The latest project to be switched on in Nigeria’s solar electrification programme for universities is also thought to be the largest ‘hybrid’ plant of its kind on the African continent so far, inaugurated this week at Bayero University Kano (BUK).
Energy-Storage.news reported towards the beginning of August as the first megawatt-scale hybrid project went into action at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State. Nigerian vice president Yemi Osinbajo attended that ceremony, heralding the launch of the wider Energizing Education Programme (EEP), being delivered through the country’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA). Osinbajo said then that the programme would result in the decommissioning of "hundreds" of fossil fuel generators.
In total, 37 universities and seven teaching hospitals will benefit. In addition, the programme includes other initiatives such as encouraging young women into STEM education and jobs, while the latest project at BUK also includes the further benefit of powering hundreds of local street lights.
Phase 1 of EEP, funded by the Nigerian government, will help nine universities and a teaching hospital. Phases 2 and 3 are set to be funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank respectively.
A factsheet produced by the REA in July says the project at BUK totals 7.1MW capacity, combining 3.5MWp of solar PV generation from 10,680 solar panels, 2.4MW of backup generators and 8.1MWh of battery energy storage.
As with the project at FUNAI, the reduction of use in petrol and diesel generators will be significant at the site. METKA said the project has used modular off-grid system technology from global power electronics and energy conversion specialist Exeron.
Contractor Metka emailed Energy-Storage.news to report from the BUK project’s commissioning, with METKA Power West Africa president Evangelos Kamaris stating that the company “believes strongly in Nigeria and the vision of its leadership in the power sector,” praising efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari.
VP Yemi Osinbajo was again in attendance at the launch, commending METKA for its work, restating the aims of the EEP and noting its positive impact on education for young women and in providing direct job opportunities.
Meanwhile, REA managing director Damilola Ogunbiyi said that the BUK project is Africa’s largest off-grid solar hybrid power plant and “one we, as Nigerians, should be very proud of,” adding that more than 55,000 students and 3,000+ staff at the university will benefit, while 2,850 streetlights can be powered by the solar-plus-storage solution too.
Emerging Technology News commemorates World Energy Storage Day (WESD) by announcing the list of 50 Global visionaries and 12 Emerging stars
India, 16th September 2021: Emerging Technology News (ETN), a leading publication on energy storage and emerging technologies unveiled the list of 50 global visionaries and 12 Emerging stars who have been working ceaselessly to further the cause of green energy and clean transportation. Like last year, ETN released the World Energy Storage Day (September 22) special issue dedicated to the pioneers and promoters of energy storage globally, who have spent years developing technologies that have enhanced quality of life and developed breakthroughs in technologies. The list has been selected based on ETN readers’ inputs and the recommendations of editorial board.
‘ETN 50 Luminaries’ convention – a precursor to the WESD 2021 global virtual conference was held on Sept. 15, 2021. The dignitaries present at the convention were Babu Chalamala, Department of Energy Storage Technology and Systems, Sandia National Laboratories; Arumugam Manthiram, American Material scientist, Professor, University of Texas, Austin; Dr. Imre Gyuk, Director of Energy Storage Research, U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity; James (Jim) Greenberger, Executive Director and Founder, National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATBatt); Dr. William P. Acker, Executive Director, New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST); Dr Rahul Walawalkar, President, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA); Rakesh Malhotra, Founded LivGuard Energy Technologies and Mike Gravely, Team Lead and Senior Electrical Engineer for the Energy Systems Research Office, California Energy Commission
This is also an endeavour to present a worldview of the efforts and progress being made in the energy storage arena, through innovative products, services, ideas, and even fruitful collaborations. Energy storage in the linchpin technology that enables to integrate more renewables into the grid and powers the global transition to electric vehicles thereby helping reduce harmful carbon emissions, pollution, and dependency on fossil fuels.
