Praveen Kumar Kulkarni Dear Solar Friends: Following is our experience while setting up industry related to power, steel and cement industry. Solar Photovoltaics (SPV) industry is new, but, unfortunately,
the system failed to address the earlier known key issues of good manufacturing processes, good Industry promoters with good teamwork, tax (mis) administration and high working capital needs with unviable high interest rates, hence, INDIA is obviously EXPENSIVE and can never be LOW COST COUNTRY for Solar PV. However, cheap labour in Steel, power and cement industry gave an edge, but, solar PV can not find a place for the same as the "Labour cost component" is an insignificant number.
We need to understand with evidence that what kind of subsidies or tax rebate is given to Chinese suppliers (by its government) for poly silicon, wafers, cells, Panels, glass, aluminium and such raw materials at various stages of
manufacture or value addition. The multiple taxation (i.e. in INDIA, sales tax becomes a cost and an immediate cash out, which is a hit on working capital which comes at a high rate of interest). So, we need to compare the scale up disadvantages vis a vis small companies (who have low overheads and well scattered) needs a proper address.
Scaling done by Moser Baer, Indo Solar is a complete failure including Solyndra, LDK solar, Q cells etc.
The SEZ or FTZ stupidity needs a Clear address. Small companies end up in satisfying tax authorities due to small margins and crash in price but, can't think on research or product development or improvement.
The raw material supply chain and the control on price, manufacturing process, logistics, taxation, interest on high working capital in INDIA are the key deterrents.
India needs an uniform manufacturing policy with a simple tax administration to avoid duplicacy of work or multiple taxing procedures, CENVAT claim settlement which in turn
blocks working capital and the Tax compliance during March end, which, virtually brings down the productivity as The devil called "Tax Compliance with various ill interpretations for categories viz. rubber, glass, aluminum, cells, wafers, import concessions, duty drawback / DEPB issues, VAT, work tax, local taxes, Octroi limits, SEZ compliance, expensive overheads due to expensive SEZ land for manufacturing, etc" are the major set back in solar or such innovative business products. New Manufacturing policy does not address these WELL KNOWN tax (mis) administration and the wastage of manpower in doing compliance on paper rather than "finding new ways or research or to be competitive in the world". Can WE, the Industry leaders, CII, Government Babus (all concerned ministries at State and Centre Govt. level with open mind with a little Solar Industry knowledge) take the serious note of these issues, "though late" and we are nowhere near GST consensus!! Who has to bell the CAT with such gigantic and cascading problems, which needs a SIMPLE COMMON SENSE to address these issues , which has become a rare commodity or UNCOMMON. Wake up and let us address these issues and let us not ask SUBSIDY from Government (i.e. begging / robbing the Common Man or poor Farmer) rather streamline procedures and reduce the overheads in tax compliance and concentrate on the technology, supply management
and the real manufacturing competence. CHINA govt. may be supporting subsidy, but, Europe is not because we can't ask poor farmer to bear the tax rebates of Industry, rather, we need to find cost reduction in every stage "Concept to Commissioning" including project award costs by bringing transparency of project awards or order placement by Private companies to component manufacturers to avoid SOFT costs or corrupt practices, if any. Currency devaluation needs a proper hedging strategy for the import of raw material with good forward contract pricing, but, is always has a risk associated with it apart from its associated costs which need recovery. For the time being, till the consolidation takes place, it may be prudent to allow import of good quality Tier 1 PV panels manufactured in China with a mandatory JV between a Tier 1 PV Panel company and a Tier 1 / Tier 2 INDIAN panel manufacturing company with a 2.5% commission to the INDIAN Panel manufacturing company, thus, we can ensure low cost project execution of NVVNL and assure replacement of panels in case of failure during 25 years of Warranty period, which is a project risk (no power generation till the replacement of defective panels, if the panels were to come from China), with necessary stock piling at the stores or FTZ storage yard of the INDIAN panel manufacturing company so that Inventory is assured at short notice. Disclaimer: "The data collection from the web site shall indemnify the author or KK NESAR or the concerned for any inaccuracy, omissions or errors or commissions as per the necessary acts"
The author is a Gold Medalist from SLN College of Engineering, Gulbarga University. Industrial work experience over 23 years with PSU, MNCs. He had worked for: Tungabharda Steel Products Ltd, Hospet from 1988 to 1995. Executed engineering of 21 Hydro Mechanical Equipment projects. Deputed to Japan for 5 months as part of UNIDO program to become JICA participant-1994. He introduced CAD in TSPL with software programs for design of Gates, Hoists and Cranes. He was deputed to TSPL Hyderabad branch to assist business development of Steel Plant Equipments. With SMS Demag India Ltd, German MNC), he engineered Steel Melt Shop equipments of Jindal Vijay Nagar Steel Plant. Apart from being the Head of Secondary refining equipments viz VD, VOD, RH, RHOB, SMS equipments, he supported the pre-bid and business development activities thru ICB of SMS Demag Secondary refining equipments. Visited SMS Demag, Duisburg on company assignments ALSTOM Portugal / India (French MNC) hired him as a Consultant and Part of Management team to launch Hydro Mechanical Equipment in India in their Baroda factory. Prepared Business plans, Export support (1ME,Owenfalls ,Uganda), tendering support to realize and launch Omkareshwar Project. Visited ALSTOM Lisbon, France, Grenoble on assignments and important missions. He was a Project Manager of Omkareshwar HME (24 ME) and Implementation Manager to rebuild (15ME) Alstom Baroda factory to manufacture Hydro turbines, Generators and HME to cater to their Indian and Export Markets. He visited USA, Russia for special equipment evaluations, purchase and installations. He was the Project Director of Nam Ngum, Laos HME project (10ME). Established KK NESAR PROJECT PRIVATE LIMITED to execute renewable energy projects on EPC basis with a collaborative business approach with Indian specific needs. His contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Integrated strategy to accelerate adoption of Renewable Energy sources by consumer communities in India By Swaminathan Mani and Dr. Tarun Dhingra
â€œIndia continues to depend on fossil fuels to power its spectacular economic growth. However, this growth is unsustainable as it comes at a great cost of complete environmental degradation. Renewable Energy (RE) sources form a tiny portion (less than 10%) of India's overall Energy consumption today. India has to quickly get RE sources to play a major role in servicing the energy needs of its population, if it has to realize the ambition of 9% growth of the economy, year-on-year. Despite the best efforts of all the relevant stakeholders, the adoption of RE sources by consumer communities in India is poor. One way to accelerate adoption of RE sources would be bake in technology innovation, policy making and new business models into a single unified theme, as successfully demonstrated by a few countries in the World. This article will focus on one such case; renewable energy growth in California, in the US to underline the importance of conscientious coordinated efforts to accelerate adoption of RE sources by consumersâ€? Introduction Renewable Energy (RE) sources contribute hardly 10% (excluding large hydro projects) of the total power generated in India. Out of this 10%, one or two states in the country contribute majority of power generated through RE (Wind + Solar) sources. The rest of the country put together accounts for less than 5% of clean power [9, 10]. If India has to meet its ambitious growth plans, the energy availability of the country needs to grow at a much faster pace that it is today. This growth cannot be met by fossil fuels alone. At some point the contribution of Renewable energy sources must form a substantial portion of the overall Energy bucket. The reasons are well known and well documented Environmental concerns, depleting fossil fuel resources, excessive dependency on Oil imports etc. that it hardly merits repetition. However, adoption of Renewable energy has really not caught on among the consumer communities in India. Unless a substantial number of citizens adopts RE sources, the costs of producing energy from RE sources will continue to remain high and thereby creating a downward spiral of poor patronage among the public for RE adoption for its daily use.
24 There are several publications available on the proactive
policies adopted to promote RE sources and technology innovations that are taking place in the field of clean energy that could possibly accelerate adoption of RE sources. However, policies and technology innovation alone, although important, are insufficient to create a sustainable demand for RE sources from consumer communities in India. One has to take a holistic approach of combining innovative business models to the mix and look at the intersection area of policies, innovation and business models to create a sustainable niche. Of course, the pace of adoption varies for each product category and cannot be extrapolated to all the RE sources as it is; but the concepts can be used as a guide to debate strategies that could be adopted by all stakeholders to accelerate adoption of clean energy sources.
