Telangana government collaborates with IIM-Ahmedabad to increase transparency in power sector transactions

IIM-Ahmedabad teams up with State govt for peer-to-peer platform to let consumers make money from extra power 

Published: 09th August 2019 03:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2019 08:25 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purposes. (File Photo | EPS))

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: In a bid to reduce the cost of power for a consumer and increase transparency and efficiency of power sector transactions, the State government and IIM-Ahmedabad have collaborated to develop a blockchain platform for peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading and deploy the pilot solution in the State.

Firstly, peer-to-peer energy trading allows consumers to take advantage of other users who produce more energy than they need. Consumers can sell their excess power for profit. However, as of now, though consumers practice peer-to-peer energy trading in the country, it is mired with regulations and the levels of accountability have not been fixed -- both which discourage the former. 

A source in the government said, “Consumers can choose whom they sell it to and for how much amount they sell it. However, the present-day regulations do not let power generators to sell at their own will.” With the implementation of the proposed blockchain, the Information Technology, Electronics and Communication (ITE&C) department aims to bypass the need for an intermediary. “Blockchain creates a decentralised system, where consumers will be able to transact and transfer power with one another without the need for an intermediary. They can also be assured that their payments will be safe,” the government source said.

Explaining how the blockchain energy sharing platform would decrease the cost of power for the average consumer, the source said, “to trade power, now, one has to go incur transactional costs. For users who are trading small units of powers, the costs are prohibitive.” 

As for assuring better standards of transparency, blockchain would ensure that all the key players in the power sector would have access to an equal amount of information, without infringing on someone’s privacy. “For taking important decisions, key players would have access to information like whether a transaction was successful. However, they would not be able to view information like the price at which it was bought or sold. That is private information,” the source added. 

The collaborative venture between ITE&C department and IIM-Ahmedabad is being funded by the State Department of Science and Technology. There will be startups that will develop the software and hardware and the platform will be demonstrated with the help of Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company (TSSPDCL) as a proof of the concept. 

Speaking to Express, Principal Secretary of the ITE&C department Jayesh Ranjan said, “P2P energy is still picking up in our country and the regulations, rules and levels of accountability have not been fixed yet because of lack of experience in this area.”

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