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Last updated: 18 Jan, 2018  

IESA.9.Thmb.jpg Energy storage technologies of strategic importance for India: IESA

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SME Times News Bureau | 18 Jan, 2018

Energy storage technologies have strategic importance for India’s energy security, in the background of the country’s target to achieve 100 GW of solar powered energy by 2022, said Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, Executive Director, India Energy Storage Alliance & Vice Chair, Global Energy Storage Alliance and President & MD, Customized Energy Solutions India Pvt. Ltd.

Excerpts of the interview…

Please describe the vision, mission and goals of IESA (India Energy Storage Alliance) to take Indian Energy Storage space to next level.

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar: Energy storage can play an important role into renewable integration, energy access, electric mobility and smart cities initiatives by the Government. We believe that energy storage technologies have potential to significantly contribute to transformation of Indian electric grid towards a greener, resilient and reliable grid with in next decade.

IESA (India Energy Storage Alliance) was launched in 2012 to create awareness and accelerate adoption of Energy Storage Technologies in India, through an active dialogue among the various stakeholders including consumers, technology providers and policy makers. Since the launch, our network has grown rapidly and currently has 75+ members who are exploring opportunities for energy storage, microgrids and EVs. Our members include good mix of energy storage technology providers, power conversion system providers, system integrations, project developers, large users, potential investors as well as research institutions. Today IESA has become the leading body to address the need for a robust energy storage ecosystem in the country. It aims to make India a global hub for research and manufacturing of advanced energy storage technologies by 2022.

Being the networking hub for energy storage industry in India, IESA’s experience and expertise cuts across all segments ranging from energy storage, electric vehicles & charging infrastructure, micro-grids, renewable energy integration etc. IESA is getting great response from the energy storage industry worldwide and is quickly gaining a strong foothold across various stakeholders and technology providers.

IESA is also strengthening the knowledge pool of industry through partnership with leading research universities and its publications such as Emerging Tech Radio (ETR) podcast, Emerging Technology News (ETN) magazine, Weekly Newsletters and various Industry reports.

IESA has strategic alliances with 20+ global and national associations including China National Energy Storage Alliance (CNESA), Energy Storage Alliance USA (ESA), California Energy Storage alliance (CESA), Germany Energy Storage Alliance (BVES), Energy Storage Canada (ESC), Australian Energy Storage Alliance (AESA) and many more. IESA is also the founding member of Global Energy Storage Alliance.

India has set the target to achieve 100 GW of solar powered energy by 2022. What would be the contribution of IESA?

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar: With the ambitious target of installing 100 GW of solar by 2022, Energy Storage technologies have strategic importance for India’s energy security and clean energy future. Aim of IESA’s Knowledge Partner Network (KPN) network is to help members understand the various energy storage technologies, business applicationsand intertwined policy/regulatory issues. IESA team works with these members to help them make an informed decision on technology adoption and target markets.

We are also working with policy makers and regulators. We have been part of Renewable Integration Task force for Ministry of Power and CEA during 2013-14, part of Energy Storage and Hybrids standing committee for Ministry of New and Renewable Energy since 2014 and are also working with CEA, CERC and Forum of Regulators to enable adoption of these emerging technologies in India.

IESA is also playing a key role in promoting India as a destination for R&D collaboration and manufacturing. We organize technology tours for international companies and have also organized Energy Storage India, the international conference and expo dedicated to energy storage since 2013.

What is the vision behind introducing Energy Storage India (ESI) in the country? What all the industry can expect with ESI 2018?

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar: India is anticipated to become one of the best markets for the adoption of energy storage technologies due to several drivers like the fastest growing economy, increasing share of renewables, transmission constraints, need for providing 24x7 quality power and electric mobility mission.

Energy Storage India (ESI) is the leading international conference and expo addressing the need for energy storage, micro-grids & Electric Vehicle solutions in India. Organised annually, ESI provides first-class networking event to drive energy storage market expansion in profitable applications – highlighting the synergies, inter-relationships and new business opportunities for transmission, distribution, customer-sited, micro-grids/campuses and e-mobility applications.