The 50 global visionaries list includes 50 Leaders, 11 Researchers, 18 Business leaders in energy storage, 9 Business leaders in e-Mobility, 7 Industry enablers/associations and 5 Policymakers and implementors. The notable visionaries are:
• Akira Yoshino, Fellow- Asahi Kasei and President- Lithium-ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center (LIBTEC)
• Donald Sadoway, Scientist & Professor, John. F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
• Arumugam Manthiram, Director of the Texas Materials Institute and the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Program
• Bill Gates, Founder, Breakthrough Energy Ventures
• Bill Gross, Founder, Idealab
• Carla Peterman, Executive VP - Corporate Affairs, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
• Dale Hill, Founder, Proterra
• Manuel Francisco Pérez Dubuc, CEO, Fluence
• Daryl Wilson, Executive Director, Hydrogen Council
• Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla
• Gautam Chatterjee, Whole-time advisor, and Former CEO, Exide Industries Ltd
• Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power
• Hak Cheol Shin, Director/CEO, LG Chem
• Chetan Maini, Co-founder & Vice Chairman, SUN Mobility
• Horace Luke, Chairman and CEO, Gogoro
• Dr Imre Gyuk, Director of Energy Storage Research, DOE US
• James L. Robo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NextEra Energy
• Janice Lin, Founder and President, Green Hydrogen Coalition; Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Strategen
• Jeff Dahn, Industrial Research Chair NSERC/Tesla Canada Inc, NSERC/Tesla Canada Inc. + Dalhousie University
• Jeffrey B Straubel, Founder, Redwood Materials
• John B. Goodenough, Professor, University of Texas
• Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Asst Secretary and Principal Deputy Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy
• Maria Skyllas Kazacos, Researcher and Emeritus professor, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia
• Mateo Jaramillo, Cofounder & CEO, Form Energy
• Pasquale Romano, CEO, ChargePoint Inc
• Patrick Clerens, Secretary General, European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE)
• Rachid Yazami, Professor, National Academy of Engineering, Washigton D.C
• Dr Rahul Walawalkar, President, Customized Energy Solutions India & India Energy Storage Alliance
• Rakesh Malhotra, Founder, LivGuard Energy Technologies
• V. Samudrala, President (New Energy, Amaraja Batteries), Amara Raja Batteries Ltd
• Randall MacEwen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ballard Power Systems
• Stanley Whitingham, Professor of Chemistry, Binghamton University, New York, USA
• Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman, Toyota
• Urban Windelen, MD, BVES (German Energy Storage Systems Association)
• Vinod Khosla, Founder, Khosla Ventures
• Wang Chuanfu, Founder and Chairman, BYD
• William Li Nio, Founder & CEO, Nio
• Yet-Ming Chiang, Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Form Energy
• James (Jim) Greenberger, Executive Director and Founder, NAATBatt International
• Babu Chalamala, Head - ES Technology and Systems Department, Sandia National Laboratories
• Mike Gravely, Deputy Division Chief of the Energy Research and Development Division, California Energy Commission
• William P. Acker, Executive Director, New York Battery, and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST)
• Venkat Srinivasan, Director, Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS), Argonne National Lab
• John Jung, President & CEO, Greensmith Energy Management Systems
• Chris Shelton, Senior Vice President, Chief Product Officer and President, AES Next
• Ghislin Lescuyer, CEO, Saft
• Robert Galeyn, CEO & President - Highview Power and Board Member - U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA), Highview Power (CEO) Board of Directors of the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA)
• Zeng Yuqun, Founder & Chairman, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL)
• Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog
• Thomas Schmall, CEO, Volkswagen Group Components
The emerging stars of energy storage list includes 4 Researchers, 5 Business leaders in energy storage, 2 Business leaders in e-mobility and 1 Policy/industry enable. The emerging stars are:
• Lars Carlstrom, Founder, Italvolt
• Kristin Persson, Scientist/ Researcher, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and DOE’s JCESR
• Jessica Lin, Group Product Manager of Data engineering, Oracle Utilities
• Ramya Swaminathan, CEO, Malta
• Yen T. Yeh, Founder, Battery Brunch
• Naoki Ota, President & CEO, 24M
• Yi Cui, Director, Precourt Institute for Energy, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Chemistry
• Venkat Viswanathan, Associate Professor- Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
• Eric Hsieh, Director for Grid Systems and Components, DOE
• Shirley Meng, Professor, University of California San Diego
• Dr Vincent Sprenkle, Senior Technical Advisor, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
• Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO, EDF Renewable Energy
World Energy Storage Day (WESD) virtual Global Conference & Expo is organized to commemorate the 5th WESD to foster a global ecosystem for the promotion of energy storage and emerging technologies. The 24-hour marathon event will be held on September 22, 2021, covering four global regions (encompassing Asia Pacific, India – Russia, Europe - the Middle East & Africa, and North & South America) with sessions on stationary energy storage, e-mobility, and charging infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, R&D and green hydrogen. The event is expected to attract global participation from over 100 countries with an intent to facilitate bilateral trade, market development, and new research and innovation with the participation of regulators, policymakers, and international speakers. The conference will also have nine parallel workshops organized by various partners.
The event will have four conference tracks each of eight hours that will be available to the participants in different languages namely English, Chinese, Japanese, German, Korean, Spanish, Hindi, and French. Leading organizations, Government bodies, National Labs, and Associations across the globe will be presenting their country’s contribution in the sector and will deliberate on the latest trends.
Dr Rahul Walawalkar, President, IESA appointed as one of the members of the Central Advisory Committee by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)
IESA’s aim is to make India a global hub for research, manufacturing, and adoption of advanced energy storage and e-mobility technologies by 2022.
- Give suggestions towards necessary amendments in the current CERC regulations and guidelines and including suitable clauses related to storage and EV part of Indian regulations.