India's Energy Story and Market opportunities for Renewables The main sources of renewable energy in India are biomass, biogas, solar, wind and hydro power. Renewable sources contribute about 5% of the total power production in India. India is also the world's highest biogas user and is fifth in the world in terms of both wind power as well as photovoltaic production. Out of the energy installed base of about 150,000 MW in India about 66% is thermal energy (85 % of which is coal based) followed by hydro with 26%, nuclear with 3% and renewable energy with 5%. Of the current total installed renewable energy base, wind constitutes 69%, followed by small hydro (19%), biomass (co-generation, 11.5%),
Fig 1: Progress of Renewable Energy Programme 11th five year plans (2010)(in MW) waste-to energy (0.42%), and solar (0.03%). India's renewable energy resource potential is significant with Wind energy, biomass, Solar and small hydropower representing the technologies with the largest potential [11, 12] a) Wind could potentially account for up to 45,000 MW  of energy per year. The majority of wind resources are found in coastal states, where geographic and climatic conditions are favorable for wind farms. b) India has an estimated hydropower potential of 84,000 MW, of which 15,000 MW can be generated from small hydropower (SHP) [9, 10, 11]. c) India also receives abundant solar radiation
equivalent to over 5,000 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh) per year [9, 10, and 11]. d) The approximate potential for biomass utilization (largely co-generation) is estimated at about 22,000 MW. Waste-to-energy potential is approximately 2,700 MW. It has been estimated that India produces 139 million tons of surplus biomass every year, which can produce about 16,000 MW of electricity . As can be observed, potential for renewable energy in India is enormous but only a miniscule quantity has been tapped. High capital costs, uncertain payback, poor financial health of Electricity boards, evolving evacuation facilities and, most importantly, poor patronage of renewable energy sources by consumers could be plausible reasons for sector to the modest performance of this sector. This paper will try to examine the issue of poor patronage of renewable energy sources by consumers in India and recommend mitigation strategies, which can be considered to grow the sector. Three major reasons, among others, for poor adoption of clean energy sources could be 1. Cost of power from renewable sources being substantially high vis-Ă -vis fossil fuels (thanks to distorted subsidy structure) and no tax on carbon emission as yet. 2.
The policies and incentive structures for support
the growth of renewable energy adoption are not integrated and not aligned to motivate the consumers to switch to these eco-friendly sources 3. Lack of appreciation of the devastation that fossil fuels will eventually wreak to the environment and
the collateral damage the consumers have to pay for patronizing these conventional fuels The three points above are addressed in the reverse order. First the lack of appreciation of the permanent damage to ecology and environment caused by fossil fuels - There have been several studies that has documented the havoc created by unbridled use of fossil fuels by the world community (one study highlighted in the figure 2, below), that the ill effects of wanton use of fossil fuels are understood by many today. For instance, in the US during a 9 year period, economic damages caused by natural disasters (Climate changes mainly due to use of fossil fuels) amounted to $ 575 Billion. Fig -2: Economic damages caused by natural disasters for the period from 1996 to 2005 exceeded US $ 575 Billion. Source: Translated based on graphic in: Munich RE Group, Edition Wissen, To pics GEO, Jahresrueckblick Naturkatastrophen 2005, p. 13 While, it's true that consumers need to be continuously informed about the damage caused by fossil fuels, a reasonable number of people are well informed about the consequences of reckless use of these fuels. Hence lack of knowledge of the destruction caused by fossil fuels may not be an overriding factor for poor adoption of renewable fuels. That leaves two other reasons, namely, high cost of electricity from renewable energy source and lack of integrated approach in encouraging adoption of clean energy. Costs of electricity from renewable sources are presently high. Electricity from solar thermal plants currently costs around Rs 14/Kwh depending on the location of the plant and the amount of sunshine it receives. But with improvements in the performance of plants, economies of scale and better sites, solar thermal electricity could soon be cheaper than coal ( as demonstrated by Germany), and also generate huge amounts of reliable, clean electricity. Solid oxide fuel cells generate electricity that is 20% cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels in the US. The cost of wind energy has declined from 40 cents per kilowatthour to less than 5 cents. The cost of electricity from the sun, through photovoltaic has dropped from more than $1/kilowatt-hour to nearly 20cents/kilowatt-hour today. And ethanol fuel costs have plummeted from $4 per gallon in the early 1980s to $1.20 today. Similarly, there are several examples, from the world-over, of tariffs of electricity from renewable sources being on par with the rates of electricity generated from fossil fuels. Economies of scale, continuing tax incentives, penal taxes on emissions and regulatory concerns will tilt the scale in favour of renewable sources in India. Probably, the most important area that will have the highest impact on the adoption of renewable energy sources in India
would be embracing an integrated approach to policy, innovation and business models. The main objective of this paper is to study the success stories in adoption of clean energy by consumers in California and how they have successfully integrated the policy, innovation and business models to accelerate the growth of renewable energy sources. The key questions that need to explored are: 1. What are the lessons to be learnt by observing the adoption of clean energy sources by consumer communities in California, US? Can these lessons be transportable to Indian context? 2. If India has to gather momentum in the adoption of RE sources, what could be some of the policy recommendations that need to be considered from the case studies around the world? 3. How coming together of enabling policy environment, technology innovation and newer business models aid in adoption of RE sources?
Case study of Successful adoption of RE sources by the State of California, USA State of California in the US is a leader in adoption of Renewable Energy sources and has successfully got the combination of policies, innovation and business models right to accelerate use of Renewable sources. There are several valuable lessons to be learnt by India and other countries from the achievements of California. Key drivers that helped the state of California were
Policies California (CA) has adopted ambitious environmental and energy policy goals, including reducing state-wide CHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 20% of 1990 levels by 2050 . In 2002, California established its Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program, with the goal of increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the state's electricity mix to 20 percent by 2017. The law requires publicly owned utilities to set their own RPS goals recognizing the intent of the Legislature to attain a target of 20 percent of California retail sales of electricity from renewable energy by 2010 and setting a renewable energy goal of 33 percent by 2020 for California. RPS applies to all electricity retailers in the state including publicly owned utilities, investor-owned utilities, electricity service providers, and community choice aggregators. All of these entities must adopt the new RPS goals of 20 percent of retails sales from renewables by the end of 2013, 25 percent by the end of 2016, and the 33 percent requirement being met by the end of 2020.
The Energy Commission's Renewable Energy Program has provided market-based incentives for new and existing utility-scale facilities powered by renewable energy. It also offers consumer rebates for installing new wind and solar renewable energy systems.
