Proceedings – Report launch and panel discussion: Examining the imperatives for India’s transitioning energy sector

Proceedings – Report launch and panel discussion: Examining the imperatives for India’s transitioning energy sector

July 13, 2020 Accelerating the integration of renewable energy into grid and off-grid energy systems is a major objective of the Government of India (GoI) to bolster energy security, reduce oil imports, and improve air quality. India’s commitment to clean energy represents a huge opportunity and necessitates a robust, evidence-based understanding of the possible approaches ahead. In this context and on the side-lines of the U.S. India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) Ministerial, a virtual event was organized under USAID’s Greening the Grid (GTG) program on integration of electric vehicles and utility scale storage in the Indian distribution network. GTG is a joint energy program between USAID and the Ministry of Power, Government of India.

The webinar, held on July 13, 2020, marked the public release of two documents of seminal importance to India’s transitioning energy sector. Calling the event timely, Michael Satin, Director of the Clean Energy and Environment Office in USAID/India, remarked on it being a “profound moment in U.S.-India relationship and the development of clean energy technologies…USAID is proud to partner with the Government of India on its journey to a high-performing, low emission, energy-secure economy.” The enthusiasm about India’s journey forward reflected in the words of Ghanshyam Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, GoI, who in his keynote address noted: “India is making major strides to promote renewables… There is recognition that all elements —operational, planning, regulatory, and policy perspectives —will need to be aligned to ensure deployment of advanced technologies such EVs and battery storage.”

The two documents released at the webinar analyze the impact of new technologies, such as solar photovoltaics (PV), battery energy storage systems (BESS), and EVs, on the distribution network. The first report, titled ‘Preparing distribution utilities for utility-scale storage and electric vehicles – A novel analytical framework’, has been developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), U.S., in collaboration with BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) as a part of the GTG program. The report presents power distribution system impact analysis framework to evaluate the impact of PV, BESS, and EVs on utilities. The second document is a white paper on ‘Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Impacts on Distribution Network’, developed under GTG-RISE initiative, central component of GTG program, in collaboration with BRPL. The white paper analyzes the key considerations for setting up EV charging infrastructure and presents an extensive review of the international experience and a prioritization framework for laying out charging infrastructure for a distribution utility. Lauding the critical effort, Amal Sinha, CEO, BRPL, said the two reports “will guide utilities in preparing for the future.”

The documents’ release was followed by presentations and a high-level panel discussion. The panel comprised eminent energy sector experts: Ghanshyam Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, GoI; Adarsh Nagarajan, Group Manager, NREL, U.S.; Abhishek Ranjan, AVP, System Operation & Head – Renewable and DSM Initiatives, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL); and Vibhu Kaushik, Director of Transmission & Distribution Business Strategy, AMSE, Southern California Edison (SCE), U.S. The discussion was moderated by Shubhranshu Patnaik, Senior Adviser, GTG-RISE, and Partner, Power and Utilities, Deloitte India.

The enriching presentations and discussion reiterated the excitement and hope about clean energy technologies. The significance of the event is evident from the wide participation by a range of stakeholders, including senior government functionaries, development partners, implementing agencies, thought leaders, and energy experts from India and the U.S.

The webinar was organized under USAID’s GTG-RISE initiative, the central component of GTG program and joint initiative of USAID and the Ministry of Power, GoI. It is a key initiative under USAID’s Asia EDGE (Enhancing Growth and Development through Enertgy) and is implemented by Deloitte Consulting.


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