Smart grid services will drive the next IT boom in India

Infotech Lead India: Smart grid services will drive the next boom in the IT industry in India, says Srikanth Chandrasekaran, senior regional program manager- Standards, IEEE.

Srikanth Chandrasekaran

IT software and services industry has helped India become one of the fastest growing economies in the world today. India has huge talent in IT and engineering, and the global smart grid industry is going to benefit from this, Chandrasekaran said.

Some of the major smart grid software applications and services are associated with billing, smart metering and data analytics.

“A lot of new technologies will emerge, and it will give opportunities to smart people. IT services will expand in India,” he said.

While smart grid is relatively a new topic, once developed it will become interconnected with other services, and there will be a merger of the mainstream technologies.

“The 2030 model is that of power, communication, and IT,” Chandrasekaran said.

Smart grid outsourcing services will flourish as more smartgrid implementations happen in the global level, especially in developed countries.

“People implementing smart grid will have to outsource these services. It s an opportunity and market for India especially, and there is lot of scope for this to help the economy,” Chandrasekaran added.

Indian IT companies will focus on developing new applications and solutions to support the global smart grid network. IT applications and services for smartgrid could develop in to a full-fledged industry.  The next wave of IT industry in India is surely going to be smart grid, according to Chandrasekaran.

Currently North America leads the initial market in many smart grid IT innovations, but the European and Asia Pacific markets will become more significant over the next five years, says a new report from Pike Research.

The need to define and deploy new IT systems to support the smart grid is driving greater collaboration between the information technology and operational technology (OT) sides of the business.

The total smart grid software and related IT services market will reach $4.3 billion by the end of 2012, the study finds, and grow to over $8.6 billion by 2017.

Currently Korea, Singapore, Japan and China, along with Western majors like the U.S and Europe are majorly focusing on smart grid. In India, the smart grid implementation is in the development stage. The main challenge to smart grid development is lack of interoperability standards.

IEEE is working with organizations and industry leaders to help develop standards that are conforming to local as well as global requirements. In India, many smart grid standards are in development stages. R&D is active in many sectors in India, especially in renewable energy and smart grid sector, Chandrasekaran said.

However, the smart grid standardization efforts are not gaining the required momentum because of lack of participation from the industry, according to IEEE.

“In India there is a lot of gap in developing standards.  We have a lot of engineers, but the number of people contributing to standard development is limited. We use standards, but we don’t develop standards,” he said.

According to Chandrasekaran, in order for the industry to develop a full-fledged smart grid platform, companies need to come forward and make their employees participate in the standards development. They should realize standards are essential for product development and success of the business.

Rajani Baburajan

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