ISmart grids are a promising innovation in a changing landscape of electricity generation, transmission and distribution. All over the world, countries have set out to “make their grids smart”, including India. India’s efforts are underpinned by major national challenges: India's electricity demand is growing, while its electricity system is grappling with severe performance deficits. At the same time, a significant part of India’s population has no access to modern energy sources. Smart grids do not only promise to alleviate the mal performances of the existing grid, but they can also play a role in decentralized rural electrification.
However, successful smart grid development is not simply a matter of getting the technology right: social embedding, ethical acceptability and institutional support are at least as important. This project sets out to answer the question: How can smart grids be successfully developed and implemented in rural India?
The project brings together actors from both academia and the private sector. The core project partners are TU Eindhoven (Netherlands), TERI University (India), PRE Power Electronics (Netherlands), Rural Spark (India).
Together, they investigate technical specifications, while also addressing how they can be embedded and commercialized in the rural Indian energy market. The role of societal and institutional factors too is in the focus of the researchers, who try to understand how these factors affect the viability of smart grid implementation and use. Answers to these questions provide insights for approaches for upscaling smart solutions throughout India.