Author: Energy Storage News

India approves National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage

India’s Union Cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi has approved the ‘National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage’, with a focus on local manufacturing across the whole supply chain for electric vehicles (EV) including battery and cell manufacturing.

The mission includes a five-year phased manufacturing program to set up “a few large-scale, export-competitive integrated batteries and cell-manufacturing Giga plants in India”. This also includes such a program to localise production across the entire EV value chain.

A phased roadmap to implement battery manufacturing at Giga-scale will be considered with an initial focus on large-scale module and pack assembly plants by 2019-20, followed by integrated cell manufacturing by 2021-22.

Energy storage analysts and industry members have consistently said over recent years that any major push in EVs across India will naturally help to spur the stationary storage industry given the synchronicities across lithium-ion batteries at present and the likely reduction in battery costs for both sectors as a result. Thus, the stated focus on electric mobility of the Mission should not be of concern to the stationary storage lobby.

Indeed, the approval notice also stated: “These solutions will help improve air quality in cities along with reducing India’s oil import dependence and enhance the uptake of renewable energy and storage solutions.”

However, has previously highlighted how India’s draft National Energy Storage Mission had focused almost exclusively on manufacturing and reducing costs of domestic EV batteries, with little mention of stationary storage.

Nonetheless, the new National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage approval comes simultaneously to India’s second attempt at kicking off its large-scale solar-plus-storage ambitions. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has now released two major tenders including 1.2GW of solar PV combined with 3,600MWh of energy storage connected to the national grid, as well as a smaller tender for 200MW solar with 300MWh of storage in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Significant market potential

Debi Prasad Dash, executive director of India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), said: “We welcome the cabinet’s decision on setting up of National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage. […] This announcement is the result of the work done over the past 6 years by India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) along with various state agencies, as well as central government departments including MNRE, MOP, and NITI Aayog on different aspects related to energy storage policy. The mission also suggested to have the steering committee with representation of 8 ministries & departments, which will definitely bring appropriate co-ordination on appropriate policy creation.

“India has a significant market potential for batteries and electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are creating a big demand and due to this demand, the cost of batteries will further come down.  IESA estimates the market for energy storage would grow to over 300GWh during 2018-25. IESA is working with various EV & charging infrastructure companies through its MOVE (Moving Onwards with Vehicle electrification) initiative to catalyze the adoption through indigenous manufacturing of EV components. Currently, more than 10 companies are doing module and Li-Ion pack assembling in India and we’re expecting 4-5 large companies to enter cell manufacturing in the next 2-3 years. With appropriate policy support through this mission, Indian companies will be able to diversify into energy storage business. Through Make In India initiative, India will able to compete with the countries like China, Australia, Germany, USA, Taiwan, South Korea other Li-Ion manufacturing countries.”

India’s latest ‘big step’: 200MW / 300MWh of solar-plus-storage up for tender

India has released another significant solar-plus-storage tender – this time in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) invited bids for 200MW of grid-connected solar projects to be combined with 300MWh of battery energy storage.

This will include two separate 100MW PV projects, each with 150MWh of batteries at the Galiveedu Site of Ananthapuramu Ultra Mega Solar Park, and at the Talaricheruvu Solar Park.

The latest news confirms India’s reignition of its large-scale solar and storage plans. Last week, after SECI announced a tender for 1.2GW of ISTS-connected solar to be combined with 3,600MWh of energy storage, Dr Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and CES (India), told our sister site PV Tech: “This is the big and long-awaited step and we can see that in the last four months the government’s seriousness towards the sector after some unfortunate cancellations of tenders for over 100MWh in 2017-18. IESA had strongly protested the cancellations and delays in implementation of the storage projects, and we are hopeful that this time, the government will prioritize these projects and see them through to implementation.”

Although the latest tender is far smaller than last week’s, it is still pioneering as one of the first such large-scale solar and storage tenders in India. Similar attempts in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were cancelled in 2017, as mentioned by Walawalkar.

SECI has also invited bids for 1.2GW of Interstate Transmission System (ISTS)-connected solar projects in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, and 275MW of grid-connected PV projects in a solar park in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

All the detailed Request for Selection Documents (RfS) for the three tenders shall be available by 30 March.