- Lend necessary support in calculating/arriving tariff parameters for storage projects (Independent Grid Asset Standalone Project/ RE Hybrid Project)
- Detailed work on CERC regulations wherein storage clauses can be defined/included.
- Necessary provisions in creating a market for storage as part of ancillary services which has been long pending and needs immediate action. Suitable changes in current regulations. Lend support in evaluating the techno-commercial viability of flexible operation of a thermal generation fleet against the investments in energy storage solutions to deliver similar services.
- Advocacy towards the need for setting up energy storage targets in India. Previous experience in India has shown that government target setting, and economic liberalization can lead to rapid growth in a market, as was the case with the uptake of RLED and mobile telephone technology.
- Separate tariff for renewable energy with storage assets as these hybrid assets could also be used to provide a firm and dispatchable renewable power and serve the peak load demand. (Unfortunately, a few announcements of such hybrid projects have not resulted in any deployment).
- Evaluate the use of energy storage for deferring upgrade of transmission assets to reduce renewable generation curtailment or meeting load growth.
- Formulate a regulatory framework to monetize the value of firming/smoothing of solar power, ramp rate control, peak shifting, demand response, etc.
- Suitable amendments to encourage RE+ storage supported EV charging stations. Special Tariff category for such units/projects.
Former Minister Suresh Prabhu emphasizes India’s ambitious renewable generation target at the ongoing India Energy Storage Week
Shri Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, Secretary, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, added - "The renewable energy sector is quite fragmented. It involves numerous sectors within itself. We are moving towards a major share of RE in the electricity mix and will only accelerate further. The government is working on giving the boost with the various programs as far as R&D is concerned. Energy storage is critical for the development of RE. Our electricity system as a whole has the ability to accommodate a larger amount of RE. This accommodation is cheaper than a more dispatchable power distribution. India Energy Storage Week will be incredibly valuable in answering this burning question as well as addressing some key issues.”
Talking about the broad overview of the government's National Mission for Transformative Mobility & Battery Storage, Aman Hans, Public Private Partnership Specialist, Consultant, NITI Aayog, stated, “I am sure everyone has been hearing a lot about the national programme of battery storage which NITI Aayog has been spearheading for quite some time now. Because of the unforeseen developments over the years, there has surely been a delay, but I would like to reassure the markets and all the stakeholders that things are very much on track. Not just the battery storage, the government is now charting out an umbrella program to give a thrust to a lot of manufacturing sectors. We have seen huge success with the mobile manufacturing program launched under ‘Make in India’, attracting global giants to manufacture and invest in India. We now aim to replicate the success in the Battery storage segment.”
“In India, nobody currently has the experience of manufacturing Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC). We are therefore promoting investments into the gigafactories with a prospective approach rather than a retrospective one.” he further added.
Mr Debi Prasad Dash, Executive Director, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), emphasized the requirement of indigenous manufacturing of components & advanced battery cells and requested the government to bring appropriate policy for advanced energy storage manufacturing and demand-side incentives. “This is also an appropriate time for the government to focus on the safety and standards of advanced energy storage technologies and create a suitable framework for recycling and batteries' second life. With the rise in renewables, grid complexity, development of rural & urban Microgrids, adoption of electric mobility: the Indian energy storage sector need to focus on the following three aspects, Skill development & capacity building in energy storage & EV technologies, R&D - innovation on advanced energy storage & EV technologies and policy consistency by state and central government. This is a unique opportunity for Indian conglomerates and MSMEs and start-ups to showcase their innovation & engineering capabilities in this sunrise energy storage and electric mobility sector. India Energy Storage Week (IESW) is becoming an annual thought-exchange, networking, and business platform for global industry leaders, policymakers, researchers and business professionals.”, he said.
Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President & MD, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) India, stated, “The policy framework has evolved quite a lot in the last five years, the technology price curve has been amazing but we cannot be waiting for the manufacturing cost to come down and keep on delaying the process. We are almost on the verge of missing out this opportunity for manufacturing while we are debating on finer nuances of policy framework. Many of the investments that should have come to India in the past 12 months have already been committed to Europe as both the government and auto industry have come together. I really hope NITI Aayog will get the final nod from the cabinet for the giga factory mission this month and when we start 2021, we will be discussing how we will be implementing the mission rather than when it will be launched.”
With an intent to facilitate international trade, IESA’s annual conference is seeing global partnerships from 20+ countries, 50+ regulators & policy makers, 300+ industry leaders, 50+ partners & exhibitors, and 2000+ delegates. The conference is a dedicated effort towards bringing the key stakeholders together to make India a global hub for R&D and manufacturing. The vision is backed by eminent dignitaries from NITI Aayog, Department of Science & Technology (DST), The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and many more.
