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In an exclusive interview with Energy Storage Pro magazine, Mr. Pankaj Batra – Project Director, SARI/EI/IRADe gave us great insights on the main developments in the Indian energy storage industry. He also spoke about the major challenges the industry faces and the steps the government should take in this regard. He also gave us insights about the future of the storage sector.
In your view, what are the major challenges for the Indian storage sector presently and how can they be overcome?
In the policy side, the Government of India has taken many initiatives to boost the energy storage sector. The next step is to facilitate regulations by the State Electricity Regulators. This is both on the grid scale energy storage and the electric vehicles. In the grid scale battery storage side, the market should be opened up for ancillary services for frequency regulation. Electric Storage would be one of the parties who could bid into that, besides others. A template of cost benefit analysis should be prepared by the State Electricity Regulator for use of energy storage in transmission and distribution systems, as a grid element for infrastructure deferral. In the electric vehicle storage side, the next step for the regulators is for setting the tariff for charging stations, taking into account the subsidies given by the Government of India, as well as the State Governments, as well as the ultimate tariff charged by the charging station to vehicle owners, for those charging stations, which have received subsidies.
Widespread deployment of energy storage should be backed by standardization to boost confidence among the users, and usher in competition among the producers. These are rapidly evolving globally through IEC Standards. Correspondingly, BIS is also either adopting or adapting these standards, and has even taken the lead in taking out generic standards in the Battery Management System, which do not exist internationally.
What steps should the government take to boost the storage sector in India especially after having faced the pandemic ?
One of the factors noticed during the Pandemic, which affected the fossil fuel based power stations, were the supply chain risks for fuel. Due to lesser requirements, oil and gas supplies were required to be reduced. The Take or Pay clause in the fuel supply agreement caused financial loss to the distribution utilities. In such a case, renewable plus storage would have eliminated the supply chain risk for fuel supply.
How do you think technological innovation and advancement will play a role in enhancing this sector?
Technological innovation and advancement results in new types of energy storage and makes the existing storage more efficient. There is an ever increasing amount of research going on in the field of storage. Closed loop pumped storage power plants, Gravity system of solid Blocks by Energy Vault and Liquefied Air Energy Storage are three such examples. Research continues on flow batteries to improve their efficacy in different use cases. Hydrogen fuel cell and aluminium fuel cell are also future promising technologies. Since India is the largest producer of aluminium in the world, I expect this area of storage to grow very fast in India. All these will result in cheaper and viable storage systems.
Read the full interview here: https://energystoragepro.com/2021/05/04/energy-storage-pro-march-2021-issue/