Climate Leaders India Network (CLeaIN)
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  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: Climate Leaders India Network (CLeaIN)
  • Submission Document: Download
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SMART GRIDS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



As population and industry grows, the world is building new transmission and gas-fired generation plants to meet demand. Most of our electricity and power coming from fossils has lead to a drastically higher electricity rate, as every homeowner and business owner can attest. Also, with the exponential increase in power consumption in developing countries, power cuts and black outs have become quite prevalent. Net metering becomes important here as it not only increases the reliability and security of power distribution, but also manages load distribution efficiently.

Net-metering: The concept

It is an electricity policy for consumers who own small renewable energy facility like wind, solar power and home fuel cells. ?Net? means what remains after consumption and deductions- deduction of any energy outflow from metered energy inflow. The owner receives retail credit for a portion of electricity they generate.

Implementation: (Government and Research role)

The implementation, engineering wise would require a smart grid which is usually an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that Information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Apart from that we would require R&D and private players in producing efficient LED, solar panels, wind turbines etc. Government regulations and laws would domestically need to be made friendly to achieve these goals. Fossil fuel subsidy would have to be periodically reduced.

Win-win sustainability: Net metering a vital area for Green economy transition

Green economy essentially means moving from a linear model to cyclical model of use of resources. This can be achieved by integrating production and consumption. This cyclical behavior can be achieved by introducing net metering. This decentralizes production and consumption patterns, distributes right to energy efficiency and energy security across society. Another point in our favor is decoupling energy production and supply from distribution. Thus creating a ?flexible?, marketing mechanism where small producers benefit when they produce since their meters move backwards. Thus we see this as a progressive green-economy parameter for energy security.
Encourage investment in renewable sources of energy from various sections of the society like businesses, organizations and individuals.
Help decrease our reliance on fossil fuels thus checking carbon emissions to an extent.

Foster energy efficiency.

Benefit our utilities and can help stimulate economy.
Reduce the burden of energy generation and distribution from the governments.
Help the government to invest funds on rural empowerment, developing infrastructure, social welfare schemes and sustainable development initiatives as the expenditure on installing new thermal/hydro/ nuclear power plants is reduced. Are a sustainable solution to the conflicts between governments and people in various parts of the world as this reduces the need to acquire large chunks of land for installation of new energy projects.
Give a chance to the governments to focus on providing electricity to the regions which are deprived of it; Can result in huge savings to the consumers using it, thereby leader to better standards of living.
Addresses a major emerging challenge energy security by reducing losses in generation, distribution etc. Lays a strong foundation for Green economy by providing opportunities to green businesses.

Implementation: Cases and practicality of the idea. Strengthening Government Role.

Consumer Net Metering is available in California and is favorable to smaller systems that displace the highest cost electricity, and systems wherein the user's demand load may be managed so that there is a net production of electricity during high cost periods. Thailand introduced the first net-metering in 2002. Thus, it?s a model that has been successful in both developed and developing nations.
The governments should declare strong commitment for decentralizing the power generation and distribution which can enable the introduction of smart grids.
Stronger reforms should be introduced in financial institutions to enable the funding of renewable energy projects at all levels.

Subsidies and incentives should be announced to the consumers of smart grid systems.
Governments should establish an independent agency for monitoring and managing the smart grids. Power purchase agreements should be issued to individual customers after verifying the installed power plants and checking the metering equipment.

How youth can pitch in?

Education and awareness campaigns need their support.
Formulating pilot drives and replicating successful models.
Addressing and realizing stake-holder ship in existing government policy and affairs Promoting the cause creatively to people and lobbying with domestic NGOs and civil societies and government bodies. Youth should be given higher priority in negotiations and consultation. Green entrepreneurship should be given a boost with youth as leaders in the field.
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