India Energy Storage Week (IESW) is a flagship international conference & expo by India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), being held from 2nd – 6th November Virtual Conference and Exhibition. It is India’s premier B2B networking & business event focused on renewable energy, advanced batteries, alternate energy storage solutions, electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and micro grids ecosystem.
Energy Storage leaders calls for policy measures for Atmanirbhar Bharat this World Energy Storage Day
- The India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) emphasized upon the importance of policy incentives, business leadership, skilled workforce, and inter-industry collaboration to make India Atmanirbhar in the energy storage space
- Urged policymakers and business leaders to take bold steps towards building the local capacity for energy storage
- The event featured 75+ global thought leaders and policymakers, who deliberated upon the policy, technology, and business landscape across the world
New Delhi, 22nd September 2020: Marking the importance of energy storage as part of industrial progress and sustainable lives, the 4th World Energy Storage Day was celebrated today. On this occasion, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), India’s leading alliance on energy storage & e-mobility organized a unique virtual Global Conference & Expo with the aim to bring together industry leaders, policymakers, academia, researchers, and professionals and deliberate upon the need for nurturing a global ecosystem for energy storage. The participants engaged over insightful discussions on four critical aspects of the energy storage ecosystem, i.e., policy and government initiatives, stationary energy storage, e-mobility and latest innovations and developments in the sector.
The significance of energy storage as an integral part of the electrical grid has been acknowledged by several stakeholders, including large consumers, renewable developers, utilities, grid system operators and regulators. Moreover, the Government of India has set a target of installing 175 Gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by the year 2022 and 450 GW by 2030. A large proportion of this capacity will come from hybrid projects, where energy storage will play a very key role. IESA, thus emphasized upon the importance of building a robust energy storage ecosystem, supported by the policy incentives, business leadership, skilled workforce, and inter-industry collaboration to achieve this vision and make India Atmanirbhar in the energy storage sector.
Advanced energy storage technologies are also critical for the upcoming emobility manufacturing sector. With the advances in various battery chemistries and reducing prices, experts predict that this decade will belong to the electric vehicles. India is little late to invest in the R&D and manufacturing of these technologies, but with the government support and commitment from Industry, we can still catchup with in next 3-5 years. It is estimated that India needs to set up at least 50 GWh of annual manufacturing capacity.
NITI Aayog has taken leadership in drafting the Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Manufacturing Mission as part of National Mission for Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage. As part of already announced Phased Manufacturing Plan, the Government has charted out a roadmap for incentivizing the local players by imposing 10-12% import duties on cells. The Government will also provide up to US$ 30 per kWh as incentive for advanced chemistry cell manufacturing in the country. Therefore, the first movers in the country are certain to have an assured market opportunity.At the conference, IESA also highlighted the huge employment opportunity presented by India’s energy storage space. However, to unlock this opportunity, there is a need for skill development, reskilling, and upskilling the existing workforce in the country to make them a strategic fit for the energystorage industry. As the energy storage sector evolves further, it will require interdisciplinary skill sets. To bring in the new skill sets and bridge the existing skill gap, there is a requirement for more intense industry-academic alliance. IESA, through its IESA Academy is leading the crusade on this front.
Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, in his letter to IESA said “I am pleased to learn that India Energy Storage Alliances and its partners are holding a digital World Energy Storage Day Conclave and Expo. Energy security and sufficiency are pivotal for self- reliant India. We are constantly striving to ensure that electricity reaches everyone, there is sufficient electricity for everyone, and that our environment remains clean. We are also making sure that our resolve towards clean and renewable energy is taken care of in every aspect of life. For, energy access and energy sustainability, we are focused towards building a robust storage capability in the country. Efforts like Global Conclave and Expo strengthen this vision. The presence of policy makers, technical experts and other participants from various countries reflects mankind’s commitment to sustainable development.”
Summing up the key discussions and insights at the event, Dr Rahul Walawalkar, President, India Energy Storage Alliance says “The world is at the cusp of a 21st century industrial revolution. Energy storage will be at the epicentre of this revolution. The discussions and insights here have set the tone for many strategic interventions across the world towards building a global ecosystem for energy storage in the power & transportation sector. The event emerged as catalyst towards highlighting the potential of energy storage for future businesses and sustainable living.”
“There is a lot of innovation taking place in the energy storage ecosystem. India presents a significant opportunity of stationary energy storage technologies. In next 5 years, we are entering into an unprecedented area, where thermal plants will have to pay down 30 percent which is not an ideal situation. At the same time, we do expect that the market for e-vehicles is set to pick up beyond 2022-24. We are coming up with a new report on e-mobility. Due to persistent efforts by various ministries in the last five years, energy storage has picked up rapidly and the technology advancements have also been accelerated. We must focus on building capacity for integrating existing projects and making India a global hub of innovation and R&D. We urge the Indian business leaders to take a lead in terms of investing towards the future. As the event highlighted, there is also a need for the right policy and regulatory support, beyond announcements. These initiatives will boost the local ecosystem, make India self-reliant economy for energy storage, and become the global benchmark. I am confident about the future.”
Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, said “NITI Aayog is working with the World Bank to pilot various energy storage points and projects across the power sector in India. Battery Storage is the undisputable leader in overall Energy Storage Portfolio. The potential demand for advance battery storage applications till 2030 in India is expected to reach 230 GW on a Year to Year basis while on cumulative basis, the domestic market demand of 1116 GWh has been estimated. With high priority accorded to Make in India, the government shall soon launch the incentive schemes to invite global companies through the transparent competitive process to set up Mega Manufacturing plant in advanced technologies areas such as Solar Photovoltaic Cell and Advanced Battery Storage in India. The Government stands by its renewable energy generation target as part of its Paris Agreement. The target is 200 GW by 2022 and 240 GW by 2050. Renewables can become dispatchable replacing fossil fuels.
Moreover, the next wave of job creation will come from energy storage in renewable energy. India has the potential for being the fastest-growing market for electric vehicles and the government is committed to the same with policy framework like FAME II for a smoother transition. The government is set to launch a tender to global companies for developing future solar. India is taking concrete steps to develop a favourable business environment for a greener economy. The coming age is the age of cutting-edge energy storage technology.”
H.E. Upendra Tripathy, Director General, International Solar Alliance (ISA) stated, “One of the most important aspects in energy storage is e-vehicles. In order to promote its adoption, Solar cost should be
affordable for the masses. Talking about storage economy, the aim is to solarize the storage to generate employment. ISA is closely working with member countries to understand the kind of storage requirements they have. In a first, the World Solar bank is aimed at infusing around $10 billon toward addressing solar projects in the member countries. Storage will play an important role in realizing the ambitious goal of “One World, One Sun, One Grid’ - a term coined by the Prime Minister of India.”
Shri Ghanshyam Prasad, Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Power added, “The day itself talks about the importance of energy storage. Any disruptions that takes place in the electricity sector is an opportunity to grow. The renewable energy was introduced in the electricity sector ten years back along with its drawbacks. The very first goal was to achieve 175 GW by 2022. In terms of advantages of batteries, as Ministry of Power, we look at it as grid element ensuring electricity to every household without any interruptions. There are variations as seasonality to renewable sources of power generation. To maintain reliability of power supply, there has to be some source to take care of the variability and storage is the answer to the same. The plan is to integrate energy storage at grid element level in the imminent future.
Prof. Stanley Whittingham, 2019 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in a recorded message said, “Lithium battery are already changing the way we store our future energy. The future is bright for the storage and Li-ion batteries are raring to go. Clearly, battery is not only the medium, hydrogen, pumped hydro and supercapacitors will also be some active contenders for future energy storage requirements. Let’s make, 2020 the decade of energy storage!”
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, delivered the keynote at the event. He shared insights about advances in the technology and assured delegates that we are just at the cusp of the decade of energy storage. The event brought together 75+ global thought leaders and policy makers to share insights on latest developments and trends in the policy, technology, and business landscape. Delegates from over 60 countries keenly attended these sessions.
To celebrate the growing importance of energy storage, the Global Energy Storage Alliance started celebrating 22 September as World Energy Storage Day (WESD) in 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, with COVID-19 limiting international travel, all the alliances had decided to opt for a virtual platform to jointly celebrate the WESD with this unique conference. For the first time a marathon online event dedicated to the energy storage and EV industry was organized on this scale.
WESD Global Conference was supported by over 30 partners including, International Solar Alliance and World Bank- ESMAP. Niti Aayog, Invest India and Department of Science and Technology were the India partners and Government of Australia was the partner country. The event received support from global alliances and organisations, such as the Alliance for Rural Electrification; The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham), The Australian Energy Storage Alliance; BVES- the German Association of Energy Storage Systems; California Energy Storage Alliance; China Energy Storage Alliance; The US Clean Energy States Alliance; Dii Desert Energy; The US Energy Storage Association; European Alliance for Storage of Energy; European Battery Alliance (EBA250); Green Hydrogen Coalition; Indo German Energy Forum, Innovation Norway; Institute of Management Consultants of India; Irish Energy Storage Alliance, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, South Africa Energy Storage Association. Customized Energy Solutions was the presenting partner for the event and Amararaja, Exicom, Okaya, UL, BASF, Keysight Technologies, and Curtis have also joined as partners for this global event. For more details, please check (https://energystorageday.org/event/partners/)
The most eminent speakers at the event included Mr. Praveer Sinha- MD & CEO, Tata Power, Dr Sanjay Bajpai- FNAE, Head (Technology Mission Division: Energy & Water), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Mr. Kaushik Burman, Vice President, New Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Gogoro; H.E. Shri Upendra Tripathy- Director General, International Solar Alliance, Shri Ghanshyam Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice Chairperson, EESL Group of Companies, Mr. Vijayanand Samudrala, CEO, Amara Raja Batteries Ltd and Mr. Anshul Gupta, Director, Okaya Power group to name a few. Coming forward for contemplation are some of the most prominent global speakers such as Dr. Tudor Constantinescu, Principal Advisor, Directorate General for Energy, European Commission, Mr. Chris King, Senior VP, e-Mobility, Siemens, Mr. David Schlosberg, VP, Energy Market Operations, Global Energy Services, e-Mobility EnelX, Mr. John Zahurancik, COO, Fluence Energy, Mr. Steve Blume, President, Smart Energy Council, Mr. David Morgado, Senior Energy Policy Specialist, Alliance for Rural Electrification, Mr. Austin R. Bryan, Senior Director, CLP Holdings Limited, Ms. Carla Peterman, Senior Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison, Mr. Brieux Boisdequin, Vice President, Automotive and Materials, BASF India, Mr. Yoshiro Kaku, Chief Representative, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, etc.
