India: MNRE sees need for cost-effective storage

With the huge spurt in decentralized and distributed electricity generation in India, the MNRE is expecting many consumers to become so-called "prosumers". Prosumers, according to the ministry, are likely to generate energy locally for their own need and thereafter export surplus to the local grids or to suited storage units. However MNRE has noticed the lack of cost-effective storage solutions in India to cater to these prosumers. And precisely while such storage solutions are scarce in India, diesel usage for energy generation retains popularity.

In order to improve the prosumers situation, the MNRE has called for energy storage demonstration project proposals. The storage solutions have to meet the needs of renewable energy deployment in the country. MNRE sees the benefits for all stakeholders across the value-chain.

High-cost of storage is seen as a brake in storage uptake in India. Sub-optimal performance has also been an issue with most decentralized applications in the country being affected by low life, low depth of discharge, high failure rates and on the larger-scale, economical unfeasibility. MNRE thus sees the need to introduce new technologies to demonstrate and validate better application and performance.

Aims of demonstration project

Having said that MNRE seeks to address the critical need for renewable energy integrated energy storage by launching a demonstration program. The demonstration projects in the program will aid in acquiring the desired technical knowledge, economic and market insights on the approaches needed for development of a sustainable energy storage market in India. The demonstration projects are expected to create awareness on the performance as well as the economic benefits of energy storage technologies. The program seeks to assist selected applicants identify and select the best-fit energy storage solutions for applications based on lifecycle cost of energy delivery. The initial investment burden is also borne by MNRE.

The application areas of the demonstration projects are shown below.

Evaluation

The evaluation will be based on a score system in two phases: screening for technical qualification and thereafter final evaluation and score. the technical qualification will be qualitative in terms of cost of energy saved, cost of storage as a ratio of cost of energy delivered, sclaability, demonstrability, impact of application and business model, quality of overall proposal and methodology and the financial strength of the end user. Final evaluation will be calculated as seen below.

Detailed proposals are being accepted until September, 4 this year.