India takes ‘long-awaited step’ for large-scale solar and energy storage

After disappointing tender cancellations in 2017-18, India looks set to bring large-scale solar-plus-storage back into the picture, with what the chief of the India Energy Storage Alliance has described as ‘the long-awaited step’.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announced three huge tenders across the country with various combinations of solar, energy storage, wind and hybrid concepts, to be connected to the Interstate Transmission System (ISTS):

  • 1.2GW of solar PV projects
  • 1.2GW of solar PV combined with 3,600MWh of energy storage
  • 1.2GW of wind-solar hybrid projects.

The government has previously made it clear that energy storage capacities can also be included in the hybrid projects.

The Request for Selection (RfS) documents for all three tenders will be released on 8 March.

Vinay Rustagi, managing director of the consultancy firm, Bridge to India, told PV Tech that at this stage, SECI is just issuing the notices and the tender documents are clearly not ready yet. It is likely that the rush is to circumvent the two-month policy hiatus that usually precedes a general election – likely to start from 5 March in this case.

IESA view

Dr Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and CES (India), commented on the latest tenders:

As your readers know, the Indian government is on verge of launching the National Energy Storage Mission (NESM). Demand creation is a key component of the national energy storage mission, and the ultimate goal is to make India a global hub for R&D and manufacturing of advanced energy storage technologies. Since the announcement of NESM by Hon. prime minister Shri. Narendra Modi on 2 October 2018, various government agencies have already released 5+ request for proposals (RfPs) for RE integration. This includes a tender for 20MW of floating solar PV projects with 60MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) by SECI on a turnkey basis in the union territory of Lakshadweep for multiple locations. Another large tender by a transmission utility has called for 400MW for 3-8 Hr of storage for RE integration which would also create a 1.2 to 3.2 GWh RfP for storage.  

The IESA team is in touch with SECI and MNRE to get more details on the RfS for 1.2GW solar combined with 3,600MWh of storage. CEA and CERC have already recommended inclusion of energy storage with solar and wind hybrids, so we also anticipate that in addition to the 3.6GWh storage project, other hybrid tenders will also have an opportunity for storage technologies to be included.

This is the big and long-awaited step and we can see that in the last 4 months the government’s seriousness towards the sector after some unfortunate cancellations of tenders for over 100MWh in 2017-18. IESA had strongly protested the cancellations and delays in implementation of the storage projects, and we are hopeful that this time, the government will prioritize these projects and see them through to implementation.

We are also seeing strong leadership from private companies such as AES and Mitsubishi, which deployed the 1st 10MWh stationary energy storage in New Delhi earlier this month.

Storage leap

While all the announcements are likely to be part of a plan to fast-track approval from MNRE since the unique new tender parameters will have taken time to concoct, Rustagi noted: “The fact remains that India doesn’t need as much renewable power as the tender programme of the government suggests, and we’ve seen so many tenders being cancelled or undersubscribed.

“One hopes that quality of these schemes would not be compromised in the last minute rush.”

Besides this week’s issuances, seven tenders with a total storage capacity of 84MWh combined with 78MW of solar PV had been issued in the last 12 months, according to Bridge to India figures.

Rustagi described the new 1.2GW solar / 3,600MWh tender as “a huge step up”, given that clearly, the cost of power will be very high. However, it is difficult to comment without the full tender details on off-take and ceiling tariffs.

He also said it would be interesting to see what kind of government support may be added, such as viability gap funding (VGF), because Bridge to India believes that making the distribution companies (Discoms) bear the extra costs would be unrealistic.

Solar and storage tenders over the last year have been issued by SECI, NTPC and NLC mostly in remote areas of Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. There have also been 760MW of new wind-solar hybrid tenders in Andhra Pradesh with the option of adding storage.

Bridge to India tabs the country’s current grid-scale commissioned storage capacity at just 10.75MWh. 

Solar Energy Corporation of India tenders for floating solar, 60MWh storage on Lakshadweep islands

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has issued a sizeable solar-plus-storage tender for the island archipelago of Lakshadweep involving 20MWac of floating solar projects coupled with 60MWh of battery energy storage systems.

The scope of the work includes design, engineering, supply, construction, erection, testing and commissioning of the projects at various locations as well as 10 years of operations and maintenance (O&M) services. The locations and capacities are as follows:

The total package of the tender will be awarded to a single bidder through a reverse auction.

SECI wants to develop clean energy projects under its ownership across the 11 islands of the union territory of Lakshadweep, as it announced in mid-January, with an aim of powering the inhabited islands in Lakshadweep partly or wholly through renewable energy sources.