From 1998 to December 31, 2006, the Energy Commission's Emerging Renewables Program funded grid-connected, solar/photovoltaic electricity systems under 30 kilowatts on homes and businesses in the investor-owned utilities' service areas, wind systems up to 50 kW in size, fuel cells (using a renewable fuel), and solar thermal electric. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) funded larger selfgeneration projects for businesses. Since 2007, the Emerging Renewables Program has focused on providing incentives toward the purchase and installation of small wind systems and fuel cells using a renewable fuel. Statewide effort known collectively as 'Go Solar California' and has set a goal of 3,000 MW of solar generating capacity with a budget of $3.35 billion. There have been several such policies under the Existing Renewables program, Emerging Renewables program and New Renewables program over the years that have aggressively promoted the adoption of Renewable Energy sources. Achieving these renewable energy goals became even more important with the enactment of AB 32), the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. This legislation sets aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals for the state and its achievements will depend in part on the success of renewable energy programs. These provide strong incentives for adoption of growth of renewable energy technologies in CA. 1. California improved the processes for licensing renewable projects. State agencies to create comprehensive plans to prioritize regional renewable projects based on an area's renewable resource potential Impact: Renewable Energy projects had 'quicker time to market cycle' and went live sooner than before. State of California attracted 60% of venture-capital funding in the entire US. This implies that State of California attracted more clean-technology money that the rest of the country put together. 2. Establish a coordinated approach with US Federal agencies to reduce the time and expense for developing renewable energy on federally-owned California land Impact: Reduce potential delays and avoid cost over-runs. 3. To streamline the application process for renewable energy development, the Energy Commission will identify renewable energy development areas and develop a best management practices manual with the goal of reducing the application time in half for specific renewable projects 50 MW and greater proposed in the designated renewable energy development areas. Impact: Faster clearances, more clean-tech funding, repeatable process leading to steep learning curve, best practices incorporated in the execution. 4. Streamlined permitting and environmental review process. This should also help reduce the time and uncertainty normally associated with licensing new renewable projects Impact: Reduce cost and time overrun
5. The Energy Commission to certify and verify eligible renewable energy resources procured by publicly owned utilities and to monitor their compliance with the RPS. The Energy Commission will continue to certify and verify RPS procurements by retail sellers. Impact: Effective Governance and monitoring mechanism in place with rewards and penalties built in to influence desired, positive outcomes Source: The California Energy Commission Technology Innovation California's proactive, investor friendly renewable energy policies, coupled with huge inflow of venture capital funds have spawned several clean-tech companies that are working on the cutting edge of technology research. Not only companies that work with traditional renewables (Solar, Wind) are growing but also new ones, which focus on sparingly used technologies like fuel cells, are growing at faster pace. One such company which holds huge promise has made significant progress in Solid oxide fuel cells without using any expensive precious metals, corrosive acids, or molten materials but by using widely available, low cost ceramic materials. â€œTechnologies that use fuel cells operate in a distributed environment, power generation at the point of consumption, eliminate the cost, complexity, interdependencies, and inefficiencies associated with transmission and distribution networks thereby
producing clean, reliable power at the customer's premises. Such breakthrough in technology was possible because of the enabling environment present in the state of California that encouraged innovation, rewarded risk taking and celebrated entrepreneurs who successfully circumvented challenges posed by material scienceâ€? New Business Models While Policies and technology innovation are necessary ingredients for success but they alone are not sufficient to ensure sustainable growth. Changing customer preference needs changing business models as well. Only when new business models align with policies and innovation, one could expect certainty of growth and adoption. There are several examples of this phenomena from other industries like Mobile telephony in India, that helped accelerate the adoption of mobile phone in India from a mere 25,000 users in 1997 to 800 Million users in 2011. Renewable companies in the State of California have started to offer 'asset-light', pay per use business model to consumers wherein the customers pay just for the electricity consumed and not for the cost of the equipment or the installations. Moreover, the cost of the electricity produced from these 'insitu' boxes are 20% cheaper than what the customers pay to electric utilities that supply power from fossil fuels. Also, the cost of electricity produced by renewable sources is maintained at current price levels for a period of 10 years, even though the cost of electricity from fossil fuels may escalate during the 10 year period. Apart from these benefits, the renewable energy provider will handle all the maintenance and service issues of operating the distributed energy boxes at no extra cost to the customer. Such innovative business model eliminates any downside risks for the customers while there's huge upside benefits from adopting clean energy sources at their homes, thereby accelerating the adoption of renewable energy sources. Impact: Over 21,000 MW of Renewable Energy contracts signed in California since 2002 Intersection of Technology Innovation, Proactive Policies and
Swaminathan Mani is a PhD scholar of University of Petroleum and Energy Studies. He has done his BE (Hons.) from BITS Pilani and MBA from Bharathidasan University, Trichy. His contact email address: email@example.com.
Dr. Tarun Dhingra is a former ICSSR doctoral research fellow at MNNIT Allahabad, is a faculty of Strategic Management at University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehra Dun. He has published several papers in national and international journals of repute and is reviewer of interscience journal. Dr. Dhingra has conducted Management Development Programs (MDP) on strategic management for many companies in the Energy sector. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cloud as IT Strategy For Power Sector By Abhishek Anand and Dr. Devendra Kumar Punia â€œEveryone in business is under constant pressure to produce ever-increasing volumes of work to generate more revenue using existing staff. Also, to gain competitive advantage, corporate growth and financial stability organizations take multiple steps and adopt various methodologies. Outsourcing Information Technology allows a business to focus on business objectives and streamlining the business operations. More importantly it provides access to wide range of specific skilled resources and access to high-quality services at a cost-effective price; thus improving the quality without any hassles for continually updating their technology stack and resources. The key objective of the IT solution is to minimize human interface in commercial processes to avoid human errors and chances of willful mistakes. Information Technology (IT) plays a vital role in contributing significantly in the power reforms process, particularly in the areas of Aligning Business to IT, Customer relationship Management (CRM), Billing, Portal & Business Intelligence, Enterprise Applications, Emerging Models like Cloud and SaaS, Business process automation, revenue and commercial management, distribution system automation, and ATC loss reductionâ€? Introduction The Indian power sector is hovering towards growth. Ministry of Power has taken conscious efforts towards power sector reforms which received a momentum in the early 1990s with the opening up of generation to private players this was driven by the shortfall in supply. This was followed by structural changes that included establishment of independent regulatory commissions and the intent to unbundled State Electricity Boards (SEBs) in some states. The third phase of reforms focused on operational changes including improving the distribution through activities like Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (APDRP), which began as the Accelerated Power Development Program (APDP). The reforms process was further reinforced by laws and policies with an aim to bring in commercial viability and competition into the sector, the most notable being the Electricity Act 2003. APDRP will also include adoption of IT applications for meter reading, billing & collection; energy accounting & auditing; MIS; redressal of consumer grievances; establishment of IT enabled consumer service centers etc. Aligning Information Technology to business is to assure the investments in IT generate business values and mitigate risks. The implementation of a set of best IT practices is key to delivering good business services that meet organizational needs and vice versa. Also, as some of the organizations seek to enhance their competitive positions in an increasingly
competitive market, they are discovering thatthey can cut costs and maintain quality by relying more on outside service providers for activities viewedas supplementary to their core business. At many instances Business is not aligned with IT. This isbecause of multiple factors pertaining to the understanding of IT and its advantages. There is tremendous diversity found in the IT application landscape, infrastructure used, businessmodels, etc. The global IT market for the power distribution sector provides a wide range oftechnologies and solutions. These solutions address the entire business value chain in powerdistribution from setting up distribution network and service connection to distribution loadmanagement, delivery of power and customer facing processes. IT is a large and important entity atglobal utilities. Usually there is a CIO or a similar executive reporting directly to the CEO who isresponsible for the effective performance of the organization's IT assets. Information Technology has been used as a tool to address a specific issue or two at a time and not as along-term, holistic strategy. While Indian IT sector has helped numerous organizations around the globederive substantial benefits from application of IT, there is plenty of room for IT application within thepower sector in India. There is a need to look at the global practices in IT adoption in the power sector so that India can benefit from it. Information Technology (IT) can offer a framework for an efficient power system, providing the technical design of a future and help management address commercial and behavioral issues. The technicaldesign of an IT landscape, can help monitor and control electricity real-time with fine granularity,construct a robust, self-healing grid detect outages, load, congestion and shortfall, and establish twoway
power exchange with a large number of renewable generators, storage devices and devices such as plug-in hybrid vehicles. In terms of commercial and behavioral issues, IT can help identify theft and losses, provide choice to customers, allow for new pricing mechanisms such as Time-of-Day (ToD) or real-time, enable much improved transparency and conservation, and provide the structure for sophisticated billing, collection and information management. Outsourcing & IT the paradigm Shift The IT industry has evolved over the last fifty years,
changed paradigms constantly from single, hugely expensive mainframe systems back in the 1960s and 1970s; through the rise of the personal computer in the 1980s then associated explosion in distributed computing in the 1990s and server sprawl; and through to the new era of consolidation back onto centralized platforms. IT Outsourcing has evolved from generic sourcing delivery models of Onsite, Offshore, Offsite, Hybrid to the NextGen IT of utilizing Cloud computing, mobility or green sustainability.
