March 2022

The Indian power transmission segment has expanded rapidly over the years, driven by the need to meet the growing demand for power and to provide adequate evacuation infrastructure for generation capacity addition. Grid expansion and strengthening have facilitated seamless transfer of electricity from power-surplus regions to power-deficit regions, optimising the use of generation resources as well as meeting the demands of end-consumers.

Power transmission is now set for another phase of rapid expansion on the back of the country’s green energy goals. With India aiming to meet 50 per cent of its energy needs from renewables and achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030 as announced at COP26, significant expansion and strengthening of the interstate transmission system (ISTS) will be required. There is a visible pipeline of a large number of ISTS projects associated with renewable energy projects that are expected to be awarded soon. Besides, at the state level, utilities are investing in expanding and strengthening the intra-state transmission and sub-transmission networks.

In addition to grid expansion, utilities are increasingly investing in advanced and grid-enhancing technologies to improve capacity, grid resilience and stability. These include technologies for system visualisation, data analytics and system automation, among others things. The deployment of STATCOM and FACTS is also expected to witness an increase in the coming years.

Further, with a greater focus on regional energy exchange, new cross-border interconnections are expected to be built to facilitate the flow of power across countries. The One Sun, One World, One Grid initiative that aims to form an intercontinental grid is also expected to give an impetus to regional integration efforts.

Notably, the National Infrastructure Pipeline has estimated a capital expenditure of about Rs 3,040 billion for the power transmission segment between 2020 and 2025. State utilities are expected to lead the transmission segment with a projected capex of Rs 1,900 billion.

Power Line’s Infocus section on power transmission provides an in-depth analysis of the key trends and developments, issues and challenges, and future outlook of the segment.

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