The deadline for bid submissions is 1 April this year.

In November 2017, the Lakshadweep Energy Development Authority (LEDA) also invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the development of 10MW of floating solar plants on the islands.

Domestic content solar PV scheme to kick off

SECI has also prepared the first tender under its Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) scheme that mandates the use of locally-sourced cells and modules. This 1GW tender, supported by viability gap funding (VGF), will be available on 28 February.

The organisation has also said that a 97.5MW of grid-connected rooftop PV tender for government buildings across the country under the CAPEX or RESCO models will be made available on 21 February.

India’s first grid-scale storage project launches: 10MW li-ion system will ‘pave way’ for the future

Described as a project of ‘strategic importance’ for India’s entire energy sector, the country’s first grid-scale lithium-ion battery energy storage system officially went into service this week.

An inauguration event was held for the 10MW / 10MWh system today, 13 February, at the site in Rohini, Delhi. It is located at a substation owned by Tata Power Distribution, the grids and networks business of India’s mammoth Tata Group. Owned and operated by AES Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation, which have jointly delivered the project, the system will help provide flexibility to the local grid.

Tata Power DDL has over 2 million customers, and the Discom’s (distribution company) CEO Sanjay Banga said that: “This, India’s first grid-scale battery-based storage system, will address our key challenges in the areas of peak load management, system flexibility, frequency regulation and reliability of the network.”

“At Tata Power-DDL, we continually strive to integrate new technologies for strengthening our network to provide reliable and quality power supply to our consumers,” Banga said.

Fluence, the technology provider joint venture (JV) formed by AES together with engineering company Siemens, supplied the battery system itself, based on the Advancion lithium-ion battery storage platform originally developed through the AES parent company ahead of the JV’s independent launch last year. 

A pathfinder project

Last month, Dr Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and CES (India), told that the project marked real “strategic importance” for India’s energy sector and strongly emphasised the role the battery system, which will perform tasks including frequency regulation, would play as a pathfinder for future project, market and regulatory developments.

The project marks a first step forward for energy storage in a country which has an enormous target to reach 225GW renewable energy generation by 2022. By 2027 the network could also require 46GW of peaking capacity, typically the most polluting and expensive energy in the grid in nearly all parts of the world. The Rohini project is set to be a pathfinder for India, to demonstrate how battery storage can help reduce the ramping capacity needed to fire up fossil fuel plants, help integrate renewables by smoothing their output to the grid and in general provide critical flexibility to the grid.

As solar on the grid increases in India, thermal power plants will start to be shut off during the day. As the power contributed by solar wanes with the sun in the evening, there can be the potential for a shortfall of energy as evening peak demand occurs. Using battery storage has the potential to greatly mitigate the need for thermal power plants to ramp up, or even to be there at all. At present this need is resulting in 57GW of ramping requirements over 6 hours each night in India.

A paper presented to by Fluence today argued that energy storage can deliver “twice as much flexibility as any other electric power asset because it can both deliver and absorb power from the network, acting as a buffer to the intermittency of renewables and eliminating the need for wasteful curtailment [of renewable energy]. Storage can be sited anywhere in the network including densely populated load centers and rural areas on the edges of the network. It has no direct emissions or water use. This project is a first step for widespread deployment of energy storage in India.”

“Tata Power’s collaboration with AES and Mitsubishi is one of the significant milestones in the Indian power sector. Grid-scale energy storage will pave the way for ancillary market services, power quality management, effective renewable integration and peak load management of Indian grids,” Tata Power CEO and managing director Praveer Sinha said. 

Read the India Energy Storage Alliance executive director Dr Rahul Walawalkar’s thoughts on what 2019 will bring for energy storage in India in areas including gigafactory-scale manufacturing and clarity on renewable energy policies. 

India plans 14MW of solar with 42MWh of battery storage in Ladakh

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is planning two hybrid projects with a combined total of 14MW solar PV and 42MWh of battery energy storage in Leh and Kargil, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The plan comes just a few weeks after Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) released a highly ambitious tender for 7.5GW of solar also in the remote and high altitude desert region of Ladakh in the far north of India. The viability of this venture has been questioned by engineers and a pre-bid meeting is to be held on 18 February in New Delhi.