Onsite Delivery Models - Onsite Delivery Model is usually adopted where the scope of the project is repetitive and open-ended as is the case with most of the process re-engineering related services. Also where the client is not very clear regarding the end results required by them or where there is a possibility of fluctuating requirements during the course of the project, Onsite is a preferred delivery model. In some cases where direct and continuous client participation and interaction is desired after each and every step involved like getting the approval of the
client's team after each stage of project this is the only model which fulfills this need. If the client wants to upgrade their existing system and migrate to the latest technology then in such cases also the onsite model is preferable, if the client is able to afford the changes that will be required in their existing set-up to accommodate the service provider's onsite team. Offsite Delivery Model - In Offsite Delivery Model, the service provider works in a nearby vicinity of the client i.e. the service provider will be located within the same city/country as that of the client. This will prove beneficial to the client as well as to the service provider as the service provider will have a better understanding of the client's need
resulting from the fact of having an almost similar background as far as the geographical factor is concerned. Offshore Delivery Model In Offshore Delivery Model, the entire project is accomplished at the service provider's offshore development center, which is located in a different country. The client will be dealing directly with the offshore team. The service provider will have no face-to-face interaction withthe client during the entire process once the initial interaction with the client regarding their requirements and expectations are over. Of course as the project progresses, both the parties will be communicating regularly through other means of communication so as to clear off any doubts that may arise. Hybrid model Combination of two or more delivery models (Onsite-Offsite/ Onsite-Offshore) is preferred in software development outsourcing as the offshore factor results in huge cost savings as well as the total cost of ownership of the infrastructure and
Abhishek Anand Kalavai is a PhD Scholar University of Petroleum and Energy Studies Dehra Dun. Abhishek is currently pursuing his PhD in management focus on Power sector from University of petroleum and energy studies, Dehra Dun. He is employed with Mahindra Satyam as presales lead for the consulting arm of Mahindra Satyam. He has close to 8 years of IT Industry experience working in the space of Marketing, Presales, Alliances, Sales, Business Development. He has good understanding to the technologies from the business stand point like ERP (SAP, Oracle), BI/DW (SAP-BOBJ, IBM-Cognos, Actuate, Informatica, DataStage), eBusiness Solutions (Microsoft, IBM, BEA), Consulting (ITIL/ITSM, Six Sigma, Theory Of Constraints, EPM Tools, SDLC Process using Agile/Scrum, IT Value Addition Management). Rich experience in building the team from scratch, building teams, training, and team management. Prior to Mahindra Satyam was associated with Yash Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Joined Yash through campus as Executive Business development and his last role there was as Product Line Manager for the BI Practice. Abhishek has also have managed few alliances for Yash BI practice. Abhishek holds a degree in PGDBM from Dhruva College of Management, Hyderabad.
Dr. Devendra Kumar Punia is a Professor and Head of Department of Information Systems Management, College of Management & Economics Studies (CMES), UPES. Dr. Devendra Kumar Punia is Professor and Head of Department of Information Systems in CMES, UPES. He is responsible for academic planning and monitoring, faculty mentoring, research, consultancy and MDPs, budgeting etc. He is a member of Faculty Research Committee and guiding four doctoral students. He is also member of the Joint Coordination Committee for UPES-IBM alliance. Prior to joining UPES, he was working with FORE School of Management, New Delhi. There apart from academics, he also undertook consulting as e-governance expert to DFID funded Bihar government project â€œSupport Programme for Urban Reformsâ€?. He was responsible for defining the IT & egovernance strategy for Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and the Urban Development Department, Govt. of Bihar, DefineMoUs / Contracts / Service levels; Programme Management for consulting, software development, GIS mapping projects. Earlier, he has worked with various organizations like Wipro Consulting Services, IAP Company Limited and UCPL in Government, Telecom, Banking, Utilities and SME domains covering e-Governance, IT Consultancy, Business Analysis, Software Development, Process Consultancy and Project Managementfields. He did his Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications from MNIT, Jaipur. He has
Why Smart Grids are Important to Renewable Energy Sources? By Ramanathan Menon
“A smart grid is a digitally enabled electrical grid that gathers, distributes, and acts on information about the behavior of all participants (suppliers and consumers) in order to improve the efficiency, importance, reliability, economics, and sustainability of electricity services” “Smart grid” generally refers to a class of technology people are using to bring utility electricity delivery systems into the 21st century, using computer-based remote control and automation. These systems are made possible by twoway communication technology and computer processing that has been used for decades in other industries. They are beginning to be used on electricity networks, from the power plants and wind farms all the way to the consumers of electricity in homes and businesses. They offer many benefits to utilities and consumers -- mostly seen in big improvements in energy efficiency on the electricity grid
and in the energy users' homes and offices. For a century, utility companies have had to send workers out to gather much of the data needed to provide electricity. The workers read meters, look for broken equipment and measure voltage, for example. Most of the devices utilities use to deliver electricity have yet to be automated and computerized. Now, many options and products are being made available to the electricity industry to modernize it. Renewable Energy and the Smart Grid Concerns about climate change have spurred efforts to accelerate the introduction of energy from renewable sources like wind and solar into electricity supply industries worldwide. At the same time, formal wholesale markets for electricity have become the norm, having now been in place for more than ten years in many regions of the United States and for an even longer time in most industrialized countries of the world. Integrating a substantial amount of renewable energy sources into wholesale electricity markets presents two key challenges. First, regulatory mechanisms must support the construction of appropriate transmission infrastructure. Because the richest renewable resource potential is often located far from population centers, the inability to site and build adequate transmission lines to interconnect renewable generation to the grid can be a major barrier to the expansion of renewable energy. Sorely-needed transmission expansions are not realized both because their benefits are difficult to quantify and because existing regulatory processes lack suitable means of allocating project costs to those who will benefit. Existing and planned research seeks to address the first problem by creating models of the benefits of
transmission expansions under scenarios of high renewable energy penetration. Such models must incorporate not only the direct effect of new transmission lines on power flows, but also the responses of market incumbents to the increased competition enabled by transmission expansion. A second component of research on transmission takes a more holistic look at why some jurisdictions have been relatively successful at bringing new transmission infrastructure on-line while others. Second, the electricity system must be able to manage the intermittency of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which cannot be turned on and off at will like fossil fuel power plants. Adequate transmission infrastructure helps in managing intermittency but is not sufficient. It is likely that any electricity market with a significant fraction of energy from renewable sources will need to create mechanisms through which electricity consumers can respond to unpredictable (and sometimes highly correlated) changes in electricity supply. The fundamental obstacles to a "smart grid" that would let consumers see the true price of energy and adjust their consumption patterns in response are not technical but regulatory and behavioral. Regulatory bodies have felt the need to "protect" consumers from price volatility. However, it is this very price volatility that can allow consumers to benefit by "buying low and selling high" in the electricity market, in the process creating a genuine demand pull for needed energy storage technologies. A smart grid allows for resources which are renewable but not unlimited to be used more efficiently. The common misconception that people have about wind, water, and solar energy is that because they come from nature the supply is never ending. However, that is not always the reality, at least not in an energy demand sense. Without a clear method of storing these energy sources, they will more than likely go to waste. A solar panel captures energy from the sun during the day when most people really do not need as much electricity. Wind energy is most common and most prevalent at night, again when most people do not need as much. Traditional electrical energy comes into our homes from the outside wires, leading to a bill being generated whether any of it is ever used or not. A smart grid would allow a user to only be billed for actual energy consumption and would show how much energy is being used and where. A smart grid can adapt and switch to alternating power sources as needed. This eliminates worry about whether or not the energy will be there or that it will be costing more than it should. Current utility set ups place everyone at the mercy of the companies that provide the energy - you either pay what they demand or you are out in the darkness. With a smart grid, the energy sources could be mostly selfgenerated with the utility company being the last resort for power. A smart grid user could also utilize the extra power that
they are creating with their set up to get credits from the utilities by selling the excess back to them. If you generate enough solar power to run your entire household for the day with some left over, you could then sell the excess back to the utility company. This would show up at the end of the month (or the year) as a credit toward your account. If you do this often enough, the amount that you receive will more than offset your bill, eventually you will accrue more generated energy than what you are using. Smart grids are smart not only for those who generate or use alternate energy sources, but also because it effectively teaches about actual energy consumption and often, wastes. If it is possible to see exactly how much energy is being wasted by looking at a detailed bill, it is easier to find ways
to eliminate that waste.
