Smart Meter Market in India
India is a large electricity consumer and is highly reliant on the power industry. According to the International Energy Agency, a global energy organization, India's need for energy is anticipated to rise by almost 50% between 2019 to 2030. To address the nation's growing energy consumption, India's Ministry of Power developed the Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP) with the goal of replacing 250 million conventional meters with smart meters. As of April 2022, around 4.2 million smart meters had been installed nationwide, starting with Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, Haryana, and Bihar, based on information from the National Smart Grid Mission. This year, the Indian government approved the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), which indicates how the government will financially support pre-paid smart meters in accordance with categories.
Challenges That India is Facing
When the Indian government announced the large-scale program to switch all the traditional meters in the nation to smart meters, they are facing tremendous challenges as the majority of people reside in rural areas, where it is more likely that there will be fewer internet service providers, less coverage, and slower speed. Not to mention the ongoing pandemic is making things difficult. However, there are significant issues with the smart metering application in India.
Transmission and distribution losses - The distribution companies made a serious effort to cut this problem to > 5% from the current national average of < 10-12%. In 2022, there are six major states where an advisory was issued by the Ministry of Power that they have to make payments for the overdue bills or they stand at a major risk. The intent of the Government to introduce prepaid metering to all the users under this program is to bring more users to effectively pay for the electricity usage, household focus on control of consumption and improved fiscal health of distribution companies on account of payment realization before consumption.
Extendable communication - The technology that the Indian government selects should be extendable, which means it should be able to interact effectively with other future requirements, such as Electric Vehicles (EV) chargers, in addition to being confined to metering. Moreover, two-way communication must be made possible for the smart meter to exchange data in real time. If the government wants to avoid having to replace smart meters for a long time, using technology that can maximize the operational performance of the grid and improved electricity delivery is crucial.
Supply chain - This challenge was brought up by Mr. Sandep Jain, General Manager at Landis+Gyr, one of the panelists. He mentioned that bottlenecks in the procurement process were being caused by India's inadequate manufacturing facilities, particularly given the growing popularity of smart meters. This statement is supported by the fact that India continues to import specific smart meter components which complicates the supply chain and slows the Smart Meter National Program's deployment.
How Can Ubiik Help?
Despite the major challenges mentioned above, Ubiik provides innovative solutions to fix these issues with Weightless™ technology. Being the leading AMI vendor in Taiwan, Ubiik has secured three contracts in a row since 2018 to provide a smart meter network for Taiwan Power Company (TPC), a state-owned electrical grid operator, a project that is similar to the Smart Meter National Programme in India.
Our project with TPC has been divided up into 3 segments: the meters themselves, the communication system, and the Meter Data Management Systems (MDMS). Ubiik has so far prevailed in a USD 40 million AMI Tender from TPC to install 70,500 smart meters in 2018, 265,000 in 2019, and 350,000 in 2020. Besides Taiwan’s smart meters (CNS), Ubiik has expertise working for a variety of smart meters including the USA (ANSI), Europe (IEC), Japan (JIS), and India (BIS). Ubiik is thrilled to collaborate with the leading players in the smart utilities domain and the stakeholders in the government of India.
Learn more about implementing smart meter with Ubiik, reach out to Ubiik’s team member or you can visit to Ubiik’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Technology Paper.