Capacity building for the Indian energy revolution

With a focus on the grid integration of renewable energies, the Kassel-based Fraunhofer IEE (Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology) together with partners from industry and the Indian IIT Bombay has launched a capacity building programme for the energy revolution in the Earth's second most heavily populated country.

The training programme initiated by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is targeted at Indian grid operator employees working in grid operation and management. The training programme is a combination of online and face-to-face taught modules covering areas such as generation, forecasting, system, regulation and visualisation of renewable energies as well as market mechanisms, regulatory systems and policy-making.

Targets for the development and use of renewable energies in India are ambitious. Overall, the Earth's seventh largest country in terms of surface area is seeking to install new generation capacity for renewable energies with an output of 500 gigawatt over the next 10 years. The aim is that by 2030, at least 40 per cent of Indian electricity will come from renewable energies.

Generating power using wind and solar energy is heavily dependent on the weather. The intermittent generation poses new challenges to grid operators who are responsible for reliable network operation. The Indian government is therefore opening eleven REMC centres (Renewable Energy Management Center) at institutional level. Together with the existing LDC centres (Load Dispatch Center), these are intended to support the further integration of renewable energy into the electricity grid.

However, currently India is lacking targeted training programs which qualify grid operator employees to manage the system integration of renewable energy producers in these REMC centres. There is a particular need to develop knowledge of which political, regulatory, market-related and technical instruments are available for integrating a high proportion of renewable energies into the grid.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Indian government’s Ministry of Power are cooperating with the German government in the project "Green Energy Corridors" (IGEN-GEC) in order to provide solutions to meet the challenges of integrating a higher proportion of renewable energy into the grid. The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is implementing the project in cooperation with a range of government offices in India. The GIZ has developed the training programme for grid operators together with the Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POSOCO) and the National Power Training Institute (NPTI).

They were supported in this by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE, the two German companies Energynautics and Overspeed, and the Indian Institute IIT Bombay. Prof. Martin Braun from Fraunhofer IEE contributed his expertise to the design of the programme, Dr. Bernhard Ernst developed the three subject areas of "Forecasting of Renewables", "Balancing and Scheduling" and "Policy Regulatory and Market Mechanisms" and Dr. Gunther Arnold worked on the area of "Grid Codes".

Led by the Fraunhofer IEE, implementation of the "REMC Training in India" has now begun. The first part is designed as a 3-month online course which is supplemented by on-site training in India. The first course took place with approximately 20 participants in the training rooms of the National Power Training Institute (NPTI) in New Delhi/Faridabad. In the second course, which took place from 26 to 31 August 2019 in Bangalore, the project partners Fraunhofer IEE, Overspeed, Energynautics and IIT Mumbai Train trained a further 50 engineers. The third and, for the time being, final training course takes place in January–February 2020 in the Indian state of Kerala.

Source: (website of the Fraunhofer organization), revised by iMOVE, February 2020