ESI 2018 is going to be bigger and better with more than 1000+ industry experts, 100+ speakers, 50+ exhibitors and partners participating from over 25 countries across the globe. ‘Implementing Energy Storage Mission’ will be the theme for this year. We have focused sessions on renewable integration, electric vehicles, C&I applications, microgrids, innovation and make in India. ESI 2018 will also host dedicated workshops that will cover energy storage technologies, safety and standards, operation & maintenance, economic analysis and sizing of storage projects as well as introduction to manufacturing of li-ion batteries.

We are also hosting 1st startup competition in India dedicated to energy storage, microgrids and EVs. Over 20 top investors focusing on this sector will participate in this initiative apart from over 50 IESA member companies.

The 5th International Conference & Expo on Energy Storage and Microgrids is scheduled from January 11 – 12, 2018 along with Pre – Conference Workshops on January 10, 2018 2018 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India.

What are the key challenges of the energy storage segment in India? How IESA will address these challenges?

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar: Policy makers in India have recognized the potential of energy storage that can help the Indian government to meet various policy priorities such as National Solar Mission, National Electric Mobility Mission and Mission for energy access. According to the policy makers the biggest challenge for storage is the higher upfront cost. Globally the prices for storage technologies are reducing rapidly and have fallen by 90% in past ten years. We are also confident that with local manufacturing, we can accelerate this cost reduction.

At the same time, there are other challenges remain on the policy front. Currently various policies that influence energy storage sector are being controlled by different ministries such as energy access by MOP, renewable integration by MNRE, electric vehicle by NITI Aayog, Department of heavy Industries and Ministry of Road transport, R&D by Department of Science & technology & Niti Aayog etc. Due to this, although well intentioned, there are discrepancies in the direction provided by different groups, which is causing uncertainty for investment community. As an example microgrids using distributed renewable energy sources and energy storage can be scaled up in coming years to provide 24* 7 energy access to remote communities. But MOP has been focusing lot of efforts only on grid expansion without a comprehensive policy to include grid connected microgrids. On the other hand Saubhagya initiative has indicated a shift in focus from microgrids to stand alone solar lighting, which is a significant scale back from ambitions of honourable Prime Minister Modi of 24*7 power for all citizens of India by 2019.

At grid scale, energy storage has been proven as most cost effective solution for providing ancillary services to the grid and enabling greater renewable penetration. Unfortunately CERC is debating implementation of ancillary services for over 3 years and still in a mode of doing pilots with conventional generators, while globally enough test data is available on performance of thermal plants for providing ancillary services such as frequency regulation and how energy storage can be a superior, cleaner and cheaper alternative.

Another policy intervention required is need for transparent price signal for electricity that values the peaking power and flexibility. We also need removal of barriers such as higher GST (18% for batteries vs 5% for solar) and import duties for kick starting market for advanced energy storage in India.

Currently most of the investment decisions for power sector are being driven by average levelized costs, while there are various applications, where the marginal costs of current technologies or solutions being planned is significantly higher even that current cost of storage technologies. E.g. diesel replacement is a low hanging fruit, but due to various subsidies given to island consumers, they are not witnessing the true cost of power from such sources. Also even in case of areas where diesel generators are used, there is an opportunity to improve efficiency by increasing loading of the generators for certain hours and shutting them down for other times where solar + storage can meet the load. On part loaded condition the marginal cost of electricity from diesel generator could be higher than 20 Rs / kWh, but due to lack of policy certainty and delays in decision making, we are yet to achieve goals set up for Greening the Islands.

For electric transportation, we need to have a clear strategy for addressing the need for charging infrastructure. Then only India can mainstream electric vehicles. Also for this market to grow, we need to focus on building local manufacturing eco system as well as invest in skill development for ensuring after sales support.

IESA has launched focused initiatives to work with policy makers to address each of this challenges such as MICRO – the Microgrid Initiative for Campus and Rural Opportunities and MOVE – Moving Onward to Vehicle Electrification to focus, apart from our work with MNRE Standing committee on energy storage & hybrid systems.

