Powerthon 2022

Powerthon-2022 is a hackathon competition under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme to discover technology-driven solutions to complicated challenges in power distribution and to provide quality and dependable power supply. The Ministry of Power unveiled it in February 2022. Read the entire article to understand about Powerthon 2022 and the key aspects of the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme.

Because it has recently been in the news, the issue has a very high potential of being asked as a Current Affairs Question in the IAS Prelims.

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About Powerthon 2022

  • REC Limited, in partnership with SINE and IIT Bombay, announced the commencement of Powerthon-2022.
  • It is a hackathon competition under the RDSS (Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme) to identify technology-driven solutions to complicated power distribution challenges.
  • Startups, Technology Solution Providers (TSPs), educational and research institutes, equipment manufacturers, state power utilities, and other power bodies will all participate in the hackathon.
  • Objective- It aims to provide a high-quality and dependable power source. The power ministry will have a standing body to handle this competition. This initiative will be an open and ongoing scheme. Ideas and concepts will be rewarded with licences under the scheme.
  • Integrated Power Development Scheme, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana will be merged into this umbrella program.
  • Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach, each state would develop its own action plan for implementing the concept.
  • Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Limited and Power Finance Corporation are the scheme’s implementation nodes (PFC).

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Themes of Powerthon 2022

Participants will be tasked with developing new and innovative solutions based on advanced emerging technologies like as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things for nine themes that have been developed following conversations with 14 discoms from nine states. The hackathon works for following 9 themes-

  1. AT&C (Aggregate Technical and Commercial) loss reduction,
  2. Asset inspection,
  3. Consumer experience enhancement,
  4. Demand/load forecasting,
  5. Energy theft detection,
  6. Power purchase optimisation,
  7. Prediction of DT (Distribution Transformer) failure,
  8. Renewable energy integration and
  9. Vegetation management.

List of Current Affairs Articles for UPSC

About Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme(RDSS)

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the scheme in July 2021 to increase discoms’ operating efficiency and financial sustainability (excluding Private Sector DISCOMs).
  • The scheme will be available till 2025-26.
  • The major objectives of RDSS are to reduce AT&C losses to 12-15 percent, close the cost-revenue gap by 2024-25, and improve power supply quality and reliability.

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Highlights of the RDSS Scheme

Some highlights of the scheme are-

  • It aims to increase the operational efficiency and financial sustainability of all DISCOMs/Power Departments, with the exception of those in the private sector.
  • It is a reform-based and results-oriented programme.
  • The programme entails a mandatory smart metering ecosystem across the distribution sector, beginning with energy feeders and ending at the customer level, which includes around 250 million residences.
  • The Scheme focuses on enhancing farmers’ power supply and supplying them with daytime electricity through solarization of agricultural feeders.
  • It gives conditional financial support to discoms in order to enhance their supply infrastructure (power distribution companies).
  • The aid will be contingent on achieving pre-qualifying conditions as well as the DISCOM reaching basic minimum standards.
  • Funding for feeder segregation for unsegregated feeders is also a focus of the scheme.

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