Hyderabad: With progressive plans to shift from fossil-fuel based energy generation to renewable energy, India is on the right path. For this shift to realise, the country needs a strong and sustainable energy storage industry. The current size of the energy storage segment in India is estimated at over 15 GWh which is expected to grow by 8 per cent to 10 per cent year on year. India is making significant strides in the solar power space as well as hydel.
Dr Rahul Walawalkar, ED, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) told Telangana Today, “From electric vehicles to grid applications, solar energy applications, wind energy applications will generate major storage requirements. The demand for energy storage technologies will show a steep growth. India currently imports almost all battery components, except battery packs from countries like China, South Korea and Malaysia. The assembling of these units is done in India according to the existing requirements.”
He added, “We need to develop sustainable battery manufacturing industry in India, which can cater to innovations to power the future. We also need the removal of barriers such as higher GST (the global sales tax is 17 per cent) (18 per cent for batteries versus 5 per cent for solar) and import duties for kick-starting the market for advanced energy storage in India.”
India has made remarkable progress in terms of renewable power capacity additions in the last four years, with solar energy capacity growing almost eight-fold and wind energy increasing 1.6 times. India will easily achieve its target for solar energy generation of 100 GW by 2022. India has currently achieved global second position with regards to solar and global fourth position with regards to wind energy generation.
During first half of the year 2018, India installed 4.9 GW of solar power and secured the position of the second largest solar market in the world. The country will soon become the global solar hub with some of the largest solar parks in the world as Government has approved plans for 14 solar parks.
The Indian government has set an ambitious target of generating 100 GW of solar power by 2022 from the existing installed capacity of 21.65 GW. According to a recent report by a consultancy firm Bridge to India, new installations during the year will reach 14 GW, which is about 50 per cent more than the capacity added last year.
The wind generation capacity in India as of June 30, 2018 was 34.293 GW, making India fourth largest installed wind power capacity in the world. The capacity of wind energy is expected to reach 60 GW over the next two years.
“We expect the new year to be a year of action than mere discussions, alternate explorations and promises. Consumers need large level of awareness and must realise the long lasting positive effects and accept & adopt alternative energy solutions. Strong demand is an encouraging factor for the industry to deliver quickly. Government and Industry together can develop a favourable investment scenario to build storage system for dependable energy distribution,” Walawalkar observes.
“If we really want to access the country’s estimated 300GWh of storage opportunity in the next four years, this is high time for policymakers to take decisive action. Electric vehicles, behind the meter and grid scale energy storage are key applications to help the Indian government meet wind and solar targets as well as meeting the energy access goals. Cost is seen as one factor derailing rapid adoption of storage in the country,” he points out.