However, the new solar-plus-storage projects, located in different parts of the Ladakh region, will include far smaller project sizes with 7MW of solar and 21MWh of storage each. Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency (LREDA) and Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency (KREDA) will facilitate securing the required land area for each project.

SECI will oversee the scheme and act as project management consultant.

The project will have a fixed tariff of INR2/kWh (US$0.028) alongside viability gap funding (VGF) which is a subsidy provided by the government to a maximum of INR1.82 billion (US$25.4 million) for each project in this case. The VGF will be dispersed in two tranches will the final 50% offered on successful commissioning.

SECI will issue a tender and award the projects via competitive bidding. Projects are to be commissioned within 18 months of being awarded and successful bidders will also be responsible for O&M services on the plants. 

In other news, SECI is also planning to develop its own renewable energy projects at the Indian archipelago of Lakshadweep, with an eye on coupling the projects with battery energy storage.

BHEL and Libcoin in final talks over Indian lithium-ion battery gigafactory

Indian state majority-owned firm Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Libcoin are in final stage talks over setting up what they have dubbed as a lithium-ion Gigafactory in India.

Libcoin is a consortium including Sydney-based firm Magnis Energy, Duggal Family Trust and New York-based lithium-ion battery specialist Charge CCCV(C4V).

The Government of India, via the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, has endorsed the project that would start at 1GWh capacity and is set to be scaled up to 30GWh over time, according to a release from Magnis Energy.

Magnis has already announced plans to build three large-scale Gigafactories globally, according the company’s website:

  1. Australia / Townsville for 15GWh
  2. USA / New York for 15GWh  (Accelerated production plan enabled to commence production in 2019)
  3. Germany / North Rhine Westfalia for 30GWh.

Magnis chairman Frank Poullas commented: “We see India as one of the largest markets in the world for Lithium-ion batteries and to potentially build one of the world’s largest Lithium-ion battery Gigafactories with a partner who possesses the skill and expertise of BHEL is exciting for the company.”

Libcoin chairman Rajan Duggal said: “Our plan is to be the largest Lithium-ion battery manufacturer in India, and we aim to be the first mover in one of the world’s largest markets. The interest this project is generating especially in the Indian automobile sector is very exciting.”

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and president & MD, Customized Energy Solutions (India), told Energy-Storage.News: “India is expected to attract investment in up to four ‘Gigafactories’ for advanced Li-ion batteries, attracting over US$3 billion in investments in the next 3 years. Recently, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Libcoin are in discussion to form a consortium to build India’s first lithium-ion battery (LIB) gigafactory.”

Walawalkar noted that previously, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) in collaboration with Toshiba and Denso had announced plans to set up a Lithium-ion battery production facility purely dedicated to automobiles in Gujarat. Meanwhile, Exide had also announced their plans to set up Li-ion manufacturing with two different partners.

Walawalkar added that apart from this there are at least five other large industrial consortiums who are trying to finalise their plans for manufacturing in India.

Last June, two research institutions and local developer Raasi Solar Power also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) related to lithium-ion cell manufacturing. In this case, the organisations want to bring down the cost of lithium-ion cell manufacturing below INR15,000 (US$222) / kWh and create batteries for rooftop solar with a 25-year lifespan, by setting up a manufacturing facility in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

SECI highlights battery storage in planned renewables tender for Lakshadweep

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is planning to develop its own renewable energy projects at the Indian archipelago of Lakshadweep, with an eye on coupling the projects with battery energy storage.

The aim is to power the inhabited islands in Lakshadweep partly or wholly through renewable energy sources.

A tender document for the design, engineering, supply, construction, erection, testing and commissioning of the projects including 10 years of operations and maintenance (O&M) will be available from 31 January.

In November 2018, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) came out with new guidelines for distributed grid-connected solar PV projects in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep, including an extension of the implementation timeline, increase of the target capacity and an opening for energy storage technology.

In November 2017, the Lakshadweep Energy Development Authority (LEDA) invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the development of 10MW floating solar plants on the islands.

Energy-Storage.News recently featured a guest article from Dr Rahul Walawalkar, executive director, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), looking back at how energy storage has progressed in India in 2018 and what is to come in the year ahead.

