Data is becoming more and more important for all spheres of public and private activity. The power sector is no different, but much of data has been for operational reasons, ranging from billing to power management to operations. With the rise of IT (and eventually, the Internet of Things), data is now an enabler of change, for increased efficiency, choice, and empowerment.
This report and the underlying workshop was a by-invitation discussion session with experts in the power and IT sectors on issues of how to think of improving power sector outcomes through data. The initiative is being led by Brookings India with the support of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.
Participants included experts from NSGM, CEA (Central Electricity Authority), Think Tanks and NGOs, DisComs, IT companies, ISGF (India Smart Grid Forum), and others.
This workshop was a discussion session focused on the following issues:
- How do we think about data in the power sector (especially for DisComs and consumers)?
- Why isn’t data being harnessed more today?
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Indian Railways’ business model is based on passengers underpaying and freight overpaying. Already, in financial year 2016-17, coal’s extra freight charge increased the cost of power by about 10 paise per kilowatt on average. For power plants in distant states, which inherently rely on Railways for coal, this number can be three times higher.