India has seen a proliferation of startups in the EV space in the past few years on the back of the government’s vision for 2030. Clearly, the government and startups are going all out to up the electric mobility game to ensure a clean, green, and responsible India. In order to further propel India’s drive to a greener future with electric vehicles, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is organising its global startup outreach program in association with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) for startups in the e-mobility, clean energy, energy storage and clean transportation sectors. Supported and backed by Invest India, Startup India, TiE Global, and other partners, the program is a part of IESA’s 5-day long virtual conference and exhibition – India Energy Storage Week (IESW), focusing on Energy Storage, EV, and Microgrids from 2nd to 6th Nov.
With the eMobility sector largely dependent on large companies and conglomerates, the Indian market is on the path of consistent technological transition in adoption of electric mobility and energy storage. This substantiates the emergence of new startups and new companies, which are not only emerging in the manufacturing and innovation space but proposing new unique solutions, addressing environmental concern, dependency on oil, intermittence generation from renewables and many such issues.
IESA has held several startup pitches, organized competition and innovation pavilion since 2013 as part of its annual flagship event and has worked with 35+ startups in this space.
Twelve global startups have selected for the start-up pitch at the IESW basis their unique quotient, innovation, R&D initiatives, etc. from a pool of entries. The selected startups are – Dhanvantri Bio Medical in Bio-medical category, Godi India in Energy Storage category, Green Evolve Private Limited in EV Charging category, Jeevtronics in Alternate Energy category, Magnes Motor in EV category , Minion Labs India in Energy Management category, Mojo Green in EV Charging category, Nanospan Energy Storage Solutions in Energy Storage category, Navalt Solar and Electric Boats Private Limited in E-boats category, Sand Bird in Agritech category, Vflow Tech in Energy Storage category, and Wenergie Eco Works in Energy management category. Out of these, the three winners will get a year complementary IESA membership and mentorship from IESA Leadership Council.
Our key speaker is 2019 Nobel laureate in chemistry, Dr Stanley Whittingham, who is currently working as a professor of chemistry in Binghamton University, State University of New York.
The energy storage sector has come a long way in the past decade and is seen as an enabler for transformation towards greener grids and cleaner transportation.
The development of this sector is the result of the hard work and passion of all stakeholders around the globe. To celebrate the growing importance of energy storage, the Global Energy Storage Alliance has been celebrating 22 September as World Energy Storage Day (WESD) since 2017.
Over the past three years, the IESA and its partners celebrated WESD with various national-level events to spread the word within each region.
This year, based on inputs from many of the partners, we are proud to announce that the virtual WESD Global Conclave & Expo on 22 September will be held online across seven regions.
This will be the first time that a marathon online event, dedicated to the energy storage and EV industry, has been organised on this scale and has only been possible with your constant support.
The event will bring together 75-plus global thought leaders and policymakers to share insights on the policy, technology, and business landscape in each of the seven global regions. We are targeting participation of more than 20,000 global delegates in this online event.
We are also pleased to share that we have received support of global alliances and organisations. They include: the Alliance for Rural Electrification, the Australian Energy Storage Alliance, Australia Trade & Invest, the Government of Australia, the German Association of Energy Storage Systems, California Energy Storage Alliance, China Energy Storage Alliance, the US Clean Energy States Alliance, Department of Science and Technology, Desert Energy Alliance, the US Energy Storage Association, European Alliance for Storage of Energy, European Battery Alliance (EBA250), Green Hydrogen Coalition, Indo German Energy Forum, Innovation Norway, International Solar Alliance, Irish Energy Storage Alliance, NITI Aayog, Government of India, South Africa Energy Storage Association, UL, BASF, Keysight Technologies, Exicom, Okaya and 30-plus global partners through the World Bank and partner organisation, the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program.
There is a need to reduce dependence on the import of lithium ion batteries, one of the key components in electric vehicles (EVs), road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
“In e-mobility technology, the most imp thing is we should not depend on import the material used to make these vehicles. Our priority is to make all these materials , particularly lithium ion batteries in India," Gadkari said at the e-mobility conclave.