Refer to (https://energystorageday.org/event/speakers/) for an entire list of speakers.
Why 22nd September?
The sun – the largest source of natural energy – has held much importance through the ages and people have gathered throughout time to worship the sun during the days of solstice and equinox with special rituals. The Autumnal equinox occurs on 22nd September and the day and night are of approximately equal duration i.e. the day is balanced. Energy storage has played a huge role in grid balancing, power supply demand management and frequency regulation and to acknowledge the balancing effects of Energy Storage, 22nd September was chosen as an apt date for the World Energy Storage Day.
India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) to organize 6th E$$MEET conference on Rooftop Solar + Energy Storage in Kanpur on 29th Nov 2019 for Solution Providers and Commercial & Industrial users
21st November 2019; Kanpur, India: As per a survey done by India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) member company Prayas, about 42-47% of households in Uttar Pradesh reported power outages to be repeated and erratic. Kanpur has been facing frequent power cuts that has left the locals and business reeling under the pressure of surmounting diesel costs. In its endeavor to address the need for adoption of rooftop solar + energy storage in cities like Kanpur and for fast-tracking behind the meter adoption of advanced energy storage technologies, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), India’s leading alliance on energy storage brings once again E$$ (Energy Storage Solutions) Meet at Indian Industries Association (IIA), Kanpur on 29th November 2019. The objective behind this meet is to provide appropriate energy storage solutions for Commercial & Industrial consumers. Leading companies such as IT Office, Data Centre, Banks, SEZ, Townships, Commercial Complex, and Manufacturing Facility & Production Industry to participate in the event. The event is partnered by Sterling & Wilson, Indo-German Energy Forum, Indian Industries Association, Associate Chambers Of Commerce and Industry of Uttar Pradesh – Uttarakhand and Asia Power Quality Initiative.
Power outages are a regular phenomenon in Kanpur and range from a few minutes to 4 hours/day as the city is facing the problem of adequate power supply. These intermittent outages and power quality issues due to voltage fluctuations can damage electrical equipment. The regular daily supply is for about 20 hours in Uttar Pradesh. The households are forced to buy power back and other options. *About 34% of all households, including a significant share of low income category households, still use kerosene lamps as a back-up option. These lamps can cause indoor pollution and accidents. Further, 38% use other emergency lamps such as solar lamps or LED bulbs with integrated batteries. About 47% of the households report some kind of appliance damage from poor supply quality. Some households (28%), mostly from middle income and high income, have bought voltage stabilizers to protect their appliances.
The month of September had the most number of interruptions and power cuts. Masvanpur-Kanpur, the district had 67 number of interruptions and 44:29 hours of a power outage while UPSIDC Site C Agra, the district had 51 number of interruptions and 36 hours of a power outage. Power outages in UP have forced industries and commercial setups to either install Diesel Generators (DG) or Inverters. DG is very commonly used in industries where power quality is of utmost importance. They are widely used by industries like continuous and batch processing industries such as Pharmaceuticals, Automobiles, Glass manufacturers and service industries such as Data Centers. These DGs contribute largely to air and noise pollution and are continuously becoming a menace to the industrial cities. Cities like Delhi have completely banned the usage of Diesel Generators for any purpose other than Emergency Situations.
According to a survey by the World Health Organization (WHO), Kanpur tops as one of the most polluted cities in the world and suffer from high air pollution throughout the year, especially in winter when the pollution rises to alarming levels. Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) can be an option to reduce the dependence on DG, thereby reducing the pollution levels in the city. BESS stores the electrical power when the supply is available and during the time of power outage / voltage fluctuation, it manages to supply continuous power over a period of time. This BESS uses advance technology batteries such as Lithium-ion, Nickle Cadmium etc. and can be used in Power and energy applications to supply the uninterrupted power. There are many industries that are facing power quality issues for their manufacturing process. Power outage in industrial hubs are also making huge losses for the industries in that region. In commercial complex, the combined use of DG and lead acid batteries are burning higher money for the operators than single large scale installations of advanced energy storage technologies. This forum intends to bring all these discussion points with a suitable business case for C&I establishments.
