India to Curb Smart Meter Imports to Boost Domestic Industry
(Bloomberg) -- India plans to discourage imports of smart meters as the country pushes for domestic manufacturing of the equipment and cut shipments from China.
Efforts to revive economic growth as well as fears of cybersecurity breaches have forced the country to take a raft of measures to curb imports. Soured relations with its northern neighbor China, for long a leading supplier of electrical equipment in the country, have bolstered such efforts.
“We’re going to put systems in place so that we only use made-in-India smart meters,” power minister Raj Kumar Singh said. “I really don’t want to buy anything from our northern neighbor. Plain and simple.”
The country will prepare a list of approved models and manufacturers who can sell in India, Singh said. The power ministry will hold consultations with manufacturers to prepare the list.
India sees pre-paid smart meters as a solution to reduce losses at power distribution utilities and it will need to install nearly 250 million meters for homes and commercial users, according to an estimate in 2020. The country’s money-losing power retailers aren’t paid for about a fifth of the electricity they supply because of theft and leakages through old cable networks.
The minister also said the country will unveil its green hydrogen policy in about 10 days. The fuel--produced by splitting water with the help of clean electricity--is expected to play a crucial role in decarbonizing hard-to-abate industries such steel, refineries and fertilizers.
India plans to waive inter-state transmission charges for clean power used to make the fuel and provide land to set up renewable power facilities as well as bunkers for storing green hydrogen and green ammonia.
India aims to emerge as an export hub for the fuel and plans to allow dollar-denominated bids for setting up projects, Singh said, without elaborating.
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