Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


What IT Can and Cannot Do for the Power Sector and Distribution in India: Link to Reforms, Incentives, and Management

Working Paper

Dr. Rahul Tongia

Issued by
Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Working Paper #19, January 2004

This paper relates to significant medium and long-term planning for the Indian power sector. Given the very high losses, both technical as well as theft, and lack of reliable data (stemming from lack of metering for millions of pumpsets, among other reasons), the use of IT offers a significant opportunity for leapfrogging to a "smart" distribution system. Such a system might reduce losses, improve sustainability, and free up electricity for rural consumption - which today is throttled due to lack of supply. However, as the paper indicates, IT is not a silver bullet, and its optimum use requires significant analysis, consensus, and R&D.