The earlier E$$ Meet took place in Coimbatore, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore and Jharkhand respectively which was attended by over 80 large Commercial and Industrial consumers as well as 50 + IESA member companies who are actively looking to provide solutions for these customers.
Note *- The above data is surveyed by Prayas which is an IESA member company
Every year the World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 to spread awareness about environmental issues and to encourage people to take action towards protecting the environment. This year’s theme for World Environment Day is: Biodiversity.
According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) climate change, man-made changes, and activities that disrupt climate such as deforestation, land-use changes and intensified agriculture and wildlife trade can increase contact and spread of viruses and infectious diseases from animals to human-like COVID-19. This is the time more than ever to remind ourselves to shift to a more sustainable lifestyle and economy for both, people, and the planet.
The lockdown period has seen some positive results for the environment, there has been a massive improvement in the air quality, especially in the urban areas. According to reports, the global emission of CO2 has dropped to emission-level last seen in 2006. PM pollution-level also witnessed similar decline, in Delhi -- India’s capital and one of the most polluted cities of the world -- transportation contributes to 40 percent of pollution but air in Delhi became breathable within couple of weeks after the lockdown due to 49 percent reduction in the air quality index.
But it all comes down to how we move after lockdown, government and businesses have to consider how they can do things differently after the lockdown and after the pandemic is over to hold onto temporary improvements in the air quality. We are seeing a completely different landscape for all of us in all aspects. It would be interesting to see how we transition towards clean transportation. Talking about cleaner transport, we would like to bring an insightful talk by O.P. Agarwal CEO, World Resources Institute (WRI) India. Mr. Agarwal delivered this talk in the IESA webinar. He is a highly respected thinker and practitioner with a wealth of experience in climate-change-related development and environmental issues.
He offers a very interesting angle on clean transportation, please listen in https://bit.ly/2ZQBUN6
A: The first thing I would like to say is, when we talk of clean transport today our mind automatically goes to electric cars and other forms of ‘clean forms of fuel for transportation’ but let me take you a step back. Clean transport is not about clean fuels, but it is also about ‘clean forms of transport’. For instance, if anything that helps us avoid a trip, to me, that is clean transport. This webinar is an example of clean transport. So, this is one form of clean transport.
Second, if you can reduce the range of a trip. i.e. If we travel less than what we really need to or if we can do something in half a kilometer than 10 Km, to me, that is clean transport. Now that kind of clean transport does not come from the transportation system alone, but from our urban planning system. How are our cities designed? That is something the city planners work on. City planners are very rightly talking in terms of mixed-use development, where travel distances come down as work and residential areas are closely interspersed. So, on average, people travel shorter distances and they do not have to use their vehicle, but they can easily walk, to me that is another form of clean transport.
Finally, yet another means of clean transport is trips where many people get into a single-vehicle. That is why the National Urban Policy that the government adopted in 2006 really talks about promoting public transport, cycling, and walking as modes of sustainable transport. As a result of that policy, today, many cities are building mass transit systems, some are improving bus systems but today the flavor of the day seems many cities building metro rail systems. So, these are again forms of clean transportation even though they do not necessarily use clean fuels but because they reduce our consumption of fossil fuels so to that extent they are also examples of clean transport.
Q: Mr. Agarwal stressed on the fact that it is important to not talk of clean transportation from the ‘technology perspective’ alone but also from the ‘demand management perspective’. The results thus achieved together would be far better. Smart cities and urban transport mission should be involved in discussions on clean transportation where there will be co-location of businesses and residences to reduce the overall travel for the people. He further explained how different ministries must work together for efficient implementation of e-mobility in India.
A: EVs are a bit of a challenge, it is not only from a policymaking perspective but also from an implementation perspective. When it comes down to implementation on ground, challenges are emerging. EV implementation on the ground is challenging as it requires multiple agencies such as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Heavy Industry, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Industrial Policy and Planning, Ministry of Urban Development, and Ministry of Finance – all of them to come together to get the policies in place, at the right time, in a coordinated manner to get things done. So, this kind of integration, even at the higher-level or GoI-level at the policy level needs to happen much more than it is happening today.
We should take it to the state-level, city-level, ground-level where you are talking of the transport department, the power department, the municipal corporation, the urban development department, the finance department, how do they come together? This is something that, to my mind, has been the biggest challenge in implementation. How do we get to bring different agencies to come together and take electric mobility forward?
Q: The currently developed State-EV Roadmap maybe 5000 ft view but there should be an in-depth work happening at the ground-level.
