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How power ministry is working to counter blackouts

PTI     July 8, 2016

Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said it is experimenting with a technology, brown-out, which can provide some power backup to households in the event of a grid failure leading to blackouts.

"The suggestion of brown-out was given to me by my friend and IIT Chennai Director Ashok Jhunjhunwala. In this, houses are provided with a lower power DC line along with the AC line that can prove an alternate source of electricity in case the grid fails and there is a blackout," he told reporters in Delhi.

The minister added that he discussed the technique with the officials in the Power Ministry and have started two pilot projects to test it.

"Jhunjhunwala conducted a test on 100 houses in Chennai, but we wanted to test it on a larger scale. So, we started two pilot projects, one in Rajasthan's Falaudi and the other in Bihar's Sasaram. The technology looks a bit expensive, but it can help in providing an alternate source of power," he said.

In a bid to make electricity available to all, Goyal said government is planning to launch a scheme where consumers can pay for the new connection in monthly installments over a period of five years and will be able to avail the service on demand.

On village electrification, Goyal expressed confidence that the target of electrifying 18,452 villages will be achieved a year ahead of the set deadline of May 1, 2018.

"We will electrify all 18,452 villages by May 1, 2017, a year ahead of targetted deadline of May 1, 2018," the minister said.

However, he said that "there may be a few aberrations (consumers) that may be from very dense forest, left wind extremism affected area or possibly a consumer who does not want power or one does not apply for power."

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