National Energy Storage Mission would soon be launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to kick-start grid-connected energy storage in India, set up a regulatory framework and encourage indigenous manufacture of batteries, as per the draft submitted to the Ministry in the last week of April, 2018. “We need a viable commercial plan for storing renewable energy and we will be able to significantly cut down import of fossil fuels once the storage of renewable energy is commercially viable”, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and Renewable Energy RK Singh stated recently. To cut down on fossil fuels and to achieve our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, it becomes imperative for us to store energy generated from renewable sources which itself is inherently intermittent.
India’s zeal to step up renewable capacity has to be matched with capability to manage intermittency. The problem is aggravated by differential resource potential across states, which cannot be easily overcome by Renewable power purchase obligations. Policy enablement will play a key role in development of balancing supplies. Flexible operation of thermal power plants, both coal and gas based, is likely to create a synergy between the conventional and renewable sources. Even the stranded gas-based capacity may find a market for their power. In addition, a close coordination between generation and transmission will be needed, especially if India has to succeed in raising the share of renewable electricity yet higher by 2040 – the terminal year of National Energy Policy as per NITI Ambition Scenario that aims to present a range of possible energy implications for the country till the year 2040.
Batteries could help store surplus energy during peak generation times, but are more immediately needed to stabilise the grid when shifting between renewables and the base load thermal capacity. According to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy resources the current installed capacity of renewables is 65 GW as on February 28, 2018 and once it reaches 100 it will become critical to incorporate storage options. In India there is energy storage opportunity of 75 GW by 2022 as its targeted capacity through renewable by then is 175 GW.
NITI Aayog has proposed a three-stage solution for promoting battery manufacturing in the country:
National Energy Storage Mission draft:
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