India’s Smart City Mission – Renewable Energy, Smart Grid and ‘Energy Internet’


Internet is a distributed communication medium its convergence with naturally distributed renewable sources of energy can shape a new infrastructure in future, the ‘Energy Internet’. This concept is designed and propagated by some economists and visionaries. Energy Internet is an Internet of things architecture; that interconnects smart homes, appliances, cars and power plants. In an ideal future smart city renewable-energy power plant, transmission lines, electrical meters, appliances, the solar panels on rooftops and electric cars will be able to communicate and share information with each other in real time. Some parts of the world are working in this direction and some are exploring the other best possibilities.

India is going through a big transformation and we are ready to embrace best technological trends from the whole world. Our government is working to build architectures that can support the Digital India vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. These architectures will help us to leverage information and communication technology for effective citizen services, virtual education, transparent governance system and remote healthcare etc. India is going to transform the way governments, citizens, and businesses interact.

PM Narendra Modi’s smart city mission has opened a plethora of business opportunities in India. Smart City Mission is a part of Digital India vision and it aims to transform 100 cities by 2020. In 2016-17 budget for smart city program Rs 3,205 Cr is allocated. For smart city project selection, our government is using a unique competitive process called ‘smart city challenge’. This approach has inspired the cities across the country to formulate their own unique vision, mission, and Smart City proposal. Participating cities are engaging their citizens in different innovative ways, developing stronger Smart City proposals, and matriculating through a process that will ensure that the cities selected are best positioned to realize gains. Such kind of healthy competition among cities is a good sign!

What makes a city smart? A city with advanced infrastructure, better quality of life, smart solutions for water, power, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, robust IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation is called a smart city. Our government’s smart cities vision aims to modernize the existing mid-sized cities as satellite towns of larger cities.

The energy infrastructure is one of the most important aspects of Smart City. The renewable sources of energy make smart city energy efficient. In a smart city, the power grids should be smart too. Efforts to transform traditional power grids are going on in India and across the world. Few days back our government has released its Smart Grid vision and roadmap. You can download this from National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) Website

Smart Grid is the convergence of Information Technology (IT), communication technology and electrical infrastructure. It is a network for electricity transmission and distribution systems that uses two-way communications. In Smart Grid advanced sensors and the internet helps to improve the efficiency, reliability, and safety of electricity delivery and use. It is an evolution of the electricity network from generation to consumption in a way that is interactive, flexible and efficient.

In the success of smart city program, the role of the smart grid is crucial. Our government has taken pioneering steps in bringing Smart Grid technology to all facets of power supply value chain. Ministry of power has allocated funds for 14 smart grid pilot projects in different states. For more technical details visit National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) Website

The convergence of Smart Grids with Renewable energy sources is called the “energy internet” of the future. Smart Grids are essential to managing the flow of renewable energy. In future, the advanced clean energy storage systems and energy internet infrastructures will boost the culture of collaboration/sharing in the society.

Smart Governance, Smart Energy, Smart Environment, Smart Transportation, Smart IT and Communications, Smart Buildings, Smart Health Hospitals, and Smart Education are 8 pillars of our Smart City Mission and our government is working aggressively on each of these areas.