IESA, FICCI discuss electricity storage system in India
India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) hosted a stakeholder’s consultation on Introduction of Electricity Storage System (ESS) in India at Federation House (FICCI) in New Delhi. The stakeholder’s consultation was in response to Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (CERC) recent staff paper on the same subject matter. The event witnessed active participation from the industry with over 100 delegates and government stakeholders notably from CERC, led by chairman Gireesh Pradhan and his team who were involved in the drafting of the staff paper.
“Stakeholder consultation is key for the electricity sector and hence sought this at an early stage for energy storage” claimed Pradhan in his keynote address, acknowledging that ESS without regulatory support will fail to take off and hence the staff paper aimed to address the gaps especially dealing with the missing definition of energy storage in the electricity act. Dr Rahul Walawalkar, Executive Director (IESA), addressed the major concern of system costs as sought in the paper, providing key insights from other global markets, indicating key policy drives and cost trends.
Post the initial presentation, the floor was open to discussions with Pradhan moderating the proceedings supported by the CERC team. Speakers in the session included Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), Pankaj Batra (Member Planning from Central Electricity Authority (CEA), SK Soonee (former CEO of POSOCO) and IESA member companies such as Delta, AES, UL, ACME, Sterling & Wilson, OTPCL and TERI among others. Prominent interactions centred on regulatory changes needed to integrate storage. Suggestions for integrating storage with renewable energy was a key point of discussion with RE developers suggesting to opt for a hybrid model where storage is co-located with RE assets thereby sharing the infrastructure developmental costs. A section of the participants representing the investor community and international agencies sought clarity in terms of the proposed technologies, standardised procedures to ensure quality of installation and end of life recycling and environmental aspects of energy storage technologies. The IESA-UL task force’s work in formalising standards for the Indian market was highlighted in this context. Summarising the stakeholders’ view Pradhan agreed that storage will be a key asset in adding flexibility to meet peak demands and there needs to be a market model for its development like the US or UK model of integrating storage in ancillary services. He pointed out that storage is now a proved technology and India has to move towards large-scale adoption rather than wait until a few pilot projects are built.