Power is one of the main inputs for driving the economy of our country. With a population of 1.4 billion, and being one of fastest growing economy of the world, India have become a major player in the world in terms of power producer and consumer. India is the world's third largest producer and third largest consumer of electricity.With current installed capacity being 370 GW approximatelyas of 31 March 2020, India is on the verge of becoming an energy surplus state with respect to per capita and peak demand.
Indian power sector is undergoing a significant change that has redefined the industry outlook. Sustained economic growth continues to drive electricity demand in India. The Government of India’s focus on attaining ‘Power for all’ has accelerated capacity addition in the country. At the same time, the competitive intensity is increasing at both the market and supply sides (fuel, logistics, finances, and manpower).
Current Market size:
Power is being produced by both renewable and non-renewable energy sources. In India, the main power market is still dominated by the non-renewable energy sources as Coal, Lignite, Gas and Diesel. The installed capacity of these plants is 230GW. Nuclear power has 6.7GW, while hydroelectric plants have approximately 45GW of installed capacity. The Renewable Energy Sources or in short RES includes Small Hydro Project, Biomass Gasifier, Biomass Power, Urban & Industrial Waste Power, Solar and Wind Energy are making significant progress with the installed capacity being 87.2GW or 23.6% of the total installed capacity.
Ensuring Indian citizens have access to electricity and clean cooking has been at the top of the country’s political agenda. Around 700 million people in India gained access to electricity between 2000 and 2018, reflecting strong and effective policy implementation.
The government of India has also made significant progress in reducing the use of traditional biomass in cooking, in order to reduce indoor air. The government is also encouraging clean cooking with liquefied petroleum gas by reaching trying to reach every household. India continues to promote cleaner cooking and off-grid electrification solutions, including a shift toward using solar photovoltaics (PV) for cooking and solar panel installation in villages and agricultural fields.
Power Market Ahead:
The Government of India has released its roadmap to achieve 175 GW capacity in renewable energy by 2022, which includes 100 GW of solar power and 60 GW of wind power. In coming years there will be abundance of clean energy from renewables with the quality of energy will also take equal importance. The Union Government of India is preparing a 'rent a roof' policy for supporting its target of generating 40 gigawatts (GW) of power through solar rooftop projects by 2022.
Coal-based power generation capacity in India, which currently stands at 230GW is expected to reach 330-441 GW by 2040.
Based on current policies, according to International Energy Agency (IEA), India’s energy demand could double by 2040, with electricity demand potentially tripling as a result of increased appliance ownership and cooling needs.
What lies ahead for Electrical Engineers:
According to Ministry of Power Government of India, the Indian power sector has an investment potential of Rs 15 trillion in the next 4–5 years, thereby providing immense opportunities in power generation, distribution, transmission, and equipment.
The future of Indian power industry will lot depend on fast breeder reactor technology in future years. Companies with technological edge in battery and chargers will have a very bright future in coming decades. Similarly, ventures dealing with alternate fuels such as methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), and water-gas will also be very lucrative choice in various utilities. The equipment and vehicles working on hybrid technology such as combination of solar energy and battery operation or battery operation and fuel or DME shall be in demand soon. Methanol can be thought of cleaner alternative to coal or gas or Diesel for power generation.
Thus, with the fast-changing technology, electrical engineers have a bright future ahead, to work in various field of power industry and research. They will have the opportunity to work in renewable and non-renewable plants. Installation of solar and wind power plants will provide ample scopes to these engineers based on the fact that the Government of India has set a deadline to achieve 175 GW capacity in renewable energy by 2022.
Roof-top solar panel installation will provide good scope for electrical engineers in terms of being entrepreneurs. Electrical engineers also will have a good opportunity in consumer products such as energy saving air-conditioners and LED bulbs and tubes. As of April 28, 2018, 100 per cent village electrification achieved under DeenDayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. There are also huge scopes in rural area electrification and maintenance, renewable power source installation and in solar based cooking.
Electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle are the near future of automobile industry. Electrical engineers have a huge opportunity to take on in the automobile sector, specially in the design of drive system, battery system or hybrid system to be used in these vehicles.
There are so many different scopes for Electrical engineers in the power sector, that it may not be possible to mention all scopes and opportunities. However, more on this topic will be discussed in future blogs.