Joerg Gmeinbauer, Global Vice President, Power & Utilities, Bureau Veritas
Joerg Gmeinbauer's Area of Expertise: Testing, inspection & certification
Q: The Indian government’s vision is to create a modern power system in India that is low-carbon, highly efficient, smart and interconnected, and most importantly provides power to all of its citizens. What in your view, are the main challenges to achieving this vision, and how might they be overcome?
The energy sector has been going through huge disruptive change during the last 20 years. But by putting climate protection first, the industry has set an unprecedented example of global leadership and has shown that a whole industry can change course just within less than a decade. Electrification through decarbonisation and decentralisation will remain at the center of attention for the decades to come.
The biggest threat to this vision is the same all around the world: populism, protectionism and political interference to protect parts of the industry that are not worth protecting.
Q: What do you see as the main opportunities for your company or organisation as India transitions its power sector?
The biggest opportunity not only for us but for the whole industry is to build on the cost competitiveness low carbon generation was able to build in recent years and take digitalisation from first movers to full industry-wide implementation.
Q: In your particular field what do you see as the major trends over the next 5-10 years?
Also the inspection industry is going through major change. Remote sensing, robotics and imaging technologies as well as artificial intelligence are significantly improving effectiveness and accuracy of the way we apply conformity assessment to power assets. This trend will strongly accelerate in the coming years.
Q: What projects or initiatives are you involved in or are aware of that you see as extremely important in developing the power sector in India and why?
Bureau Veritas has been present in India since 5 decades and we have been closely involved in most of the power industry flagship projects the sector has seen over that time. Today the focus has clearly shifted to wind and solar generation as well as the extension of power grids. I am a strong climate advocate and I am happy to see many power sector leaders in India are promoting the right policies now.
Q: What measures can be taken to reduce the impact of COVID 19 pandemic on power sector?
Healthcare and other critical infrastructure rely on a strong power sector. And the power sector has done remarkably well in the last weeks - we can all be very proud of that. O&M procedures are being adjusted everywhere to protect employees whilst keeping the assets running and its great to see how the global industry started to share best practice across countries. For us it is no question: we need to keep going as an industry. All the rest relies on us!
Q: Finally, if you could change anything about India’s energy sector, what would it be (please provide your top three changes)?
That’s clear: embrace change at a quicker pace and use the post-Covid-19 recovery to accelerate the energy transition.