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‘We make a difference to how much energy is consumed in India’

‘We make a difference to how much energy is consumed in India’
Schneider Electric is a name that reckons with in global energy management. What solutions do you provide or tend to provide to arrest the energy woes of a massive country like India?
We are the global energy specialists and energy efficiency is what we are all about. If you look at India’s economic balance sheet, the balance of payments- the maximum loan is on the import bill for the petroleum products. So if you can get anything that helps you to be more efficient about the use of energy or save energy in the normal course of life or do something differently with it, we are part of it. Till energy reaches you, we are involved at every process. We work on saving energy as much as we can by using smart grid solutions that distributes energy in an intelligent manner. Also, energy saved is three times more significant, because you realise that you are not producing that energy. 

We have to save the kilowatt, divert it from places which do not need it now, make it so smart that those who divert it get incentivised in the form of per unit charges.  So you save the money and we  save the alternate source of energy that we have been seeking and the area that gets blacked out, gets the energy, that’s what smart grid does and that’s what Schneider does and how is it smart? It is smart because every consumer who is using the energy should be able to measure it, monitor it and then manage it, Schneider does that. Internally we have an energy code for our products, internally we have a society barometer that everyday measures the carbon footprint that we are consuming. We have annual targets to meet, so our products having a green label are produced in an energy environment that is efficient. We make a difference to how much energy is consumed.
 
India became the world’s third largest producer of electricity in the year 2013 with a 4.8 per cent global share in electricity generation surpassing Japan and Russia but still had 25 per cent share of population without it in 2011. How does Schneider Electric view that development?

Size of India is not a small size right? The conventional way of centralised power generation in a controlled state environment is to distribute it over long distances, into the remotest parts, where there are no roads and electric wires to distribute.  Carrying energy is not a small task because as the distance increases so do the transmission losses. About 7-8 years ago, may be a decade, the aggregated technical losses in some states were 25 to 30 per cent.

Can you imagine that 30 per cent of the energy that you generated got lost on its way! For a country which is ideally located almost on the equator and can absorb solar energy… how do we now use solar energy, that makes up for the loses and is much more efficient, is more environment friendly but you cannot have it in the central resource and transmit it. So you’ll have micro grids which get energy being produced both by renewable and non-renewable sources marrying to the larger grid and people do not have objection to the renewable energy being available from the public servant. If you tell me there will be no power in your house from 6-9, I’ll work my life around it…but today you remove it 6-9, tomorrow 3-6 and day-after you remove it at midnight and even then the quality you provide me is not pue... and is fluctuating. What happens? My machines are going down and you are taking me by surprise… what was assumed to be not even discussed in the first place.  So from there Schneider comes: Home Automation, Micro Grid marrying to the larger National Grid. How do I save energy you ask me? I do that every moment.

An average European household has 2600-6400 per cent more energy available than an Indian household. How do you view this statistic in the realignment of global superpowers across the world?
There are so many layers to it. The first layer that I want to introduce is that long time back books were written that the next war will be fought on energy.  Then, five years back books were written that the next war will be fought on water. But no war is being fought. So sometimes we say
things for impact.

According to me as a common citizen, there will be no change in the balance of power, so much so that the global community including the United Nations Development Fund, the Asian Development Fund will ensure that people who have excess energy do not use it excessively and cause damage to our planet that we are going to give in inheritance to our next generation and its happening and we know it. India has put its foot down… that you can’t calculate my carbon footprint after you’ve spoiled the planet for last 50 years.  Because we are a force to reckon with, we are listened to. There is an imbalance of energy…at the same time, what prompts Germany to be one of the most advanced in solar power, in renewable sources of energy, in the smart grid, in the electrical vehicles?

Indian cities are not known to be smart. Schneider Electric has previously transformed cities like Beijing and Rio de Janeiro into smart cities. With the recent thrust of the Indian government to promote smart cities, how does your company view this as an opportunity to help transform them sustainably while also increasing their efficiency manifold?

Let me tell you there is hope and I see things getting done. With the advent of the new government at the centre we are hopeful that things will materialise. We transformed Mumbai along-with 200 other cities and have a proven track record in that area of expertise.  We are willing to offer our knowledge bank to anyone who wants to access it and would be more than interested in taking up the challenge of converting Indian cities into smart cities.

The Xperience Efficiency Hour led to the conservation and redistribution of 50 million kWh of energy to 50 towns across India last year.

What and how was the inspiration behind and does Schneider Electric intend to do it in the future?
The inspiration behind the Xperience Efficiency Hour was the completion of the fifty years of Schneider Electric in India. What we were able to, gave us good reasons to be happy about the work we do and we definitely intend to continue with it. This will enable us to contribute in every possible manner we can to the creation of Brand India.

 Talk about the Schneider Electric Partner Portal. How is that initiative going to augment both the service seeker and the service provider?

Have you registered for the Partner Portal yet? If not, you must. It’s a brilliant project where in a Schneider Electric Certified Energy Architect (CEA) will collaborate with you and who will understand your energy needs, provide answers to all your energy management related issues, co-ordinate a team of Schneider Electric experts and follows your entire project till the implementation cycle.
Devang Chaturvedi

Devang Chaturvedi

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