“We have given mines of lithium ion to two private companies. We expect to get raw material as early as possible. At the same time we are developing technology. We are also doing research on sodium ion technology," he said.
Lithium cells are the building blocks of rechargeable batteries for EVs, laptops and mobile phones. Currently, India is heavily dependent on import of these cells as the battery metal is available in India. This is also one of reasons why battery manufacturing has not picked up significantly in India even as the finance ministry last year announced customs duty exemption on lithium-ion cells, to lower the cost. Globally, lithium-ion cell manufacturing is dominated by China, followed by US, Thailand, Germany, Sweden and South Korea.
According to the minister, there is a need to make more EVs as higher volumes will ultimately reduce the cost of the product. “It is (electric vehicle) is economically viable as compared to petrol, diesel vehicle," he said. “In the due course of time I expect people to use it."
A clear policy framework regarding energy storage is needed in the new electricity law for the adoption of storage technologies in suitable areas, an industry body has suggested. The Draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, floated by the power ministry, seeks amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003, to address a series of challenges faced by the sector and provide measures to improve regulatory discipline, private sector participation and give a thrust on renewable energy sector, among others.
"While we welcome the proposed amendments, we are seeking a clear policy framework regarding energy storage in the act. India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing markets for renewable energy and energy storage technologies could be the key enabler for renewable energy integration and grid stability," India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) Executive Director Debi Prasad Dash said.
The IESA represents energy storage manufacturers, research institutes, renewable energy, power electronics, and electric vehicle manufacturing companies.
The IESA has also recommended defining energy storage in the Electricity Act as it could be helpful to start ancillary services and frequency regulation through energy storage as a flexible asset.
"It will also help to enable electric vehicles charging infrastructure, vehicle-to-grid concepts and Microgrids integration with expanded grid connectivity in the long run. We hope the ministry will consider IESA's recommendations to make the Indian electricity grid more resilient and reliable," Dash added.
The other recommendations include advocating storage purchase obligation - instead of a hydro purchase obligation which include significant environment and operational limitation.
"Storage purchase obligation can comprise various existing and emerging cost-effective solutions that provide appropriate flexibility. Discoms should be free to choose specific forms of procurement, either hybrid renewable energy + storage or renewable energy and storage independently," the IESA said.
Apart from these, the recommendations include ensuring power quality; automatic exemptions for allowed microgrids, renewable generation, back-up power, energy storage, electric vehicles; and removal of minimum threshold on contract demand especially for EV charging.
"Section 42 of the Electricity Act provides a minimum threshold on contract demand, this should be removed especially for EV charging when the aggregated contract demand is more than 1 MW.
"Currently the policy allows for open access to avail RE within the state only after paying the cost component to discoms as fixed by state electricity regulators, this clause should be relaxed as market forces would then ensure competition and drive in systemic efficiency," IESA recommended.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the campaign will recognize the persistent effort of individuals who continue to contribute to conserve the environment and make their voices heard. The Great Global Cleanup Hero will have these unstoppable individuals spread awareness through social media handles, WhatsApp, blogs, personal conversations with their friends, relatives, etc. Once the situation normalises, and the government allows outdoor group activities, the hero is expected to conduct on-ground activities such as cleanups and awareness drives. The most deserving hero/es who as a leader never stops to contribute to protect the environment even during these challenging times will be adjudged as winner/s. Unlimited entries will be accepted by the jury. The campaign will culminate with an award ceremony in November 2020.
Register yourself by filling the Great Global Cleanup Hero Form: https://tinyurl.com/GreatGlobalCleanupHero
- You could formulate digital programs/competitions to further widen and deepen awareness about the need for a clean environment through digital means
- You could share pictures of their individual indoor activities, tag us using our #GreatGlobalCleanupHero and #GreatGlobalCleanup hashtag, send screenshots of their unique ways of spreading awareness
- You could reach out to school principals, professors, influencers, bloggers, celebrities, who would re-post the posts and further speak on the issues and Earth Day 2020 by tagging us with hashtags or mention in video bytes
- Make 30-secondsto 1-minutevideos with each of your group members to talk about important environmental issues urging others to join the digital movement
- Create public discussion forums on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Live, etc.
