Aluminium & India’s Journey of Electrification

Not all energy is consumed equally across the world. An estimated 16% of the world’s population — 1.2 billion people — have little or no access to electricity.

Given the connectedness and requirements of modern life, uninterrupted access to electricity is crucial to any country’s development journey. In fact, surviving without electricity is almost unfathomable in today’s world as lighting, water, sanitation, education, healthcare, communication, entertainment – almost everything depends on access to electricity. The demand for electricity will keep rising worldwide as the global population increases and standard of living improves. Stable and reliable electricity supply is the key to critical economic activities linked to socio-economic growth of countries.

India is committed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to “ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030″. Given the aspirations of Indian economy, the country’s electricity demand is expected to double in the next 10 years. As a result, the need for expansion and outreach of electrical infrastructure will rise manifold, leading to greater demand for quality conductors and cables. Over the years, high structural strength, light weight, good conductivity, high ductility, and non-magnetic properties have made aluminium and its alloys indispensable for the power industry. The major areas of application include cables, busbars, overhead transmission lines, motors, foil windings, electrolytic capacitors, heating elements, heat sinks, and many more. India is currently the largest consumer of aluminium based wires and cables, excluding China, with an annual consumption of 1.2 million tonnes of aluminium wire rods. However, India’s per capita consumption of aluminium in the electrical sector is at 0.9 kgs, which is well below the world average of 1.3 kgs. Vedanta’s Aluminium Business is the world’s largest producer of aluminium wire rods, ex-China, catering almost exclusively to the power industry.