Remarks by Ambassador Jonathan Addleton at the Launch of Basic Smart Grid Training Program for Utility Professionals

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Remarks by Ambassador Jonathan Addleton at the Launch of Basic Smart Grid Training Program for Utility Professionals
Remarks by Ambassador Jonathan Addleton at the Launch of Basic Smart Grid Training Program for Utility Professionals

(As prepared for delivery)

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen


I am delighted to join such a notable group of utility professionals today as we launch an exciting new training program that will help make India’s power operations smarter.  Together, we can bring 24x7 electricity to millions of people across this country.

There is an Indian mantra that says:  VIDYUT   KI   BACHAT   HI   VIDYUT   KA   UTPADAN   HAI (Every unit of power we save today will help us in ensuring a brighter and better India tomorrow).

This mantra couldn’t be more appropriate in today’s context.  Now more than ever there is an urgent need to leverage emerging technologies and build a skilled workforce that can help create a smart grid-enabled power ecosystem in India — one that is strong and reliable.

Building a Smart Grid has become a top priority for India.  Approximately 45 percent of India’s poorest households lack access to electricity and approximately 20 percent of its installed electricity capacity is lost to various technical and commercial inefficiencies.  These combined technical and commercial losses threaten to deplete state finances that are already strained, but also prohibit millions of Indians from living with a stable and reliable power source.

A Smart Grid will help curb power transmission and distribution losses, ensuring there’s access to 24x7 power across the country.  It will enable us to monitor India’s electricity in real-time, manage power outages more efficiently, and improve the reliability and quality of the country’s power.

President Obama once said, “Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age.  It’s the light that children study by; the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business.  It’s the lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs.”

This statement couldn’t be more true for a country like India.  Energy demand here will only continue to grow amongst ever increasing urbanization, improving living standards, and increasing economic modernization.  Let’s not allow a weak power system to rob this country of reaching its potential.

Over the past 15 years, the Government of India has demonstrated incredible leadership in working to transition this country to a high-performing, low-emission and energy-secure economy.

In order to take this further, it’s imperative that India’s utility professionals — people like yourselves gathered here today — are armed with the tools and knowledge to usher India into this new era.

Promoting energy efficiency and scaling up renewable energy requires an effective and supportive enabling environment.  That’s why USAID and the National Smart Grid Mission partnered to launch the “Basic Smart Grid Training Program for Utility Professionals.”  This new three-day training course will provide utility professionals with a well-rounded understanding of — and deep exposure to — Smart Grid planning and deployment.

Utility operators are absolutely critical in transforming India’s existing distribution grids.  You are the torchbearers who will lead the path forward in helping India’s power grid become more efficient, self-healing, reliable, safer, and consumer-centric. 

We have been steadily moving towards this smart grid scenario, and the Government of India has done an excellent job developing policies to incentivize renewable energy generation, to attract new infrastructure investments and, ultimately, to move closer to achieving its vision of providing 24x7 power to all Indian households by 2020.

USAID shares this vision and is proud to partner with the National Smart Grid Mission and the Ministry of Power to translate their long-term Smart Grid goals into a reality of today and tomorrow.  BHARAT  SARKAR KE  IS  PRAYAS  MEIN  HUM  HAMESHA  BHAGIDAR  HAIN (We will always be a collaborator of India in this effort)

The training program we are launching today will help build a qualified workforce of utility professionals who can accelerate the development of Smart Grids across India, providing electricity to the country’s remote corners and most vulnerable families.  With the increasing deployment of renewable energy, and all the related challenges of how to safely and affordably integrate these resources into the power grid, utilities play a central role.

Growing sustainably and smarter is not just an Indian need: it is a need for the entire world.  By 2030, an estimated 40 percent of India’s population will reside in urban areas.  That translates to an estimated 590 million people who, if there is no improvement in the supply of reliable electricity, will struggle to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.

To handle such large-scale urbanization we must capitalize on technology and innovation to boost the growth of clean energy and improve the quality of life for all Indians.  

I would like to give my sincere compliments to the Government of India and to Prime Minister Modi for his ambitious vision for a Smart Grid initiative.  It is commendable that India has started this important task of building today the infrastructure of tomorrow.

I would also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary of the Ministry of Power; Dr. Arun Verma, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Power and Mr. Prabhu Singh, the Director of the National Smart Grid Mission for your          partnership in promoting in working for a better India.

I wish you all the best of luck over the coming three days of this Smart Grid training course.  Let us be together in this journey to make our grid smarter, more secure and more efficient.  CHALEIN SAATH SAATH, “Forward Together we Go.”  THANK YOU, DHAYABAD, SHUKRIYA

New Delhi
Issuing Country