Energy storage in India: A ‘year of action’ lies ahead of us

Dr Rahul Walawalkar by now probably needs little introduction for our readers. It’s been a little while since his last Guest Blog for the site, but Dr Walawalkar has weighed in with commentaries, views and invaluable background information and insights through interviews and news stories, mostly in his capacity as executive director of the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA). Since the end of last year, he is also the chair of the Global Energy Storage Alliance (GESA). In his day-to-day role, Walawalkar leads the Emerging Technologies & Markets team at Customized Energy Solutions.

We asked Rahul three simple questions to illuminate what was achieved in 2018 and what held the market back, if anything. We also look ahead to this year and what we might expect to see.

What were the biggest achievements in India in 2018 in energy storage and related areas like electric vehicles or solar and wind?

The year 2018 saw some great action and witnessed the kick-start of some large-scale deployments of energy storage technologies in the country. The government is also trying to push incentives for domestic manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, thus reducing their import and dependence on China. It is thanks to telecom and related sector applications that the distributed advanced storage deployment in the country has already crossed the 2GWh benchmark.

During the first half of the year, 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 as part of National Solar Mission of reaching 100 GW solar by 2022.

The Indian government has announced achieving 100% village electrification earlier this year and is now aiming for 100% household electrification with in next couple of years. According to the MOP, 15 states in India have achieved 100% household electrification under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (SAUBHAGYA) program so far.  

The EV market is also gaining momentum in India due to the ambitious plans and initiatives of the government. In early 2018, the Ministry of Power launched the new National Electric Mobility Programme to focus on creating the charging infrastructure and a policy framework to set a target of more than 30% electric vehicles by 2030.

According to the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy), India will add 227GW of renewable energy capacity by March 2022, which is going to improve India’s ranking, making it one of the top three countries making investments in the sector. Meanwhile, India has played a significant role in setting up of the International Solar Alliance. The government is making sincere efforts and progress toward alternative energy and the past year has been very progressive. Still, a lot needs to be achieved in the area of energy storage.

What specific initiatives was the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) able to undertake in 2018 and what were some of the group’s successes?

IESA’s vision is to make India a global leader in energy storage, electric vehicle and micro-grid technology adoption and a hub for manufacturing of these emerging technologies by 2022. We’re creating awareness among various stakeholders in the industry by promoting an information exchange with end users.

In February 2018, the MNRE convened to draft the National Energy Storage Mission to provide the policy framework necessary [to support the] industry. I was the part of the expert committee representing IESA to draft the National Energy Storage Mission which was of the major achievements – not only for us but also for the whole industry. The NESM draft is currently awaiting final approval from Cabinet and PMO and is expected to get announced during this month, January 2019.

IESA also brought leading voices together to advocate for a cut to GST (Goods and Services Tax, a single tax applicable across the whole of the country) rates for energy storage in India which is now 18% down from 28%. IESA had sent several letters to GST council earlier on this reduction and also met the concerned ministry officials on different occasions. The further reduction of GST to 5% – similar to solar components – or to 12% (similar to the electric vehicle) is essential to boost energy storage adoption in India.

During 2018, IESA also held a number of other successful events. We hosted a meet in Coimbatore and Pune for fast-tracking the adoption of behind-the-meter advanced energy storage technologies. Attended by over 80 large Commercial and Industrial (C&I) consumers as well as 50+ IESA member companies actively looking to provide solutions, the objective was to provide appropriate energy storage solutions for C&I consumers. We also hosted a ‘masterclass’ on energy storage tech, applications and manufacturing with the Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA), an EV event looking at policy, battery tech and charging infrastructure.

IESA also hosted the second edition of India’s Energy Storage Policy Forum on the eve of World Energy Storage Day, focused on policy issues related to grid and off-grid applications to support renewable development, energy storage for EVs and charging infrastructure, as well as R&D and the manufacturing ecosystem in India. We received an overwhelming response from stakeholders and policy makers.

Finally, in receiving the chairmanship of the Global Energy Storage Alliance, India currently has the leadership of global alliances in solar, smart grid and energy storage. It’s a testament to the growing importance of India in the global energy sector.

What’s the way forward in 2019? What can be achieved and what might hold energy storage back?

Energy storage can play an important role in renewable integration, energy access, electric mobility and smart cities initiatives by the Government. IESA estimates the market for energy storage will grow to over 300GWh during the years 2018 to 2025. India is expected to attract investment in up to four ‘Gigafactories’ for advanced Li-ion batteries, attracting over US$3Billion in investments in the next 3 years.