- Make comic strips and cartoons
- Make educative environmental messages, forwards, broadcast them on WhatsApp groups- share screenshots, re-share, tag us, to document each activity you do
- Compose slogans, jingles
- Make interesting digital postersand post them widely
- Encourage recycling and upcyclingat home
- Use art and unique measures to spread environmental awareness(open to individuals to designin their own unique ways)
- Awareness through personal means, outreach, and document in the form of screenshots, pictures, hashtags, etc.
Upload your activities on Facebook. Do tag Earth Day Network India (https://www.facebook.com/Earth.Day.Network.India/) and with #GreatGlobalCleanupHero and #GreatGlobalCleanup
Pune is moving at a slow pace towards e-mobility. Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) officials said there were few takers for the three electric vehicle charging stations set up by the company in Pune.
The power utility had set up its first electric vehicle (EV) charging station at Baner a year ago while two others were recently set up at Wadgaonsheri and Hinjewadi.
With the Centre giving a push towards the faster adoption of electric vehicles, the state government had launched an ambitious project of setting up 500 electric vehicle charging stations across Maharashtra in a phase-wise manner. In Pune, there are plans to set up 10 electric vehicle charging stations.
Sachin Talewar, Chief Engineer, Pune zone of MSEDCL, told The Indian Express that three EV charging stations were operational at the MSEDCL sub-stations in Baner, Hinjewadi, and Wadgaonsheri. MSEDCL officials, however, said the response has not been encouraging.
The tariff is fixed at Rs6 per unit on the basis of transit-oriented development, said an official, adding that a discount of Rs1.50 per unit would also be offered on power tariff for EV charging between 10 pm and 6 am. “Barring a few consumers, the response is yet to pick up,” the official added.
Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, president of the India Energy Storage Alliance, said they have launched a ‘Moving Onward with Vehicles Electric’ (MOVE) project, where education activities were being undertaken to help private companies understand the economics of electric vehicles.
“In cities like Delhi and Bengaluru, electric taxi fleets have picked up… The demand is slowly picking up in Pune and we are looking at a big uptake in EVs across the country,” Walawalkar said.
On February 1, 2020, when Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Budget for the financial year (FY) 2020-21, with a budget allocation ₹220 billion (~$3.08 billion) for the power and renewable sector.
The budget had announcements that can improve the industry sentiment in the coming months. Mercom reached out to several stakeholders to understand what the industry thinks of the new budget.
Welcoming the government’s decision to reinforce the PM-KUSUM program, Pranav R Mehta, chairman of the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI), said, “We are very happy that the government has decided to reinforce the program with two million off-grid and 1.5 million on-grid solar pumps. While we always welcome the use of locally made modules in the country, the provision of using only domestically made cells in this program might be a deal-breaker due to the lack of adequate infrastructure”.
The government also proposed that a large solar capacity would be developed along the railway tracks on lands owned by the Indian Railways. It also aims to electrify 27,000 km of railway tracks.
“Government’s emphasis on using barren or fallow land for solar projects is also appreciated as at NSEFI. Along with Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF), we are emphasizing proposing standards for agri-photovoltaic projects, which will aim at addressing both the targets of the government of India, doubling the farmer’s income as well as 100 GW of solar target by 2022,” said Mehta.
According to Kushagra Nandan, co-founder of SunSource Energy, decarbonization of one of the largest public-sector utilities, the Indian Railways, is a big boost to the renewable energy sector, especially rooftop segment and India’s commitment towards climate change.
“The $3.08 billion stimulus to boost India’s renewable sector is unprecedented and will surely yield strong business opportunity for key solar sector independent power producers (IPPs) like SunSource. “Reduced tax liabilities on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector combined with an ongoing commitment to solar, will free up capital for solar sector Capex and Opex based projects,” he added.
Ranganath N. K, area managing director, INDO Region, Grundfos said, “We welcome this year’s budget, which sharply focusses on issues that propel the growth of aspirational India. Addressing the challenges of severe water stress in the nation as one of its topmost agenda, this budget gets to the bottom of things by proposing comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed areas. Given that the budget also aims to empower farmers by increasing their dependence on off-grid solutions with solarized grid-connected pumps through the PM-Kusum program, I think that this will act as a catalyst to sustainable irrigation solutions across the country.”
