The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) released a press statementstating that India is working toward a National Energy Storage Mission (NESM). In February 2018, a committee of representatives from relevant ministries, industry associations, research institutions and experts, was constituted by the MNRE to propose a draft to establish the NESM in India.
Solar tariffs in India were at an all-time low of IN ₹2.44 (about US $0.035) per unit in reverse auctions carried out by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in May 2017, for 200 MW (MegaWatts) and then in July 2018, for 600 MW. One of the largest local solar developers won the contract for the 600MW Solar Photo Voltaic project.
According to the release, as per the final findings from 16 July 2018, in the investigations concerning the imposition of safeguard duty on import of solar cells and modules, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) concluded that the domestic industry has suffered serious injury. Considering its overall performance, which has sharply declined over the injury period 2014-2015 to 2017-2018 (Annualised) whereas market share of imports has increased during the same period. This has caused significant overall impairment to the domestic industry.
The Minister for Power, Mr Raj Kumar Singh said that the committee has proposed a draft NESM with the objective to strive for leadership in energy storage sector by creating an enabling policy and regulatory framework that encourages manufacturing, deployment, innovation and further cost reduction.
He also added that the policy commission that is the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and the Rocky Mountain Institute’s joint report on India’s Energy Storage Mission has proposed a three-stage solution approach. The approach involves creating an environment for battery manufacturing growth, scaling supply chain strategies and scaling battery cell manufacturing.
Earlier this year, Mr Raj Kumar Singh said that the country needs a viable commercial plan to store renewable energy. India will be able to significantly cut down on the imports of fossil fuels once the storage of renewable energy is commercially viable.
The incentives proposed by the NITI Aayog include land grants for direct awarding of free land or at a discounted cost to companies to develop manufacturing capacity.
Before scaling up the battery manufacturing facilities, the NITI Aayog insisted on developing a common technological roadmap for the battery manufacturing industry. This was to ensure consistency and easier adoption of the electric vehicles with minimal modifications in charging stations.
The releases said that energy storage is a critical component that is missing in India’s energy infrastructure strategy. Energy storage will be required to sustain India’s transformation from fossil fuels to renewables.
Key areas for energy storage application include integrating renewable energy with distribution and transmission grids, setting rural micro-grids with diversified loads or standalone systems and developing the storage component of electric mobility plans.
The release said that the solar power projects being implemented by the Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) with financial support from the Government are mandated to source their requirement of solar cells and modules from domestic sources as per extant Guidelines, in a World Trade Organisation (WTO) compliant manner. Rooftop solar projects which are also implemented with central financial assistance are required to do the same.
Source: Open Gov