We expect 2019 to be a year of opportunities for energy storage sector especially in terms of manufacturing, assembling, energy storage project developments, equipment supply, R&D of technology enhancement etc. More and more foreign as well as Indian technology players are going to explore this sector in the coming years. 

In India, with the ever-rising fossil fuel imports and rapid urbanisation choking many cities with harmful pollution, the need for adoption of clean energy became more of a compulsion than a choice.

India is moving rapidly towards renewable energy (RE) and e-mobility. With the government moving on top gear to reach the 2022 RE goals, RE capacity would rise to 25% of the total and grid instability will become a real issue.

Energy storage is central to the successful growth of renewable energy and EVs. The government of India is fully aware of this and is putting in place the Electrical Energy Storage Mission. In the next few years, a lot of movement and rapid change in the market is expected.

It is high time for policymakers to take decisive action if India is to really tap into the estimated 300GWh opportunity for domestic manufacturing over the next four years. 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.

However, cost can be seen as one factor derailing the rapid adoption of energy storage. We also still need the removal of barriers such as the higher rate of GST (18% for batteries versus 5% for solar) and import duties in order to kick start the advanced energy storage market in India.

The government of India also has a goal of at least 30% of its vehicles running on electric by 2030. If we can have sufficient public charging facilities which can be used for charging EVs during the day, then this can actually solve a problem of low net loads during the times when maximum solar energy is being produced.

In conclusion, with the impending launch of the National Energy Storage Mission, we expect 2019 to be a year of action rather than a year of mere discussions and promises. Over the past two to three years, we have received a number of mixed signals from policy makers that have prevented major investments to flow in India for the energy storage sector. Still we have a wonderful opportunity to tap investments and fuel innovation with domestic ingenuity and global partnerships.

Modi fires starting gun on India’s National Energy Storage Mission

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi made an official commitment towards the launch of the country’s first National Energy Storage Mission yesterday at a ministerial event also attended by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

The Indian government Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is currently hosting an event in Delhi for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), protecting and promoting the trade and transport interests of the world’s third largest ocean, an extended region which according to the Ministry in fact represents approximately 15% of global energy demand. At the same time, the International Solar Alliance is meeting at a parallel event as well as the 2nd Global RE-INVEST Meet & Expo, which as the name suggests focuses on international renewable energy investments.

Modi spoke at a joint launch for the IORA, RE-INVEST and International Solar Alliance events. The prime minister, sometimes criticised for his populist and perceived nationalist stance, has overseen something of an explosion in the Indian solar market since his inauguration in 2014, with PV Tech/ deputy editor Tom Kenning often reporting on big projects in solar and a growth in interest in energy storage, including tenders to add batteries or other storage to some of those large-scale solar projects.

In the last 150 to 200 years, Modi said, mankind has depended on fossil fuels. He said that as a transition to renewable sources of energy continues, he hoped the International Solar Alliance would be “at the top of the list” of organisations working to further the “welfare of mankind”. The alliance was officially launched in March this year with a goal to drive the deployment of 1,000GW of PV and attract US$1 trillion in funding by 2030. Meanwhile, India will work to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement, aiming for 40% of total energy requirements in the country to come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, developing self-confidence to go from “Poverty to Power”.

Although not included in the official MNRE release, domestic news outlet the Economic Times of India reported further remarks from Modi that India has attracted investment of some US$42 billion in renewables during his four year tenure to date and could attract investments or generate business opportunities worth US$70 billion to US$80 billion in the next four years across the whole clean energy space.

As well also extolling the potential virtues of biomass, bio-fuel and bio-energy including waste-to-fuel for India and describing the overall transition to a clean grid as an opportunity as much as a challenge, Modi announced plans to launch the National Energy Storage Mission. The prime minister said it would involve manufacturing, deployment, technology development and policy framework although further details were not forthcoming.

The National Energy Storage Mission was first announced in February of this year by an MNRE-convened expert committee, which led to a draft document being published in August, created by NITI Aayog – (the National Institution for Transforming India) and US think-tank Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The draft focused heavily on the manufacturing side, which is unsurprising given Modi’s thirst to pursue ‘Make in India’ policies and give consideration to domestic content requirements in technology and industry. Perhaps viewing the manufacturing value chain as a virtuous circle beginning with e-mobility, the draft was almost exclusively about electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing and how best to support it.

© Solar Media Limited