The focus on bringing down the commercial losses in the distribution companies by mandating prepaid meters, coupled with the consumers having the ‘choice of suppliers’, may resolve the long-term viability issues of the power sector. The usage of solar in the railways and farming and usage of farmlands for solar projects could open up new entrepreneurial opportunities and help in faster adoption of solar energy across the country.
“We urge the government to consider the use of microgrids that can help improve the utilization of solar panels deployed with these pumps as well as ensuring groundwater management. Without such integrated policies, push for just deployment of solar pumps could lead to exploitation of limited groundwater resources and result in unintended consequences during summer months,” said Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA).
Many in the industry felt that the Budget 2020-21 had a clear intent on fulfilling India’s Conference of Parties (COP) 21 commitments in a sustainable manner.
Although the budget emphasized the expansion of solar, however, the finance minister did leave a grey area regarding custom duties on imports.
Ashish Khanna, the managing director of Tata Power Solar and president, Tata Power (Renewables), opined that the Budget 2020, is set in the right direction. He said that the promotion of smart metering is a good step, “but one step can’t be the solution to all problems.”
Further, he said that the industry awaits for the details of the budget.
However, an official of the Ministry of Finance confirmed to Mercom that the basic customs duty on the import of solar cells and modules into the country will remain nil, for now.
The government also intends to promote smart metering, and the finance minister urged all the states and union territories to replace conventional energy meters by prepaid smart meters in the next three years.
Lastly, the budget also underlined the need to promote electric vehicles. Sitharaman also stated that customs duty rates are being revised on electric vehicles to facilitate electric mobility.
“We welcome steps to boost electronics manufacturing. Power electronics and electronic manufacturing is an essential part of advanced storage and EV ecosystem. We hope that this new program can boost component manufacturing in India and reduce the reliance on imports for Indian companies,” Dr. Walawalkar.
“The 2020 budget has some aspects to it that could help the renewable energy industry, but there is also added uncertainty by proposing new solar duties without clarity. It is unclear how specific programs will be implemented. Overall, the budget does not lay a clear path to reach the goal of installing 100 GW of solar by 2020,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
The electric vehicles (EV) market in India has gained momentum. The total EV sales in 2019 hit around 4.98 lakh units and expected to grow at a CAGR of 36 percent by 2026. The EV battery market is estimated to be $676 million in 2018 and forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 30 percent by 2026. The total MWh addition in 2018 touched 4.75 GWh with an expectation to grow to 28 GWh by 2026. To ensure the battery segment grows to its full potential, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) has called for Budget boost and tax deduction on lithium-ion batteries. This will not only help EV segment but also renewable energy projects.
IESA is an alliance focused on the advancement of energy storage and e-mobility technologies in the country. The body believes policies such as banning the sales of the internal combustion engine (ICE) two and three-wheelers in highly polluted cities, scrapping of old vehicles, stringent emission norms, will further drive the EV sales.
On what is expected by the energy storage industry from the Budget, Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), told Telangana Today, “In 2020, the GST council reduced the GST rates on electric vehicles from 12 percent to 5 percent. Battery with solar is at 5 percent. GST for stationary storage batteries (for Li-ion only) is now at 18 percent. Thus, a level-playing field for GST on batteries for all energy storage technologies and applications is the need of the hour. We request the Finance Ministry to consider allowing stationary energy storage systems used in the hybrid projects to avail the 5 percent GST allowed for renewable energy devices and related systems.”
To boost ‘Make in India’ and energy storage, the allocation of appropriate funds for the proposed subsidy for NITI Aayog’s Giga Factory manufacturing plan is vital. Also, national labs and research institutes have shown interest in developing Li-ion and other advanced technologies such as flow batteries, sodium-based batteries, zinc-air and metal-air batteries, etc. To encourage scientific research and innovation in energy storage technologies, the Central government should allocate appropriate funds for research through various government programs, he suggested.
