The Rise of Energy Storage in India

The government of India just launched their first grid-scale battery storage system, the planned 175 gigawatts of renewable energy is projected to power by 2022.

An energy storage expert at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Logan Goldie-Scot said “designed for peak load management, the project couldn’t have come at a better time for India.”

“India could add 10 gigawatts of renewables every year from 2017. Rooftop solar is becoming the fastest-growing segment in the renewable sector due to strong demand from commercial and industrial users,” Logan added.

The country is also investing in a number of energy mega-projects, and currently boasts the world’s biggest solar farm, a 648-megawatt plant in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu.

At the same time, though, its electrical infrastructure is fragile — and the burgeoning industrial sector and growing middle class are increasingly demanding reliable power.

Associate director of the consultancy Bridge to India, Jasmeet Khurana said “storage is relatively more crucial for the growth of renewables in India as compared to many other countries, as India does not have a lot of gas-based power generation to balance the grid.”

“Even though the requirement for an energy storage component in such procurements has been small and experimental, they have managed to attract serious investor interest. As renewable tariffs and energy storage costs decline, penetration of both renewables and storage is bound to increase,” he added.

Right now, solar-plus-storage is not competitive with coal, India’s top energy resource. However, as pressure builds for environmental restrictions on coal, experts expect renewable energy to gain an advantage.

With 9 gigawatts predicted to come on-line in 2017 alone, India now looks set to become the world’s third-biggest solar nation after China and the U.S. If the country’s commitment to energy storage follows a similar trajectory, there could soon be hundreds of megawatts — and then gigawatts — of storage installed.