The Smart Grid The “grid” amounts to the networks that carry electricity from the plants where it is generated to consumers. The grid includes wires, substations, transformers, switches and much more. Much in the way that a “smart” phone these days means a phone with a computer in it, smart grid means “computerizing” the electric utility grid. It includes adding two-way digital communication technology to devices associated with the grid. Each device on the network can be given sensors to gather data (power meters, voltage sensors, fault detectors, etc.), plus two-way digital communication between the device in the field and the utility's network operations center. A key feature of the smart grid is automation technology that lets the utility adjust and control each individual device or millions of devices from a central location. The number of applications that can be used on the smart grid once the data communications technology is deployed is growing as fast as inventive companies can create and produce them. Benefits include enhanced cyber-security, handling sources of electricity like wind and solar power and even integrating electric vehicles onto the grid. The companies making smart grid technology or offering such services include technology giants, established
communication firms and even brand new technology firms.
Microgrids: Building Blocks of the Smart Grid The term “microgrid” may conjure up images of selfsufficient military bases and remote outposts, generating and consuming power without any connections to the larger electricity grid. After all, backup generators that support multiple buildings the bare-bones definition of a microgrid are already a mainstay of hospitals, refineries, data centers, semiconductor plants and other institutions that can't afford to let the power go down, even for a second. Such stand-alone microgrids now add up to about 450 megawatts of commercial and industrial capacity, and another 322 megawatts in the campus and institutional sector, in the U.S., according to Pike Research.
But utilities, as well as their customers and partners, are increasingly looking past microgrids' ability to “island” themselves to protect from broader power outages, and are seeking out ways they can use their on-site distributed power generation, and demand reduction and management systems to help the grid at large. Theoretically, these types of microgrids could help the outside grid keep its own power quality stable, helping entire neighborhoods ride through disruptions. And at the end of the road, microgrids could sell their generation and demand reduction back to the utilities they usually buy power from, giving would-be microgrid operators a whole new set of financial incentives to help bolster their business cases.
Microgrids As Tools How do microgrids help utilities manage their smart grid
ambitions? One of the most recent examples comes from American Electric Power, which since 1999 has worked within the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS), a Department of Energy/California Energy Commission-led group that's concentrated on inverter technologies to allow the fast, safe disconnection and reconnection of microgrids to the larger grid. Modern inverters can also allow a microgrid's power to serve as backup and stabilizer for the outside grid. Pike Research has pointed to the CERTS systems as among the first to standardize microgrid-grid interconnections. Will more such standard connection systems emerge?
The Potential The smart grid is expected to cost about $165 billion over the coming years, according to a recent middle-road estimate from the Electric Power Research Institute. Taking
a larger view, the Galvin Electricity Initiative a nonprofit founded by former Motorola CEO Bob Galvin that is a big proponent of microgrids estimates that the world will need $6 trillion in grid investment over the next 25 years. What share of that build out will come in the form of microgrids? According to Pike Research, the microgrid market will grow to about $7.8 billion in cumulative investment by 2015 or so. Where are the next-generation microgrids being built? Right now, several microgrid projects are being funded with DOE smart grid stimulus grants, including Galvin Electricity Initiative's Perfect Power System at the Illinois Institute of Technology campus in Chicago. Viridity Energy is involved in two stimulus-funded projects one with Consolidated Edison in New York City, and another
with PECO at the Philadelphia campus of Drexel University. San Diego Gas & Electric is working on a small-scale microgrid project in Borrego Spring, Calif., but a larger project planned for the University of California at San Diego campus may be reconsidered after it failed to secure DOE funding last fall. There are more projects that incorporate various concepts that underlie microgrids, including “virtual power plants” that coordinate local distributed generation and demand response resources, and distribution automation systems that apply new technologies to balance grid power. But just what is and isn't a microgrid is a matter of some uncertainty, with definitions shifting as time goes on. Stay tuned for future posts on these distinctions, and other microgrid-related topics including the question of whether it will be utilities or private operators who push them forward the fastest.
The Seven Principal Characteristics of the Smart Grid: ? Enables active participation by consumers Consumer choices and increased interaction with the grid bring tangible benefits to both the grid and the environment, while reducing the cost of delivered electricity; ? Accommodates all generation and storage options Diverse resources with “plug-and-play” connections multiply the options for electrical generation and storage, including new opportunities for more efficient, cleaner power production; ? Enables new products, services, and markets The grid's open-access market reveals waste and inefficiency and helps drive them out of the system while offering new consumer choices such as green power products and a new generation of electric vehicles. Reduced transmission congestion also leads to more efficient electricity markets; ? Provides power quality for the digital economy Digitalgrade power quality for those who need it avoids production and productivity losses, especially in digitaldevice environments; ? Optimizes asset utilization and operates efficiently Desired functionality at minimum cost guides operations and allows fuller utilization of assets. More targeted and
efficient grid maintenance programs result in fewer equipment failures and safer operations; ? Anticipates and responds to system disturbances (selfheals) The smart grid will perform continuous selfassessments to detect, analyze, respond to, and as needed, restore grid components or network sections, and ? Operates resiliently against attack and natural disaster The grid deters or withstands physical or cyber attack and improves public safety. The deployment of technology solutions that achieve these characteristics will improve how the smart grid is planned, designed, operated, and maintained. These improvementsin each of the key value areas presented abovelead to specific benefits that are enjoyed by all. The following technology solutions are generally considered when a smart grid implementation plan is developed: ? Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI); ? Customer Side Systems (CS); ? Demand Response (DR); ? Distribution Management System/Distribution Automation (DMS); ? Transmission Enhancement Applications (TA); ? Asset/System Optimization (AO); ? Distributed Energy Resources (DER) ? Information and Communications Integration (ICT)
Deploying in Developing Countries Smart grids play a critical role in the deployment of new electricity infrastructure in developing countries and emerging economies like India. As well as enabling more efficient operations, grids can also help to keep downward pressure on the cost of electricity. Small "remote? systems -- not connected to a centralized electricity infrastructure and initially employed as a cost-effected approach to rural electrification -- could later be connected easily to a national or regional infrastructure. Smart grids could be used to get electricity to sparsely populated areas by enabling a transition from simple, oneoff approaches to electrification (e.g. battery-based household electrification) to community grids that can then connect to national and regional grids.
M.R. Menon has more than two decades of experience as a journalist and a writer on Energy and Environment subjects, interacting with energy sectorsboth conventional as well as non-conventionalin India and the Kingdom of Bahrain. In the Eighties, he was the Bahrain Correspondent for 'Middle East Electricity' magazine published by Reeds, U.K. He also worked as the Media Manager (India) for Washington, DC-based publication 'Business Times' which promotes India's commercial interests in North America. He was also the editor and publisher of 'Sun Power', a quarterly renewable energy magazine during 19952002. His contact email address: email@example.com
SMART GRID: A key element in achieving a sustainable energy system By Staff Writer
“The Smart Grid”: Utilities are crafting new technologies to make the power grid “ intelligent”- able to automatically conserve energy. 1. Solar panels and windmills mounted on houses generate power. If a family is generating a surplus, they can feed it back to the utility and get paid as microgenerators. 2. "Smart Appliances" monitor how much electricity they're using and shut down when power is too expensive. 3. Remote Control consumers can permit utilities to control their non-essential appliances - like pool pumps - turning them on and off to fine-tune the grid for maximum efficiency. 4. Plug-in hybrid cars refuel using clean electricity generated locally. 5. Locally-generated power avoids the 15% power-loss that occurs when you send electricity over long-distance power lines. “superconducting” power lines route extra electricity from out-of-state utilities when demand spikes. 6. Wireless Chips let individual houses communicate with power Utilities swapping on-the-fly information about the current price and usage of electricity. 7. Web and Mobile-Phone Interfaces allow consumers to see how much Power their appliances are using when they're not at home - and even to turn them on or off remotely to reduce costs. 8. Energy Storage - When solar panels produce excess Energy, it can be stored in batteries so houses can use clean energy at night when the sun isn't shining” What is a smart grid? A smart grid is an electricity network that can intelligently integrate the actions of all users connected to it--generators, consumers and those that do bothin order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electric supplies. Smart grid is not a single technology but an umbrella term that covers a multitude of different elements that together create a new vision for more intelligent and responsive energy systems. Why will smart grids be needed?
