Amitabh Singhal, an electrical engineering graduate from IIT-BHU, has spent more than 31 years in the power transmission and distribution (T&D) industry. He started his career with BHEL as a part of the transmission business group, and later moved to Alstom/Areva/ GE T&D where he was a part of the service business. Since 2020, Singhal has been working with Sterlite Power and is responsible for power systems and technology activities. He is also involved in technical sales and business development.
According to Singhal, the power sector has undergone a number of changes over the past three decades. From being a mostly state-owned thermal and hydro sector, it today includes significant private participation. Beginning with private thermal IPPs, to the entry of private players in transmission, to a very large play by private developers in the renewables’ space, the power sector landscape has changed significantly. “The efforts to decarbonise the sector are leading to an increasing share of renewable generation in the overall mix. This, in turn, is driving the transmission sector,” he notes.
The biggest area of concern for the sector continues to be distribution. To ensure sector stability as well as last-mile connectivity and 24×7 supply to all, it is imperative to make the discoms stand on their own feet.
The power sector has enormous potential to contribute to the country’s economic growth, Singhal points out. With electric mobility also being promoted by the government in a big way, the electricity sector will contribute significantly towards achieving carbon neutrality and reducing the burden of oil imports.
Singhal believes he was fortunate to join BHEL as his first job. It allowed him to dive straight into an ocean of knowledge and opportunities. Some of his memorable assignments include developing controlled shunt reactors, carrying out dynamic performance studies for an HVDC project and its commissioning, undertaking long-term planning studies for the Delhi and Mumbai distribution networks, and managing tough brownfield projects. More recently, he has been involved in carrying out planning studies for more than eight states to optimise their networks and create opportunities for the business.
Singhal is a people’s manager and believes in providing an enabling environment to let people do their job. He looks forward to taking up teaching at some point in time and help budding engineers learn from his experience and practical insights on their subject.