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Vijay Karia, Chairman, Elecrama 2018

19 Mar 2018

India has a huge potential in terms of absorption of technologies

Elecrama 2018, which is scheduled to take place at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, from March 10- 14, 2018, is expected to see a host of new players, innovative technologies, fresh business opportunities and global leaders, all at a single platform. On this occasion, InfralinePlus caught up with Vijay Karia, Chairman, Elecrama 2018, on how digitization is expected to play a major role in the power sector in the times to come. Excerpts:

Please share your outlook for the power sector in the wake of the prevailing demand-supply scenario.

India is always on the world map as far as investors are concerned. In the Infrastructure & electrical segment there is going to be paradigm shift, where we are moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy, from antiquated networks to smart grids, from metropolitan cities consisting of creaking infrastructure to smart cities. This trust of the government has led to a lot of interest especially in the infrastructure sector and we anticipate that ELECRAMA 2018 will further fuel this increased interest in the electrical segment plus electronics and Electronic Vehicle sector.

Please share your views on the announcements made in the Union Budget 2018 with reference to the power sector. What are the key issues which have not been addressed?

The budget 2018 emphasises on enhancing research in disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotics. These policy changes will lead to a digital awakening and now the industry needs to formulate a strategic approach to ensure long-term sustenance of this digital movement without sacrificing speed, safety, and efficiency. India is standing at the cusp of a digital revolution. With the Digital India initiative, the Government has embarked on a focused journey to bring digital transformation in the lives of all its citizens. This year ELECRAMA’s focus is more on digital technologies that will dominate the future of electricity in coming years.

What, according to you, are the key trends which will define the electricity sector in 2018?

Focus is not just on Smart Electricity but on various aspects of Electricity. The word energy is now changing to electricity and is seeing some exciting developments to look forward to. Therefore ELECRAMA 2018 focuses on the new areas of electricity. To understand and see what kind of infrastructure is needed and to support this commitment, Indian government has promised to reduce carbon footprint, pollution and not to increase costs per unit to make consumption of electricity cost efficient, we are trying our best to bring everything possible at one platform.

How is the proposed imposition of 70 percent safeguard duty on import of solar power equipment likely to impact the power sector growth?

India is currently passing through several trade conflicts, and making the right decision is very crucial. It is very important to correctly identify the components of the manufacturing value chain which requires support and must use such trade barriers accordingly. Such decisions should encourage Make in India and must only be used if the domestic industry has sufficient capacity to meet the demand. Such decisions will help the government achieve Prime Minister’s 100 GW dream.

How will the government’s decision to promote electric mobility impact power sector? How are developments in storage technologies likely to impact sectoral growth?

Electric vehicles and Electro mobility will require a huge number of charging stations, which we do not have. With India showing intent to discontinue all fossil fuel vehicle production by 2030, we need to have the electrical industry geared up to take this challenge. We see production and product innovation to be a huge opportunity for the Industry.

Thus, the automotive industry, the software industry, the Electronics industry becomes a natural ally of the Electrical industry. We are also in the cusp of a unique opportunity, where we need to graduate technologically without passing through college!!!! We face blackouts, we face brownouts, and we have huge power theft, and yet have about 300 million people without electricity. But at the same time, are looking to embrace the latest technologies across the world.

In order to do this, we will require experts who have gone through this process. And these speakers will be helping us in understanding and bridging the gap between one end of the spectrum to the other. India has a huge potential in terms of absorption of technologies, and Digital India, Make In India and other programs of the Government will place India as a leader in this sphere.