Squaring the circle; grid stability and renewable energy

Increasing injection of grid connected renewable energy can be a challenge when the grid is weak.

India has set ambitious targets for grid connected renewable energy production. The country’s grid currently experiences high losses and regular load shedding. Rebecka Andreasson, Business Development Executive, Metrum talks about some of the challenges of grid stability in the Indian context and Metrum’s ability to improve power quality

Why is it important to measure power quality?
By measuring power quality we can optimize it to save energy, reduce costs, and reduce environmental impacts. Metrum works to develop technologies that make measuring power quality more accurate. These technologies provide solutions for disturbances and faults in the area of power quality.

What are some of the challenges that you’ve noticed in using solar power in India?
When solar power panels are constantly installed and attached to the grid it could causes multiple problems. When working with any grid it is important to look at trends, and especially if you decide to attached new electrical equipment such as solar panels. One or two new solar panels might not make any difference but measurements might show that multiple new solar panels and new electrical equipment attached to the grid will cause problems. The power grids in India are already dealing with load shedding and attaching new technology without monitoring makes the power crisis worse.

Is it possible to have no disturbance on the grid?
There will always be some disturbance, it is impossible to achieve 0% disturbance. But, countries should follow protocols where there is a maximum amount of disturbance and definition of disturbances that is permissible, and it should not go beyond that.

This makes the grid more energy efficient and reliable, which is extremely important when promoting solar power. If the grid is not stable and has a lot of disturbance it makes the source of energy unreliable.

What is the challenge of working in India?
India is a growing market that is welcoming alternative sources of energy generation and is focused on green and renewable energy. The challenge here is to work with large institutions to use our technology to make energy consumption more efficient. This kind of technology is not used very widely in India and so we need to show users its value.

What is Metrum’s plan for doing business in India?
We would like to work in India for the long run and build a model that is sustainable and easy to operate. Ideally we would like to work with an Indian partner, who would be trained to implement the installation of the equipment whereas the main parts for the equipment would be brought it from Sweden. This will ensure quality is controlled and costs are kept low as well.