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MNRE Launch New Energy Storage Push

According to a press statement released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India’s government is “making concerted efforts” to develop energy storage technologies to manage variable generation from renewable energy sources, including solar power.

In this regard, an Expert Committee, chaired by the MNRE Secretary, proposed a draft called the National Energy Storage Mission (NESM), last year. It is aimed at promoting leadership in the energy storage sector by encouraging manufacturing, deployment, innovation, and cost reduction.

In 2017, the utility-scale deployment for storage technology (excluding pumped hydro storage) was 620 Megawatt-hour (MWh) and the cumulative energy storage volume including pumped hydro storage was 15.3 Gigawatt-hour (GWh). This is according to the International Energy Agency’s report “Energy Storage – Tracking Clean Energy Progress”.

Currently, Australia, China, Japan, Germany, Korea, and the United States are the leading countries in the deployment of energy storage technology.

The NESM draft outlines how India can capture value across the supply chain and accelerate the country’s adoption of renewable energy.

The document said that in line with its aspiration to achieve 100 percent electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030, India can rise among the top countries in the world in manufacturing batteries.

To do so, however, it will require a strategy designed to overcome India’s relatively weak initial position in battery manufacturing while claiming an increasing share of total battery value over time.

NESM said that India’s market for EV batteries alone could be worth as much as US $300 billion from 2017 to 2030. India could represent more than one-third of global EV battery demand by 2030 if the country meets its goals for a rapid transition to shared, connected, and electric mobility.

Since the battery today accounts for about one-third of the total purchase price of an EV, driving down battery costs through rapidly scaling production and standardising battery components could be a key element of long-term success for India’s automotive sector.

India’s EV mission could drive down global prices by as much as 16 percent to US $60 per Kilowatt-hour (KWh). Given the projected scale of its domestic market, India could support global-scale manufacturing facilities and eventually become an export hub for battery production.

According to an analysis by the India’s Policy Commission (The National Institution for Transforming India– NITI Aayog) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), domestic battery manufacturing to supply the transition to EVs is an important market opportunity for the Indian economy.

It can potentially bring economic and social benefits from reduced oil imports, improved public health, and increased integration of renewable energy supplies into the electric grid.

This analysis estimates that 25 to 40 percent of the total economic opportunity represented by battery manufacturing for India’s EV ambitions can be captured in India even under the least favourable scenario, where India imports all lithium-ion cells and assembles these cells into battery packs.

As India’s battery manufacturing capabilities mature and supply chains are established, India will have the opportunity to produce both battery cells and packs, while importing only the cathode or its raw materials from mineral-rich regions. In this scenario, India stands to capture nearly 80 percent of the total economic opportunity.

The MNRE said that energy storage is one of the most crucial and critical components of India’s energy infrastructure.

Additionally, the press release said that through various bilateral engagements, India has been encouraging technological cooperation in energy storage. A specific proposal on designing research programme and collaboration projects has been planned under the India- United Kingdom Energy for Growth Partnership.

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