How energy storage will affect the renewable market and end users at large?

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar: India has an ambitious plan of 160 GW renewables by 2022 including 40 GW of rooftop solar, 60 GW of grid scale solar and 60 GW of wind. The key challenge for reaching these targets would be the ability of the grid to integrate variability associated with these renewables as well as huge investment required for upgrading the T&D infrastructure.

Energy storage can help in better integration of these renewable by providing multiple values to the system such as optimizing T&D investments, addressing forecasting errors in wind and solar generation for more accurate scheduling, addressing local reliability issues by providing reactive power support and also enabling end users for managing peak load and more efficient utilization of distributed renewables etc.

With the rapid reduction in cost of both solar and storage, customers can see solar + storage as alternative for peak power from grid at the same time, utilities can avoid investments in peaker capacity, optimize T&D investments or eliminate load shedding by utilizing these resources.

What lies in future for battery and energy storage space with a growing Electric Vehicle (EV) market in the country?

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar: Apart from the opportunities for advanced energy storage for stationary and distributed applications, new area of electric vehicle has emerged as a high potential area in past year. The EV market in India is gradually booming. The energy storage unit is the most important component of any EV, whether it’s a two-wheeler, a three-wheeler, a four-wheeler, or commercial vehicles such as buses. NITI Aayog’s estimate that India’s market for EV batteries could be worth as much as a $300 billion in a 100% EV Nation is very ambitious. We have already started seeing adoption of EVs for public transport such as eRickshaws and taxis. EESL has issued the largest single order of 10,000 EVs in 2017. We also anticipate close to 3000 eBus tenders to come out for various states in 2018. IESA estimates that in the next five years the EV battery market will be worth a minimum of between $30 billion to $40 billion. This has a tremendous potential for growth if the right and consistent policies are developed by Indian government.

Current focus by NITI Aayog and Road and Transport ministry is a welcome step. But some of the decisions such as including Hybrid Electric Vehicles in higher GST bracket of 43% is a disappointment for industry. Hybrid electric vehicles could have been a perfect transition for adoption of Electric Vehicles which also requires charging infrastructure which would take at least few years to develop across country.

EV market has a potential for encouraging investments in domestic manufacturing base as well. Indian Auto Industry is a perfect example of Make in India and same lessons can be adopted for making India a global hub for advanced energy storage manufacturing by 2022. But we are competing with huge investments being made in China, US, South Korea and Europe, where companies are investing in 35 – 50 GWh of Li-Ion manufacturing capacities. IESA estimates that by 2020, India needs to build at least 5-10 GWh of li-ion cell manufacturing capacity, to give Indian industry a chance to compete in global supply chain. Else we will end up following the path where India has become one of the largest markets for computers, solar panels and telephones, without having any significant domestic manufacturing capability with over 90% of critical components getting imported. IESA believes that with the right focus from government

Will upcoming micro-grid and electric mobility concepts transform Indian energy storage market?

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar: Rural electrification was one of many ‘unique’ issues in India where we believed that emerging technologies can help India in leapfrogging development. Over 200 million rural Indians do not have access to the grid access; whilst just over another 200 million have a poor connection to the grid. These far-fetched places and rural areas have the largest potential for micro-grids to give a return.

IESA has launched MICRO, the Microgrid Initiative for Campus and Rural Opportunities last year with a goal of bringing down levelized cost of energy by 30-50% by 2020. We also believe that apart from energy access, campus microgrids can be a perfect solutions for smart cities & townships. Campus microgrids can be crucial for providing grid resiliency and power quality while optimizing need for peaking capacity in generation and distribution network. This initiative has been selected by USAID as one of the innovative clean energy projects under Pace Setter Fund and recently European Space Agency has parted with IESA to explore role of space based tools and satellite data for improving micro grids in India. Global Energy Storage Alliance is also supporting this initiative. So with support from 70 + IESA member companies, we are confident that energy storage and micro grids have potential to transform India’s electric grid in next 5-10 years.

