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Battery energy storage systems to solve intermittency

November 1, 2023 8:05 pm

Battery energy storage systems to solve intermittency

This system installation on a big scale is one of the most likely approaches to integrating large-scale RE into the national grid successfully.

In the ever-evolving landscape of global energy production and storage, India has emerged as a significant player in the transition towards sustainable and reliable power generation. With a remarkable increase in renewable energy capacity over the past decade, India is addressing the challenges of intermittent renewable sources and strained grids through innovative energy storage solutions and forward-thinking government policies. This dynamic shift towards cleaner energy aligns with sustainability goals and promises a more resilient and accessible power supply for the nation. Let us understand what Yosuke Ishizaka says about the energy storage sector.

What is changing in energy storage technology and its impact on the energy landscape?

We are presently in a new era in energy production and storage. Around the world, efforts are to bring out a more dependable and cost-effective green energy supply. Regarding India, we have had an exponential increase in our renewable energy capacity over the past ten years, making us one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for renewable energy (RE).

However, as RE penetration rises, the already-stressed Transmission and distribution grid is put under more strain, necessitating an urgent need to boost the existing grid’s balancing capacity to maximise power system flexibility.

Energy storage system installation on a big scale is one of the most likely approaches to successfully integrating large-scale RE into the National grid. Currently, the energy storage sector focuses on improving consumption capacities to ensure stable and economic power system operations. The industry is witnessing a shift from traditional lithium-ion batteries to innovative battery chemistries that offer greater stability, density and shelf life. Solutions that store intermittent renewable energy efficiently and scale it up to power larger areas are being developed. Another trend is the transition from centralised energy storage to a more flexible and portable distributed form of energy storage. 

How does energy storage enhance grid reliability, especially with renewables and extreme weather?

As mentioned above, worldwide steps are being taken to decarbonise the power supply. Solar and wind are becoming major contributors, but the intermittent nature of these renewable energy sources challenges the electric grids. During peak hours, they are not available. Sometimes, they generate too much power and cause congestion, a condition in which transmission lines do not have enough capacity to transmit the excess power. These supply-demand imbalances affect grid reliability and cause volatile electricity prices. Large-scale battery energy storage is widely viewed as a key to solving these challenges. Storage can absorb excess renewable supply and inject power into the grid when supply is insufficient to meet demand.


How does energy storage align with your sustainability goals?

The announcement by India that it wants to achieve net zero emissions by 2070 and fulfil 50 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030 has been praised and recognised as an important step in the global effort to combat climate change. The government is focusing on important policy measures like green hydrogen policy, energy storage, offshore wind policy, electric vehicle promotion, green day-ahead market development, and easing rules for open access to acquire green energy.

In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, under Affordable and Clean Energy, to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2023, the government policies also favour clean energy and a dependable electrical system. These steps will help the nation move closer to achieving net zero and become a world leader in renewable energy. Fuji Electric recently launched a PCS system for large-scale solar park applications to support India’s objectives for clean energy adaptation, cutting carbon emissions and having more balanced and reliable electrical distribution.

How are falling storage costs affecting industries and economies? 

Recently, the market witnessed dampening demand for electric vehicles (EV), which led to a 10 per cent drop in battery prices for EVs and energy storage, and a further fall is expected through the year. Prices for batteries used in energy storage have also slid due to weak demand outside of China, forcing battery makers to pare back production to buoy prices. With a glut in China’s storage cell production capacity, it is speculated that a price war appears unavoidable, with a continued gradual price decline expected for the rest of the year. Consumer electronics such as smartphones and laptops, which have also seen a drop in demand from pandemic highs, use lithium-ion batteries, similar to those used in EVs. Battery cell suppliers, in recent times, have focused on liquidating existing inventories due to poor demand for such devices. There is no specific government policy to address this issue.

What kind of investments are happening in the storage area to meet India’s intermittent energy demand?

India has recently approved Rs 3760 crore to support Battery Energy Storage Systems. This puts the country at the forefront of the global energy transition and is also set to revolutionise the nation’s energy landscape. The stage has been set for the paradigm shift towards cleaner and more efficient energy storage solutions. The government also plans to introduce a policy framework of making energy storage mandatory for more than 5 MW renewable projects. These are steps in the right direction for building a flexible grid and adopting clean energy. I see additional investment happening in this sector in the immediate future. India will soon have a robust renewable power infrastructure.

SpokespersonYosuke Ishizaka – Managing Director, Fuji Electric India

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