India’s Smart Meters Revolution: Dr. Bharat Bhushan on Growth and Innovation

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Dr. Bharat Bhushan, Executive Director of Radius Synergies, discusses the transformative impact of smart meters in India, highlighting the exponential market growth, challenges, and future plans for integrating renewable energy and enhancing energy efficiency through innovative technologies.

Read the full interview here:

TimesTech: Why do you believe old meters should be replaced with new smart meters, and what benefits do they offer?

Dr Bharat: The proliferation of smart metering system in India is on the cusp of exponential growth, driven by strong government policies towards energy efficiency. The India smart meter market may attain a market size of USD 3,179.5 million by 2032 from USD 219.7 million in 2023 at a CAGR of 34.57 percent. I must say that old meters should be replaced with smart metering solutions. It gives a holistic boost to the metering landscape, providing benefits to consumers and other stakeholders. Besides improving customer experience and engagement, the smart metering system ensures operational efficiency for discoms by striking a balance between power procurement and real-time power demand. Smart meter users are reported to be satisfied with their billing and payment process. Radius Synergies smart metering solutions bring precision and enhanced efficiency to billing processes, redefining convenience and transparency for both consumers and utilities.

TimesTech: Is India ready for widespread smart meter adoption? What challenges do you foresee?

Dr Bharat: I must say that smart metering is a game changer in transforming India’s power sector. It has a significant impact on the country’s economy as well. Industry players are gung-ho about the adoption of smart meters in India. North India is at the forefront of the country’s smart metering landscape. The Indian smart meter market is gaining substantial traction. As of 2024, more than 8.6 million smart meters have been deployed nationwide through the Smart Meter National Program (SMNP). This effort is part of the government’s ambitious target to install 250 million smart meters across India by 2025. So, yes India is ready for such widespread adoption of smart meters.

Of course, we have to tackle some challenges of smart meter adoption in the country such as:  infrastructure and cost consideration, cybersecurity risks, consumer awareness and acceptance, and skilled workforces and training among others. I believe that supportive government policies and all industry stakeholders will collectively overcome the challenges of providing an efficient energy system to the country.

TimesTech: How do smart meters act as ‘digital foundations’ for integrating renewable energy into the grid?

Dr Bharat: You have put up a very pertinent question. The smart metering system is deemed as the digital foundation for the integration of renewable energy into the grid. Smart-grid technology enables effective management of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydrogen. They could turn consumers into ‘prosumers’ who not only consume energy but also produce it through renewable sources. Environmental-friendly smart grid technology can stimulate the green economy of the country by providing an efficient energy ecosystem.

Smart meters are transforming the traditional power grid into a smart grid, paving the way for a renewable energy future. As a leader in smart metering solutions, Radius Synergies is committed to contributing to a greener and more sustainable world.

TimesTech: What are your future expansion plans for Radius Synergies and any new markets or technologies you aim to explore?

Dr Bharat: We are committed to continuous growth and innovation. Our future expansion plans include extending our footprint across both domestic and international markets. We aim to deepen our presence in emerging economies where smart metering solutions can significantly enhance energy management and efficiency. We are also exploring advancements in IoT and AI technologies to further enhance our smart metering capabilities. By integrating these cutting-edge technologies, we can offer more sophisticated data analytics and predictive solutions, providing greater value to our clients.

Additionally, we are investing in the development of smart grid infrastructure and renewable energy integration solutions. This aligns with our vision of supporting the global transition to sustainable energy systems. As we move forward, Radius Synergies will continue to innovate and adapt, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of the smart metering industry and contribute to a smarter, greener future.

TimesTech: What roles should DISCOMs play in smart meter installation and management, and how can collaboration with Radius Synergies enhance this?

Dr Bharat: DISCOMs play a pivotal role in the installation and management of smart meters, as they are directly responsible for the distribution of electricity to consumers. They should ensure seamless integration of smart meters into the existing infrastructure, oversee the deployment process, and manage the data collected to improve efficiency and reliability in power distribution.

Collaboration with Radius Synergies can significantly enhance these efforts. With our expertise in smart metering solutions, we can provide DISCOMs with state-of-the-art technology, comprehensive installation services, and robust data analytics platforms. This partnership will enable DISCOMs to achieve higher accuracy in billing, reduce energy losses, and enhance customer satisfaction through better service delivery. Together, we can drive the successful implementation of smart metering projects, leading to a more efficient and sustainable power grid.

TimesTech: How do you plan to scale your AMR-based pre-paid electricity solution across other regions, and what impact do you envision on consumer energy consumption?

Dr Bharat: We plan to scale our AMR-based pre-paid electricity solution across other regions by leveraging strategic partnerships with local DISCOMs and leveraging our extensive experience in smart metering technology. By tailoring our solutions to meet regional requirements and regulatory standards, we can ensure efficient integration and adoption.

We will also focus on robust customer education programs to demonstrate the benefits of pre-paid electricity, such as improved energy management and cost savings. Our solution provides real-time usage data, enabling consumers to monitor and control their energy consumption more effectively. This not only benefits consumers financially but also contribute to broader energy conservation efforts and the sustainability goals of the regions we serve.

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