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IESW 2024: Policy-adaptation, safety needs to take center stage to achieve India's renewable energy ambition

Day 3 of IESW 2024 opened with the session Energy Storage for 500 GW Renewable, Grid Modernization, and Decarbonization of the C&I Sector. 

Moderated by Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President & MD, CES India & President, IESA, the panel discussion touched upon the role of energy storage in the electricity value chain and its importance in supporting the country's aim of 500 GW renewable capacity. 

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President & MD, CES India & President, IESA, urged policymakers to build energy storage capacity through such small, manageable tenders. He further argued that the tenders need to focus on safety not just achieving a lower price point. "Energy storage assets have to be deployed, managed, and operated in 10 years. Therefore, the focus should be not only on achieving a lower price point but safety," he stated.

To the industry colleagues, Dr. Walawalkar requested to not compromise on safety. "If India is to achieve GWh-scale, we cannot afford any mistakes. We have to grow sustainably in every aspect."

Ghanshyam Prasad, Chairperson, CEA, Ministry of Power noted that energy storage technologies are an important technology for phasing out fossil fuels and bringing about clean energy transition globally.  

In terms of India's grid, he explained that the grid has been facing challenges on the operations-side and the regulatory-side. We need to focus on measures that help in building a healthy grid.  In the last 14-15 months, 47 disturbances were reported affecting ~1000 MW and above going as high as 3,700 MW. "We need to keep on adding renewable energy and also ensure grid disturbance doesn't occur," he underscored.  , he added.

Jishnu Barua, Chairperson, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission

Gauri Singh, Deputy Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) touched upon certain global trends. She noted that electricity will become a major and dominant electricity carrier, which means there will be more sectors that will get electrified. 

"By 2030, there will be 11 terawatts of electricity in the system by 2030, and more than 80% of it will be variable so these are the complexities the grid will face. Naturally, energy storage will be critical piece in this transition," she added.

Singh spoke of various megatrends and touched upon the 'sector coupling' concept.  This concept will become very important as we talk of urbanization and the process of interconnecting power systems with broader energy systems ( heating, gas, mobility) so policies will have to adapt to take care of these emerging trends.

R P Gupta, Chairman & MD, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), announced that SECI will float a tender for 500 MW of solar thermal capacity by the end of FY25. The tender is expected to be out by the end of this financial year 2024-25. There have been (solar thermal) tenders but not of this scale," Gupta said. The projects under the 500-MW tender will have advanced technology where steam would be generated through heat and it would also help in running turbines.

Gravity Storage, carbon dioxide stored in stone are all promising storage technologies of the future he noted. 

Akash Kaushik, Co-Founder, GoodEnough Energy stated that the electricity industry is undergoing significant changes, with a growing need for clean, reliable, and affordable power. This transformation demands innovative technical solutions and grid optimization strategies that can unlock new revenue streams and optimize energy usage, he added

For more info on IESW 2024, visit indiaesa.info

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IESW 2024: Policy and funding pathways for rapid energy storage deployment -  

India needs a robust policy framework to support the rapid deployment of energy storage technologies. The country has approved VGF for 4,000 MWh of energy storage projects, but must modernize its electricty grid and launch policy and funding mechanisms. IESW 2024 deliberated on the topic, with a panel moderated by Vinayak Walimbe, VP- Emerging Technologies, Customized Energy Solutions.
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