Government of India has clearly decided to priorities electric vehicles. Energy Storage is a key component of this and there are number of ways in which EV adoption could be transformative for the grid. 1st, EVs could present substantial load for the electric grid which in past year has become surplus on generation. 2nd with better tariff structures and use of right storage technologies in EVs, we could also use EVs as distributed storage and provide grid balancing services. This transformation can not only help in greening the transportation fleet by reducing diesel / petrol consumption and associated emissions, but can also help in greening the grid if EVs are used for better integration of renewable resources in grid.

What are your expansion plans for coming years?

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar: Customized Energy Solutions launched India Energy Storage Alliance in 2012 to accelerate adoption of energy storage and micro grids in India. IESA’s vision is to make India a global leader in adoption of energy storage, micro grids and EVs. We also want to make India a global hub for manufacturing of these emerging technologies by 2020. For growth of the industry; we are working on 11 initiatives:

1. Inputs for NITI Aayog & Invest India for energy storage manufacturing policy: We are continuing to work with NITI Aayog to launch a comprehensive energy storage mission for India. We also hosted a CXO roundtable during ESI2017 and are compiling inputs for various policymakers.

2. Inputs to CERC, CEA, MNRE and MOP for energy storage policy framework: We provided inputs to CERC and other policy makers over past 5 years, and most recently also hosted a full day event with FICCI and TERI to help gather stakeholder inputs in response to the CERC staff paper on energy storage.

3. Energy Storage Standards Roadmap: We are working with UL and all key manufacturers to launch Energy Storage Standards Roadmap for India. We supported a battery technology summit organized by UL in this regard last year in Delhi and hosted a special technical workshop Mumbai during ESI 2017. IESA is also part of BIS standards committee and expect the 1st set of standards to be released in early 2018.

4. MICRO - Micro grid Initiative for Campus and Rural Opportunities: We have set a goal of reducing cost of electricity from micro grids in India by 30% to 50% in the next 3 years and are working to bring together various stakeholders to achieve this dream. Phase 1 of the initiative focuses on energy access for remote communities and Phase 2 will focus on the campus micro grids.

5. Utility working group: We are part of Electric Power Research Institute’s Energy Storage Integration Council that has worked for past 3 years towards addressing grid integration challenges related to storage. We are now trying to bring together some of the progressive utilities in India such as Tata Power, Tata Power Delhi, Reliance Energy, CSE and BESCOM to build on this for address similar issues in India.

6. CES-Global Energy Storage Index: This is a sectorial index for global energy storage market and is developed by Customized Energy Solutions. It is designed to track the energy storage industry comprising technology manufacturers, energy storage solutions providers, raw material providers, component suppliers and power electronics companies. This Index includes companies from across the globe including USA, China, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, India and Canada etc.

7. India Energy Storage Database (IESDB): IESDB is a database of energy storage and micro grid projects as well as manufacturing, recycling and EV charging stations in India. This is currently under BETA test, and we are working with IESA members to populate useful data to show the status of energy storage industry in India.

8. IESA Energy Storage Hotline (1-800-123-3519): Considering the need for addressing consumer questions on energy storage technology adoption, IESA launched Energy Storage Hotline and Ask Experts forum earlier this year where users can ask experts about storage technologies or applications to our panel of experts.

9. IESA Skill development initiative: IESA is working with select industry associations such as IEEMA and top research universities such as VJTI, TERI and GERMI to address need for training and skill development for the sector.

10. Energy Storage and Microgrid focused incubator at VJTI, Mumbai: We are partnering with VJTI and IIT Mumbai to launch an incubator focused on developing next generation storage and micro grid technologies. This incubator is one of the ~60 incubator proposals selected for final screening from over 3600 proposals that NITI Aayog has received.

11. MOVE: this is a new initiative to help India move towards vehicle electrification and build a robust ecosystem for EV manufacturing. We will be working with various stakeholders in the mobility sector to address barriers and focus on the aspects related to batteries for EVs and charging infrastructure.

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Energy storage technology for Home & EV
Balaso M. Jadhav | Wed Feb 7 07:29:45 2018
This is new initiative to need India move towards vehicle electrification and build a robust ecosystem for EV manufacturing & Self home electrification

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