India to kick-start Renewable Energy Storage

Renewable energy sources now make up almost one-fifth of India’s total installed power capacity. However, as power grids increase their share of solar and wind energy, the problem remains that the peak supply of renewable sources does not always meet peak demand. Moreover, renewable sources are inherently intermittent: there are days when the wind doesn’t blow or the sky is cloudy.

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 baseload thermal capacity.

Once the installed capacity of renewables reaches 100 GW from the current 65 GW, it will become critical to incorporate storage options.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has drafted “National Energy Storage Mission” which it expects will kick-start grid-connected energy storage in India, will set up a regulatory framework, and encourage indigenous manufacture of batteries.

The mission will focus on seven verticals: indigenous manufacturing; an assessment of technology and cost trends; a policy and regulatory framework; financing, business models and market creation; research and development; standards and testing; and grid planning for energy storage.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) expects to issue tenders for grid-connected storage by the end of the year, However for its own 160 MW plant in Andhra Pradesh, the SECI will issue tenders for a storage option by the end of July itself.

Up to 10% of solar power can be injected into the grid without storage but after that, storage become a necessity.