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Published on: Oct. 8, 2020, 11:48 a.m.
Energy storage leaders call for policy measures to create Atmanirbhar Bharat
  • The conference marked the importance of energy storage as part of industrial progress and sustainable lives

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

The world is at the cusp of a 21st century industrial revolution, of which energy storage will be at the epicentre, according to Dr Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA). 

“There is a lot of innovation taking place in the energy storage ecosystem. India presents a significant opportunity of stationary energy storage technologies,” he says while summing up the key discussions and insights at a global conference and expo which IESA organised virtually to bring together industry leaders, policymakers, academia, researchers, and professionals and deliberate on the need to nurture a global ecosystem for energy storage.

The 75-plus experts who participated in the event, organised to celebrate the fourth World Energy Storage Day on 22 September, deliberated upon the policy, technology, and business landscape across the world. 

They emphasised the importance of policy incentives, business leadership, skilled workforce, and inter-industry collaboration to make India Atmanirbhar in energy storage, and urged policymakers and business leaders to take ‘bold steps’ tobuild local capacity for this.

The participants discussed four critical aspects of the energy storage ecosystem: policy and government initiatives, stationary energy storage, e-mobility and the latest innovations and developments in the sector.While the significance of energy storage as an integral part of the electrical grid has been acknowledged by several stakeholders, including large consumers, renewable developers, utilities, grid-system operators and regulators, the Government of India has set a target of installing 175 Gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030. A large proportion of this capacity will come from hybrid projects, where energy storage will play a key role.

Advanced energy storage technologies are also critical for the upcoming e-mobility manufacturing sector. With the advances in various battery chemistries and falling prices, experts predict that this decade will belong to electric vehicles. India is little late to invest in the R&D and manufacturing of these technologies, they acknowledge, but feel that the government support and commitment from industry will enable it to catchup with in next three to five years. It is estimated that India needs to set up at least 50 GWh of annual manufacturing capacity.

NITI Aayog has taken the leadership in drafting the Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Manufacturing Mission as part of the National Mission for Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage. The government’s Phased Manufacturing Plan involves incentivising local players by imposing 10-12 per cent import duties on cells. It will also provide up to $30 per kWh as incentive for advanced chemistry cell manufacturing in the country, giving the first movers an assured market opportunity.

The conference saw IESA highlighting the huge employment opportunity presented by India’s energy storage space. Unlocking this opportunity, however, needs skill development, reskilling and upskilling of the existing workforce. As the energy storage sector evolves further, it will require interdisciplinary skillsets – for which industry-academic alliance needs to be ‘more intense,’ it says.


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