The 60 GW of renewable energy currently installed in India has been developed in the recent past, and the full impact of its variable and intermittent nature is yet to be clearly seen. However, the country is already facing problems with the management of grid frequency. While the frequency has largely remained within the operating band for more than 75 per cent of the time, it has been outside the band for over 20 per cent of the time. Customized Energy Solutions (CES) estimates that with the target of 100 GW of solar power to be installed by 2022, the country could have a “double peak” or a “camel curve” rather than just a single peak curve, which could present multiple challenges to keep the grid frequency at stable levels.
Since consumers have no ability to resolve grid frequency on their own, this part of operations needs to be managed by grid operators in a synchronised grid. The frequency issues can largely be addressed by the allocation of alternative flexible resources such as hydropower, gas-based generation and electrical energy storage. Currently, grid balancing is done mainly through power curtailment and to some extent through thermal power plants. However, 20 per cent of the carbon dioxide emission reduction and up to 100 per cent of nitrogen oxide emission reduction expected from wind and solar power could be lost because of ramping of fossil-fuel plants, according to a recent sudy. Therefore, electrical energy storage solutions can prove to be a good alternative for providing grid-balancing services.
National Energy Storage Mission
The government has announced its plans to achieve 100 per cent electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030. To this end, the country will require a strategy designed to overcome its relatively weak initial position in the battery manufacturing space, while increasing its share in the global battery production market over time. To achieve this, the National Energy Storage Mission (NESM) will be kick-started for deploying energy storage systems at the transmission and distribution levels for large-scale renewable energy-based power plants. In addition, energy storage systems to support micro- and minigrids will also be promoted. The mission has a three-stage solution approach, wherein stage one is aimed at creating an environment for battery manufacturing growth, stage two will focus on scaling up supply chain strategies, and stage three will work towards scaling up of battery cell manufacturing. A key objective of the NESM is to create an enabling policy and regulatory framework that encourages deployment, innovation and further cost reduction of energy storage technologies through multiple strategies. Another important goal will be to facilitate market-led technology deployment across multiple applications and geographies. The government will also facilitate the setting up of large-scale integrated electric storage and EV manufacturing clusters that can include manufacturing components and power electronics associated with batteries. Another important feature of the mission would be to set up a national portal of storage projects, including regular monitoring of performance, costs and manufacturing, aspects that are crucial for knowledge sharing and dissemination.
According to CES estimates, by 2020, there will be at least three companies globally with over 50 GWh and 5-10 companies with over 10 GWh of annual production capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Meanwhile, new estimates by CES show over 400 GWh of total projected manufacturing capacity in 2020. While India is targeting only a small share of this (5-10 GWh) by 2020, it has set a target of 50 GWh by 2025, which could give a major boost to the segment since battery manufacturing represents a huge economic opportunity for India. Though the country is at a nascent stage of battery manufacturing, the scale of its market opportunity is eliciting strong interest from leading domestic and international companies. As a result, battery production in the country could ramp up quickly, with manufacturers’ confidence in the future market growth.
Based on a presentation by Dr Rahul Walawalkar, President and Managing Director, CES