As we go to press, India is under a lockdown. Covid-19 has hit infrastructure hard, like the other parts of the economy. There has been a slump in energy demand, stoppage of construction work, invoking of force majeure, a halting of trains and flights, suspension of tolls, etc., etc. It has meant both a loss of jobs for some (for construction workers, for example) and severe health hazards for others (for electricity utility workers and others providing essential services).
It is too early to analyse the full impact of all this. What we can promise you now, though, is that we will continue to publish our magazines, newsletters and research, providing you trustworthy information as before – as our own little contribution to the fight-back. Through print and through increased use of digital media. All of us are working from home and are ready to serve you, as always.
India’s electricity grid has seen a significant transition, shifting from fossil fuels to renewable and decentralised sources of energy. Delivering this power has been no easy task and an important element of this transition has been building robust transmission lines for a reliable grid to evacuate green power. According to industry estimates, transmission schemes worth about Rs 429 billion are expected to be built for various potential renewable energy zones.
Utilities are therefore deploying high quality, state-of-the-art equipment such as advanced cables and conductors to improve the efficiency of T&D lines and resolve right-of-way challenges. New technologies are being brought in with highly reliable, stranded carbon fibre composite cores with lower sag and the capability to operate at higher temperatures compared to traditional conductor technologies.
The use of advanced conductors is no longer limited to niche reconductoring applications where their low sag characteristics allow an uprating of the line without the need for structure replacement. Instead, more utilities are viewing these technologies as a prudent design choice to increase capacity. Some of these conductors have also proven to be highly resilient and resistant to cyclic load fatigue, corrosion, impact, fire and storm events. India’s biggest power transmission utility, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited is making efforts to use HTLS conductors instead of conventional ACSR conductors in several multi-circuit stretches.
Net, net, advanced cables and conductors are playing a key role in helping to achieve climate change goals. Not only are they enabling clean energy delivery but they are also offering indirect benefits by reducing line losses, which translates into reduced fuel consumption and reduced emissions.
Power Line’s Infocus section this month on cables and conductors takes a closer look at some of the new trends and technologies shaping the segment.