An income tax deduction up to Rs 2.5 lakh on the interest of the loan to purchase EV was provided to the buyers in 2019, thus boosting the sector. “Government might take initiatives to provide similar tax benefits for the consumers for rooftop solar plus storage. Rooftop solar plus energy storage can fast-track the meter adoption of advanced energy storage technologies,” Walawalkar noted.
The domestic electric vehicle (EV) market is projected to grow 36 percent annually between 2019 and 2026 as the market has gained traction following the implementation of the second phase of the EV incentives scheme in April.
Under the government's ambitious Fame (Faster adoption and manufacture of electric vehicles) II scheme to popularize electric and hybrid vehicles, up to 1 million EV two-wheelers powered by new advanced technology battery of 2KWH are pegged to get a subsidy of up to Rs 20,000 each.
"Total EV sales in 2018 hit 365,920 units and expected to grow 36 percent annually till 2026. The battery market is estimated to be USD 520 million in 2018 and projected to grow at 30 percent annually during this period," India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) said in a report.
The base year of the study is 2018 while the forecast period is 2019-2026, it said.
The IESA is an alliance of 96 stakeholders comprising energy storage manufacturers, research institutes/universities, renewable energy companies, and power electronics companies.
Noting that total charger sales in 2018 were under 1,000 units, the report forecasts this to touch 50,000 units by 2026 as public charging points are set to rise with an estimated investment of USD 520 billion.
It is predicted that the EV market will grow rapidly with support from the government as it pushes larger penetration.
Adoption of electric vehicles in India is being widely discussed in India and the shift is necessary at a time when India has been witnessing rising levels of air pollution and falling inventory of natural resources. While both the government and industry players are pushing for electric mobility, electric vehicle sales have not been encouraging.
While speaking at World EV Show (WEVS), organized by Trescon, industry experts said that the localization mandate in FAME II is one of the reasons behind the slower growth of electric vehicles in India. However, Debi Prasad Dash, Director of India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) said that localization is important to make good quality products in the long run. “For making good quality products, this (FAME II) is the correct way even if it is not correct for some companies,” Dash added.
Dash also explained that while many battery assemblers are entering the Indian market, the majority of them may have to shut down because aspects such as thermal management, BMS, etc are not being addressed. Thus local manufacturing is important for making good quality products in the long run.
While speaking at the same event, Harkiran Sanjeevi, deputy-director general at NITI Aayog said that the government wants companies to manufacture locally in India for both the domestic and foreign markets. According to Sanjeevi, India has the resources to make localization possible. "The only thing lacking is the lithium-ion for batteries. The government is entering into partnerships with other countries for sourcing the raw materials."
Explaining about lowering sales of electric vehicles, Hero Electric CEO Sohinder Gill said that flip flop policies might be the reason behind the low sales. Regulation needs and ARAI certification have also caused a lower availability of vehicles in the market.
Slow Adoption Is Good For Market
According to Sanjay Khatri, the country head, corporate and government affairs, Bosch Group, the slow adoption is good because the original equipment manufacturers need to understand the market dynamics, customer behavior, and technological changes, etc.
Khatri also explained that there is no point in having bad quality and lousy vehicles on the road and achieve electric mobility. The development is happening slowly because players need to manufacture good quality products for the consumers so that they become the ones who benefit at the end.
Capacity Creation Takes Time
According to the panelists, capacity creation takes time. “If you look at the Indian automotive industry, 1984 onwards, every India still does not own cars even after 35 years. The evolution has been gradual and robust. If we start putting numbers such as 25 percent by 2020 then we are not letting the evolution happen gradually,” said Vijay Jaiswal, Director of Automotive & Electric Mobility, Government of Telangana.
Highlighting the need for good quality products, Jaiswal explained that if anything gets sold to the users in the name of an electric vehicle, then the revolution is going to die sooner or later.
Policymakers Should Look At Battery Swapping
Indian electric vehicle revolution is said to be led by two and three-wheelers. According to many experts, the battery swapping technique can be used by electric two and three-wheelers as an alternative to charging infrastructure. According to Khatri, battery swapping should be brought under the purview of government policies including the second phase of FAME.