Smart Grids are a key element in achieving a sustainable energy system. For example, by 2020 there is expected to be increased demand for electricity for electric transport and space heating from heat pumps.
At the same time the traditional base-load electricity generation will have been replaced by variable renewable energy in order to meet carbon reduction targets. Balancing supply and demand on a minute by minute basis and strengthening the electricity system without a smarter grid would require very substantial investment in additional generation capacity and network reinforcement. Smart grids will enable the challenges for clean energy to be met in a more costeffective way and bring wider benefits through greater customer engagement. Smart Grids will allow customers to participate and be rewarded, for example, by varying the time of day when they use devices that consume the most energy. What parts of the infrastructure will be involved in smart grid? Smart grid will need to integrate all parts of the electricity network and all users, including those who also generate and feed surplus electricity in the local network. To ensure the best use of a smart grid, close collaboration will be required not only between the different players in the energy system but also with IT and telecommunications providers, manufacturers of electric vehicles and white goods, and operators of car parks providing electric vehicle charging. What are the timescales? In most developed countries smart grids need to be deployed rapidly post 2020 if their de-carbonization and energy security objectives are to be achieved. In the UK, it is planned to roll out smart meters to all homes during the period 2012-2017. Timescales are unavoidably long for achieving changes in this sector (particularly as existing services cannot be interrupted) and smart grid functionality is expected to be trialled between now and 2015 with increasing wide area deployment being evident towards 2020. What will consumers' interaction with smart grids feel like?
The aim of a smart grid is to enable low carbon energy to be used efficiently and best use to be made of available network capacity. In a world where the availability of generation may be limited, especially at peak times, the aim is for smart grids to avoid an adverse impact on the lifestyle of consumers and indeed offer attractive new choices and services. Home automation, for example, will pick up signals indicating the times when items such as dishwashers or electric vehicle charging can benefit from the best prices for energy. They will also enable home micro-generation, such as from solar panels, to be exported into the local network and for customers to be paid for it. Once smart grids become commonplace from around 2020 onwards, some customers are likely to want to take close control of their energy consumption (or production) while others will welcome automated systems or the services of third party providers. In all cases there will be much more information available about our energy use that we have today. This will be up to date and easily accessible so that informed choices can be made. Early smart grid developments taking place now, especially in the area of smart metering, recognize the importance of good experience for customers including matters such as data privacy and security. What is the relationship between smart grids and smart metering?
information locally to the customer. Increased information from customers is also important to the smarter operation of the wider energy system and will enable network companies to track the quality of supply to customers and respond more promptly when for example, there is a loss of supply. What is required for smart meters to enable a future smart grid? The requirements of the smart meters need to be specified as a component in a future smart grid system. Meters have long lives and this field is moving quickly. Therefore, the key to establishing a smart grid in the future is to agree a specification for smart meters that enables them to be operated as part of a smart grid system in the future. It is important that smart meters are designed with the capability to measure real time consumption and key network parameters and transmit this information in near real time via a range of communications options. It is also important that they can link to future home energy management systems. What needs to be in place to ensure security? The smart metering/smart grid system needs to be designed with security and data protection built in from the outset and as the default position. What needs to be done? Generating companies, the transmission companies, the distribution companies, metering companies and electricity supply companies are currently separate commercial entities whose interaction is closely regulated through licenses. Leadership of a high order will be needed at all levels so that implementation can be driven in a way that allows all stakeholders to play their part in realizing the vision for smart grids.
A smart meter The purpose of the meter at the customer premises is to make measurements of the energy supply. The main measurement traditionally has been the amount of electricity used and this data has been manually collected. The degree of 'smartness' of a meter relates to the amount of communication applied to it, the range of measurements it can make and their granularity, and its ability to provide
(Courtesy: The Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET), U.K. - The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has more than 150,000 members worldwide in 127 countries. The IET was formed in March 2006 by a merger of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE). The Institution of Engineering and Technology is registered as a Charity in England and Wales and Scotland. IET members operate almost 100 Local Networks as well as 21 Technical and Professional Networks)
Issues of sustainability of buildings in post Durban period worldwide By Tara Prasad Dhal
Can't we think beyond green? Sustainability in building design and construction including operation and maintenance can never be thought of without energy efficiency as worldwide, 30-40% of all primary energy is used in buildings. While in high- and middleincome countries this is mostly achieved with fossil fuels, biomass is still the dominant energy source in low-income regions. In different ways, both patterns of energy consumption are environmentally intensive, contributing to global warming. Without proper policy interventions and technological improvements, these patterns are not expected to change in the near future. â€œOn the global level, knowledge regarding the energy use of building stocks is still lagging be-hind. Generally speaking,
the residential sector accounts for the major part of the energy consumed in buildings; in developing countries the share can be over 90%. Nevertheless, the energy consumption in non-residential buildings, such as offices and public buildings and hospitals, is also significantâ€? The pattern of energy use in buildings is strongly related to the building type and the climate zone where it is located. The level of development also has an effect. Today, most of the energy consumption occurs during the building's operational phase, for heating, cooling and lighting purposes, which urges building professionals to produce more energy-efficient buildings and renovate existing stocks according to modern sustainability criteria. The diversity of buildings, their distinct uses and extended life cycle pose a challenge for the prescription of energy
View of office building of Chhattisgarh state electricity regulatory commission at Raipur
conservation measures. Specific solutions are needed for each situation, such as for the construction of new buildings, for the renovation of existing ones, for small family houses and for large commercial complexes. Energy consumption can be reduced with thermal insulation, high performance windows and solar shading, airtight structural details, ventilation and heat/cold recovery systems, supported with the integration of renewable energy production in the building. These strategies apply to buildings in both warm and cold climates. Site and energy chain planning also influence the energy efficiency of the individual building. However, technological solutions will only be helpful when building occupants are committed to using energy-efficient systems in an appropriate way. There are many factors that influence the energy consumption behavior of individuals, such as gender, age and socio-demographic conditions. Educational and awareness raising campaigns are therefore crucial in the process of ensuring the energy efficiency of buildings. The end of the functional service life of a building may inhibit renovation projects when the building or its parts are no longer suitable for the needs of the building user. In refurbishment processes, basically the same rationale applies as in the construction of new buildings. Since the operational energy is the major cause for greenhouse gas emissions in residential or commercial buildings to be renovated, this should be the first aspect to be taken into account when considering the improvement of the energy efficiency of building stocks. Moving towards the idea of life-cycle responsibility and introducing effective commissioning processes will help to ensure the efficient life-cycle performance of the building. The high investment costs involved, the lack of information on energy-efficient solutions at all levels, as well as the (perceived or real) lack of availability of solutions to specific conditions, are considered as the major barriers to implementing energy efficiency measures in buildings. In addition, there can be a number of organizational barriers, such as different decision making levels, privatization/deregulation processes, different stakeholders deciding on the energy system and shouldering the energy bill respectively, etc.
It is clear that there are no universal solutions for improving the energy efficiency of buildings. General guidelines must be adjusted to the different climate, economic and social conditions in different countries. The local availability of materials, products, services and the local level of technological development must also be taken into account. The building sector has a considerable potential for positive change, to become more efficient in terms of resource use, less environmentally intensive and more profitable. Sustainable buildings can also be used as a mitigating opportunity for greenhouse gas emissions under the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol and should be considered as a key issue for the post Kyoto period and still continuing in post Durban period. Decision makers understanding the logic behind the behavior of different actors is important for successful development and deployment of policy instruments and technological options. Providing benchmarks on sustainable buildings is an essential requirement for decision makers to take the correct course of action to encourage energy efficient buildings. Solutions aiming to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and construction activities should be disseminated widely, making use of existing or new technology transfer programme. Influencing market mechanisms and encouraging research and development projects, as well as public-private partnerships, are of paramount importance for this Endeavour. The key issues of sustainability for low emissions should not be limited to LEED ratings of IGBC or similar of TERI GRIHA. More and more action is desired on carrying out site specific designs in accordance with client's perspective as well. The office building of Chhattisgarh Sate Electricity Regulatory Commission (CSERC) at Raipur, Chhattisgarh is a well thought approach for a new generation sustainable technology where significant energy issues are addressed. I will not mind to be over ambitious to design a zero energy, zero water and zero discharge building like CSERC.
