Utility of the utility
becoming practical, efficient and environment-friendly to generate your own electricity at a source where it is consumed. Distributed generation is becoming a necessity and very soon, a reality,” Prabhu said.
The minister admitted that India had 40,000 villages (out of a total of around 600,000) where the grid can never reach. They are so remote and inaccessible that providing grid power to them will be an extremely costly proposition. But when we decided that, we knew it was technically and commercially impossible to take electricity to these villages. India never realized then that there would be a technology which will make it unnecessary. Now distributed electricity – rooftop solar, micro hydropower and biomass—is certainly possible. It is no longer possible or even desirable for one entity to take care of these consumers from one single location. It is likely that segregated entities that take care of all generation, transmission and distribution at different locations could be considered. There should thus be integrated not at the generation level but at the consumption level.
Technology as well as the compulsion of climate change has brought about a sea change. Future of fossil fuel is under serious question and the future of fossil fuel basket has to be seen in a different light. “We cannot afford to have greenhouse gases coming in a significant way. When we are generating power from coal, it makes abundant sense to generate at one place. It will be a stupid idea to transport coal from one place to another and generate power there,” noted Prabhu.
Suresh Prabhu concluded by his remark: “The utility in 2016 will differ from the utility of 2040. It is technology and the pressure of climatic change that will determine this change.”