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M2M COMMUNICATIONS Machine to Machine The Government of India is keen to adopt Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications and therefore released an M2M roadmap on 12 May, 2015 to foster large scale deployment. India is a strong advocate of IPv6 and compliance to IPv6 is mandatory in today’s scenario. In addition, the Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) released technical reports on M2M communications in sectors such as Power, Transport, Health, Safety & Surveillance and Gateway & Architecture the same day. The Government is in the process of connecting 250,000 gram panchayats* on an optical fibre network for E-Governance, E-Learning, E-Health etc. In November 2014, two new schemes were launched, namely the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) which, apart from other objectives, envisage the extension of NOFN to 33KV and above substations for providing a backbone network for smart grid applications. The first attempt to inject communications into the power sector was the implementation of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) by distribution companies (DISCOMs) and SCADA/EMS by transmission companies (TRANSCOs). Now, many DISCOMs are also in the process of commissioning SCADA/DMS and many have already done so. * “A gram panchayat is the cornerstone of a local self- government organisation in India of the Panchayati raj system at the village or small town level, and has a Sarpanch as its elected head.” (Wikipedia) 40 Smart grid communications come under the purview of M2M communications wherein machines/devices/sensors communicate amongst themselves and also with the control centre/server for fulfilling the envisaged purpose. How far we have come After over a century of generating electricity centrally and building massive electric grids, the focus is now on de- centralised generation and microgrids. This is causing the traditional boundaries between generation, transmission and distribution to disappear. Consumers are becoming ‘prosumers’ by generating monitor and control the power flow only up to the medium voltage along with low voltage substations using Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)/ Energy Management Systems (EMS). Smart grids will enable monitoring and controlling of the power flow in the low voltage grid up to the end consumers using SCADA/ Distribution Management Systems (DMS). Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) would enable remote reading, remote connection/disconnection, remote load control (based upon time of day or time of use prices), and early detection of outages using two-way communications. Wide Area Monitoring, Protection and Secure, reliable, scalable, interoperable and cost effective communication networks would be required for the above mentioned domains” electricity locally and having an option of feeding it back to the grid. Hence, there is already a debate on whether to invest in decentralised generation plus storage plus local distribution or centralised generation plus transmission plus distribution. The traditional electricity networks that were designed for unidirectional flow of electricity, revenue and information are on the threshold of a paradigm shift which will enable bidirectional flow of these elements. Before the advent of smart grids, communication networks were used to Control (WAMPAC) would offer a high degree of visibility in the electricity grid by synchronously measuring the phase of the current and voltage vectors for monitoring, controlling and protection of the high voltage grid. Electric vehicles would not only offer a cleaner mode of transport but also act as virtual power plants to reduce the demand and supply gap. Secure, reliable, scalable, interoperable and cost effective communication networks would be required for the above mentioned domains. It is believed that the grid will METERING INTERNATIONAL ISSUE – 3 | 2015