Hyderabad: The market for energy storage in the South Asia region is dominated by India. Energy storage helps in the integration of renewable energy and unlocking the benefits of local generation and a clean, resilient energy supply. But despite rapidly falling costs, energy storage systems remain expensive and the significant upfront investment required is difficult to overcome without low-cost financing. With right policy framework, India can create the needed storage capacity. As per estimates, India could attract investments in the energy storage devices manufacturing to a tune of $6 billion in the short-term.
The total energy storage market between 2015 and 2022 in India is expected to go up from 4.4 GW to 70 GW. Out of 70 GW, over 35 GW of demand is expected from newer applications like wind and solar integration, frequency regulation, peak management, transmission and distribution deferral, diesel replacement and electric vehicles. MNRE has set target of 100 GW Solar and 60 GW wind deployment by 2022.
India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) executive director Dr Rahul Walawalkar told Telangana Today, “Indian energy storage market is growing but still there is a supply-demand gap. Energy storage plays an important role into renewable integration, micro grids, electric mobility, smart grid and smart cities initiatives by the Government. There are an estimated 240 million people who still do not have connectivity to the grid and this needs to be addressed.”
IESA is working towards creating awareness among various stakeholders to make the Indian industry more competitive through adoption of energy storage, micro-grid technologies and electric vehicles since 2012. “We predict that energy storage and micro grids have potential to transform India’s electric grid in next 5-10 years. With growing opportunities globally, we are confident that India will not only be one of the largest markets for advanced storage technologies but it can become a global hub for manufacturing with significant export potential to South East Asia and Middle East, Africa and Asia (MEAA) region.
IESA’s Lead Acid Battery Market Landscape Report suggests the current market size for lead acid batteries is around Rs 27,000 crore ($4.2 billion) out of which stationary and motive applications in India takes the share of Rs 12,650 crore. The stationary and motive application segments are likely to grow by 14 per cent CAGR until 2020 and the forecasted market will be Rs 25,000 crore ($4 billion). In the current market scenario, inverter and UPS applications take the major share of 60 per cent of the stationary and motive battery market. Key applications which will boost the market are batteries for solar integration, electric and hybrid vehicles.
Manufacturing of new technology batteries is still not happening in India. Only assembly activity is witnessed. At least five major industrial groups in India are waiting for clarity in policy to foray into cell manufacturing. States such as Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat are showing interest in attracting investments from companies to set up units in this space.
As per estimates, for cell manufacturing, 1 GWh capacity would need an investment of $300 million. Looking at the potential India has to create a 10 GWh capacity, India could attract investments to the tune of $3 billion. And as this happens, ancillary development including module development, containers, transformers, inverters could need an equal amount of investment, taking the total potential to $6 billion.
He says this is a conservative estimate, and if the market grows to full potential, the upper end could anywhere be around $30 billion. IESA expects over 100 MWh of tender to be released by end of this year in the energy storage space.
Most of the batteries currently consumed in India come from China, Korea, US, Japan and Europe. China has 60 GWh of manufacturing capacity, US has around 40 GWh, while Europe (driven by Germany) has 30 GWh. In the consumer electronics space, importing and assembling has been feasible so far for India and if tax benefits are provided by the government, indigenous manufacturing can pick up.
He added, “Demand for electric vehicles is rising in the country and certain States have started embracing electric buses as part of their green mobility plans. Charging infrastructure needs to be created. NTPC and Power Grid are showing interest in this space. Private sector involvement should be there. Mahindra Reva is creating infrastructure. New models could emerge. For instance, a number of London’s street lights are being adapted so that they can also charge electric cars, making it easier for drivers to use the vehicles anywhere in the city.”