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What IT Can and Cannot do for the Power Sector and Distribution in India: Link to Reforms, Incentives, and Management
The recent phase of power sector reforms has focused on distribution reforms, under the APDRP, and Information Technology (IT) is seen as a savior for the power industry, whereby advanced technologies such as digital metering will bring in much greater efficiency, theft reduction, and collection. While somewhat true, it is important to recognize that not all IT based solutions are equal, and poor designs can hamper longterm benefits. We present some analysis and results looking at different technologies and systems in the Indian context. In particular, we highlight some non-IT issues relating to reforms and tariff design that impact on IT’s potential and pitfalls. A full “smart” system will offer long-term benefits beyond simply theft reduction, and should be the focus of planners, analysts, and industry.