Tara Prasad Dhal is an Architect and the Chairman & CEO of The Design Group in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He has more than 20 years experience in Energy Conservation, Green Buildings, Zero Energy Buildings, NEP Buildings, etc. He had handled important projects like, Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission Building, Raipur; Chhattisgarh State Beverages Corporation Building Raipur; CHIPS Data Centre, Raipur; Sainik School, Ambikapur. C.G; Collectorate buildings of Bilaspur and Kawardha. C.G.; Police Commissionerate, Bhubaneswar. Odisha; Regional Institute of Urban Management, New Raipur. C.G; Prison Academy Bhubaneswar, Odisha. His contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The good, the bad and the ugly!!
Coal Power: Pollution, politics, and profits By Kyle Laskowski
â€œThe combustion of coal has been used to generate electricity since early in the industrial era. Heat produced by burning coal is used to drive a heat engine, which usually utilizes steam to drive electric turbines . Since humans first began to use coal to produce electricity we have developed much more efficient steam powered heat engines. This has helped to continually increase the efficiency of coal-fired electricity. Coal is used to produce more electricity than any other fuel source. Coal is the primary source of base load power in the world. Coal power plants are most cost-effective when they are run at full capacity all the time, with the exception of planned maintenance down times or emergenciesâ€?
Heat into electricity
The efficiency at which coal can be converted into electricity varies with the thermal efficiency of the plant and the quality of coal used. Using a reasonable set of assumptions, one can state that approximately 2.0 kilowatthours (kwh) of electricity can be generated from the burning of one kilogram of coal. Using the value of 1995 billion kWh of coal power generated in the U.S., also generating 129 million tons of fly ash we can estimate a fly ash contribution of 58.6 grams/kWh on average. Using the 2008 average electricity use per U.S. household of 11,040 kWh/year, a household powered by coal-fired electricity is responsible for the generation of approximately 647 kg of fly ash per year. This is significant since almost half of the electric power produced in the United States is from coal.
Improvements More efficient coal-fired power plant designs have been developed over the last century. These designs have improved efficiency as well as reduced the emitted gaseous pollutants. These designs have been adopted thanks to both government regulation and technological developments. The average thermal efficiency of coal power plants in the world is 28% 3 with designs existing with efficiencies as high as 48% 4. This means that on average a coal plant today turns thermal energy into electric energy with an efficiency of 28%. Government requirements to reduce emissions have driven down the nitrous oxide, sulphur oxide, particulate matter, and fly ash emissions of coal power dramatically over the past 40 years. However, this reduction is not enough, since these reduced emissions still pose a serious human health concern. Cost-effective scrubber and electrostatic precipitator technologies have yielded these benefits without significantly increasing the cost of coal electricity. Further technological development will be necessary to meet pending pollution standards. Taxes on carbon emission are especially relevant to coal-fired electricity. These taxes are seeing increased implementation around the world in recent years 5. High carbon dioxide emissions may make coal power significantly more expensive if carbon capture and sequestration technology is not rapidly and cost-effectively developed.
Byproducts Burning coal releases heat energy, but it also releases many other products. Combustion products such as carbon
dioxide, water vapour, nitrous oxides, sulphur oxides, particulate matter, and fly ash are also produced in varying amounts. Before it became a regulated waste, fly ash was mostly released into the atmosphere along with the other combustion products. In the past 45 years coal plants have been required by regulation to capture increasing fractions of their fly ash rather than expelling it into the atmosphere. In most developed countries, over 99% of the fly ash is captured and stored. However, this has created a large waste disposal issue that we will discuss in more detail later in this article. Of these byproducts, only water vapor is not considered a pollutant. The effects of these products on humans and the environment will be discussed in more detail later in this article. Additionally, coal-fired power plants need a constant and consistent supply of cooling water. The exhaust of heated water represents the introduction of thermal pollution to the body of water used for cooling.
Particulate pollution The fine particulate matter emitted when coal is burned has the potential to significantly harm human health. These small particles are breathed into the body, damaging lung alveoli or helping to trigger lung cancer. The smallest particles can work their way directly into the blood stream. These particles can be filtered from emissions to a large extent with today's technology, but this is not always done. Regulatory requirements vary from nation to nation, and not all have strong emissions standards. Without regulation forcing them to literally 'clean up their act', coal power producers have little incentive to spend even the relatively small amount of money necessary to clean up these emissions.This type of pollution contributes to approximately 24,000 deaths in the USA per year by damaging cardio-respiratory health and triggering lung cancer. The EPA considers the majority of these to be preventable deaths, as emissions reduction technology exists to prevent approximately 90% of these deaths. Sulphur oxides (SOx)
Health and environmental effects Some negative externalities arise from the use of coal as a primary electricity source. Negative health effects on the nearby human population, plant life, and wildlife has been hard to quantify precisely and thoroughly, and are generally not included in the cost of coal power to the consumer. The developed nations like India currently has comparatively high standards for some forms of coal emissions, but this does not avoid all loss of life in these places. We may not remain so lucky, as there are ongoing struggles between industry lobbies and environmental groups for the attention of governments to consider loosening environmental regulations, as occurred under the â€œClear Skys Actâ€œ. Some developing nations are not so forward-looking on this issue, choosing to allow the industry to emit toxins unhindered because that is the cheaper alternative. It is hard to blame the poorest nations for their relative lack of environmental standards because they are doing the best they can to advance to a better standard of living. However, it is possible to advance towards more healthy energy sources without sacrificing very much wealth. If the developed world aided impoverished nations more, this problem could be alleviated to some extent.
Air pollution Carbon dioxide In addition to the direct harm to humans, coal emissions harm our environment as well. The emission of carbon dioxide has received an increasing amount of media attention in the past decade, and for good reason. Emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide due to human activities, such as coal power, are believed to be a key contributing factor to global warming and climate change by the scientific community. Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are also believed to be related to increasing acidification of the oceans. Ocean acidification is damaging sensitive sea life and ecosystems as well as human industries dependent on ocean productivity.
Unless removed before combustion, the sulphur present in coal will be emitted as sulphur oxides when the coal is burned. In the atmosphere, sulphur oxides are capable of forming sulphuric acid, which damages plants and buildings through the production of acid rain. The concentration of sulphur in coal deposits varies from site to site, but it is known that China has particularly high levels of sulphur in their coal. In China alone, there are approximately 400,000 deaths each year due to sulphur dioxide emissions, the majority of which are emissions from burning coal that has a high sulphur content. Efforts to control the emissions of sulphur oxides in Europe and North America are a regulatory success story. The intent was to produce a cleaner and healthier environment for us at manageable economic costs. In the U.S., a cap and trade system was phased in following a major study in 1991. This system contributed to decreasing acid rain levels by 65% compared to 1976 levels. The EPA estimates the cost of the program at 1-2 billion dollars per year, about a quarter of the original cost predictions. The EU saw a 70% decrease in acid rain levels over the same time period. Many plants and animals are sensitive to changes in soil and water pH, so acid rain will have a variable but overall negative effect on ecosystems. The plant and animal species that are particularly sensitive can be put in serious danger by the emissions from coal power plants. Damage to flora and fauna has a significant effect on the balance of the ecosystem. Additionally, changes in soil pH cause the leaching of calcium and magnesium. This causes the soil to become more basic, which will require correction through soil additives to minimize negative effects on life. Applying such additives is only practical for agricultural land, as it can be added like a fertilizer or other crop additive. Wild areas, or those not under cultivation, are unlikely to be able to naturally correct for these effects in a timely manner. Changes in soil pH of this sort tend to reduce the health and
quantity of vegetation growth. Acid rain also causes damage to human construction, including outdoor masonry and art. The acidity dissolves the calcium in marbles and limestone over time. Additionally, acidic solutions increase the corrosion rate of bronze and copper art and architecture. This can cause the degradation and eventual loss of priceless human artifacts .Nitrogen oxides (NOx) Nitrogen oxides are produced from the oxygen and nitrogen gases present in high-temperature coal combustion. Nitrogen oxides contribute to the greenhouse effect, the formation of acid rain, ground level ozone production, and photochemical smog. Nitrogen oxides can also produce nitric acid when interacting with moisture and other chemicals in places such as the human lungs. Ozone, a product of nitrogen oxide reactions with other pollution and the atmosphere, is a harmful oxidizing agent that damages the lungs. As a result of all of these effects, nitrogen oxides released through the combustion of coal lead to numerous early deaths due to respiratory and heart damage, as well as the aggravation of asthma and bronchial conditions.
This land has, however, been found to be appropriate for other uses, such as real estate development, grazing, and the farming of game animals. Additionally, the sale of lumber may provide supplemental income before the mining begins, if it is not simply burned. One of the starkest and most obvious changes is visible in the deforestation and altered topography of sites that have undergone mountain top removal. To this author, it seems a pity to sacrifice such sites of natural beauty, as well as the health of those fortunate enough to live near them, in order to extract a marginal amount of coal. Downstream contamination Water bodies that are downstream have been found to contain elevated levels of arsenic and other pollutants which can pose a definite human health hazard. Even worse, much of this pollution is in excess of existing regulatory limits that are not being enforced. To combat this, coalitions of environmental activist organizations and locals must often take polluters to court at their own expense.
When warm water used to cool a coal power plant is exhausted into bodies of water that harbor life, it becomes thermal pollution which can have negative effects on the ecosystem. Heating a body of water decreases its dissolved oxygen content, which has the potential to harm animals dependent on it for oxygen. Heating also leads to an increase in the metabolic rate of the organisms living in the body of water, causing them to require more food. Warmer waters can trigger algae blooms, further depriving the water of oxygen.
Historically, coal mining was a very dangerous undertaking for those involved. Underground coal mines were prone to collapse, with the potential to harm miners. The modernization of the coal mining industry has drastically reduced this risk. It is now the case that in the U.S., only tens of coal miners die per year compared to times in history when yearly coal miner deaths numbered in the hundreds to thousands. Pollutants released Most of the ill effects of coal mining today are due to pollutants that are released during the mining process. Most of this pollution is caused by a technique known as mountaintop removal, in which the 'overburden' above a coal seam is removed into valleys, along with other waste from the mining process. Mountaintop removal exposes toxic contaminants in the ground that are found along with coal. These toxic materials are often swept into the ecosystem by rain and streams that have been buried in the valleys. Damage to ecosystem Deforestation and elimination of streams due to mountaintop removal can have a drastic effect on the ecosystem. In particular, they damage the biodiversity of the local ecosystem by driving out or killing species populations. The current environmental re-mediation efforts are inadequate to replace the ecosystem services that were once provided by the living ecosystems of the regions before they were subjected to mountaintop removal.
many mountaintop removal projects would no longer be economically viable.
Ecosystems that were once largely forested are repopulated with fast growing non-native grasses. Streams which were an integral part of the local ecosystem are filled in with mining waste and rubble. Weak environmental regulations permit this woefully incomplete re-mediation process. If a more thorough ecosystem replacement were required,
Some forms of life may benefit from changes to the temperature of water bodies. In particular, the manatee is known to use the thermal output of power plants as a refuge in the winter. However, changes in temperature tend to cause biodiversity in these areas to go down. These local ecosystems are being forcibly moved away from the selfdirected equilibria in which the diversity of life has established some degree of balance. What can be done about thermal pollution? Fortunately, there is some hope. The more efficient a thermal power plant is, the less thermal pollution needs to be rejected into the environment to produce the same amount of electricity. The use of cooling ponds and cooling towers reduces the quantity of heat exhausted into the living environment. Both of these techniques use man-made structures to encourage heat dispersal through water evaporation and the heating of the air. Alternatively, the extra heat can be used for human and industrial needs, such as space heating, district heating, or industrial processes requiring 'low grade' heat. 'Low grade' heat refers to thermal resources that are at a relatively low temperature by industrial standards, generally below about 130ยบC, or 266ยบF. The process of utilizing waste heat from a power plant for other uses is known as co-generation. Fly ash Fly ash represents the large particulate matter left over after coal is burned. It contains large amounts of silicon and
calcium oxides as well as smaller proportions of heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic. Fly ash is a very toxic material. Since the formation of the EPA, stringent emission regulations have required the removal of larger and larger fractions of fly ash from atmospheric emissions. In the western world, it is common for more than 99% of fly ash to be captured at the stack. While this has been a great boon for air quality worldwide, this has created a new form of hazardous waste that we need to deal with. Unlike the other pollutants emitted by the burning of coal, which are gaseous or energy, there is a large volume and mass of fly ash that needs to be dealt with. In the U.S. alone, 129 million tons of fly ash are produced each year. While some of this ash is cycled into other uses such as a concrete filler, a significant amount of it remains stored in ash ponds and landfills. We assert that land filling fly ash is not a solution; it only creates an ever-growing accident waiting to happen. As the amount of fly ash stored worldwide increases, accidents such as this one in Tennessee will continue to happen at increasing costs to people's health and pocketbooks, as well as the environment. If we can produce less fly ash through the burning of less coal, we can move toward the goal of reusing more fly ash than is produced each year. The goal is to decrease the amount of fly ash stored, since it represents a significant danger to human and ecosystem health. Fly ash is considered fit for a variety of uses, from fill material on Portland cement to use as a sewage stabilizer for human waste, to 'cinder blocks' used for construction. Coal industry Vs the people It is in the interest of those profiting from the producing and use of coal power to keep the costs of this damage external, and knowledge of the extent of the damage poorly developed. This means that it is in the economic interests of the coal industry to keep the public ignorant of these negative effects, and thus keep these extra costs from affecting their profits, or knowledge of the damage from hurting their reputation or catalysing the creation of stricter regulations. It is in the interest of those suffering the ill effects of this damage to ensure that companies and people responsible for producing coal power internalize the costs they have placed on society and the environment. Market goods need
to carry their true prices in order for free market economics to function effectively. Coal power should only be used if the benefits outweigh its true costs, and those individuals who are harmed through its use are fairly compensated. Why do we still do it? So far, this article has largely been a list of warnings, quantifying the damaging effects of using coal for electrical production. The reader might ask, why then do we still burn coal? Well, for starters, burning coal to make power is cheap. Coal is a fairly inexpensive and abundant fuel source and humanity has had much practice in developing more cost effective and thermally efficient ways of burning it. We have commented in the past that it is difficult to find a cheaper source of power than 'burning flammable dirt'. As discussed earlier, many of the costs of burning coal remain unaccounted for in the bills of those using coal power. Some of these costs are born in other ways, such as through lower agricultural productivity and higher health care costs, while other costs will not necessarily be seen immediately or locally. Many of the institutions of our developed society directly or indirectly benefit from very low electricity costs. For our society to continue functioning as we expect it to, it is transitioning towards electricity sources that can compete with coal in terms of cost. In the past decades we have seen cost-effective power sources from natural gas, hydro, wind, nuclear, biomass and geothermal. Some relatively new forms of electricity such as solar photo-voltaics and solar thermal power are also showing great promise. When calculations include the full cost of coal, including the negative effects on the environment and human health, cleaner forms such as wind energy have already taken the lead as the cheapest form of electricity in many areas of the world. It is also advisable to reduce our electricity use while these new technologies are being refined and implemented. This will extend the lifetime of our existing power infrastructure and reduce the impact that changes in the cost of electricity will have on our lives. Transitioning away from coal-fired electricity will take a lot of time and effort, but technologies exist that can currently be implemented to steadily replace it as our primary source of electrical power. There may be difficulty in this transition, but we can choose an energy path that is less costly to our health and environment.
Kyle Laskowski is a recent graduate from the University of Regina's Honours Physics program. He originally hails from a small town in the area of Lanigan, Saskatchewan. He has been interested in nuclear power and large scale energy systems for a long time. After taking a keen interest in the Saskatchewan Uranium Development Partnership consultation effort, he has invested a lot of his time into research and discussion of Saskatchewan's possible energy futures.