A: But what we need on the ground, where do I set up my charging station, what kind of vehicles would be using electric chargers, what are their movement patterns etc, I think these are the very ground-level things which are yet to be managed. We are still above the ground, if we do not get there, we won’t see to many things happening there.
Today, the only groups where I see things moving to some extent are fleets. In terms of fleets, there is an economic advantage to convert them into electric as they travel a longer distance. So, when they travel long distance there is an economic advantage in moving to electric. They have the advantage of setting up their own charging facilities, they do not ask who is going to pay for the charging facility. Overall the life-cycle cost in electric tends to get a little cheaper, that is why fleets are doing well.
But we have to go beyond fleets. A problem that we see in India, especially in buses, is that one electric bus costs over a crore whereas normal buses cost about 35 lakhs. So the capital costs are so high at a time when cities are under pressure to have more buses on the roads I have a feeling that they are going to be hard-pressed in bringing in more e-buses in today’s situation. Particularly post the pandemic, they must have gone through three months without passengers, they would have paid their staff, the fuel they would have certainly saved but at least 40 percent of the cost that they incur, they would have been incurring with zero revenue. So, they all are hard-pressed for money so asking them to invest in electric buses is going to be really challenging. We have to come up with an option for them to really move to e-buses with a significantly higher share of capital cost coming from some kind of public fund and giving them the benefit of low operating cost to make some of that difference. This is where I think the bus system would be.
Q: According to the World Economic Forum article, China emits over 50 percent of the total nitrogen oxide of Asia. Each tonne of NO2 emitted in the pandemic is the result of removing 62 cars from the road, so we could estimate that over China even a moderate 10 percent reduction in NO2 emission is equivalent to taking 48,000 cars off the road, that’s an indication of what could be achieved permanently for air quality if ICE vehicles are phased down and replaced by electric-powered mass transit system but electric vehicles are as clean as the electricity that powers them. The recent improvement in air quality could be made permanent by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and other low-carbon resources?
A: Speaking of clean energy, to my mind, the talk of clean transport will not be complete unless we talk of clean energy along with clean transport. I am a great believer in clean energy and clean transport being planned together. I think there is a win-win situation if both of them are planned together. Unfortunately, what we see is that the power department is not in sync with the transport department, at least, not to the extent that it needs to be. Take, for example, the Ministry of Power has come up with the initiative of installing charging stations, but no one has told them where to set it up. If there are set up in location where they have land available nobody uses that charging station for charging, I think charging station needs to be installed in places where there is a need for vehicles to be charged, these too, cannot be out of sync. Otherwise, we will see charging stations coming up in places where they are not being used and there will be need for charging station in places where they are not placed.
That is why, two of them coming together is extremely important.
The second reason they need to come together is storage.
For clean energy storage is a big challenge but most personal vehicle are stationary for 90 percent of the time, for the time they are stationary, can those batteries not serve as storage? You have a sort-of mobile device which is stationary for 95 percent of the time can be an excellent storage. So, I think somehow these two coming together can really be a win-win situation for both, but we need to plan for them together. It cannot be in isolation. That’s where I feel the success for clean technology of transportation has to be driven by some kind of an electric mobility mission or clean mission which brings together people from multiple agencies, works under a higher level reporting responsibility and they are the one who can really bringing this forward. To my mind a clean mobility mission is the need of the day in the country.
Jeevtronics— a Pune-based startup has developed India’s and probably the world’s first dual powered hospital-grade defibrillator. Defibrillators are mandatory in all nursing homes and is a critical instrument in ICUs and ambulances. In India, these devices are majorly imported, and many small nursing homes use refurbished devices to meet the regulation requirements, however, there is a possibility of device malfunctioning due to various reasons.
Emerging Tech Radio host Netra Walawalkar spoke with Aniruddha Atre and Ashish Gawade, cofounder of Jeevtronics. Both Ashish and Aniruddha have experience of working with Global automobile company Ford in North America and they have been passionate about developing triple-bottom-line business that positively impact on environment and people at the bottom of the pyramid. With 21+ years of total industry experience working in the US and India, they bring a wealth of experience across product development, manufacturing, process management, strategy, and planning.
Please listen in from Ashish and Aniruddha about their journey: https://bit.ly/3iiyVpi
A: At Jeevtronics we have developed the world's first dual power defibrillator. A defibrillator is a device used to save a sudden cardiac arrest victim if the shock is delivered within 10-minutes of cardiac, attack. Therefore the window of opportunity to save someone's life is really small and hence it is very important to have this device available locally in ambulance, rural clinics, primary health care centers, and other places but how the challenge is: how do we make this device work in areas which have no electricity or intermittent electricity? So, what we have done is we have built a hand-cranked generator inside the device, just like you have a windmill, we can call it a hand-mill. You can rotate it real fast and you can save a life by delivering a shock within 10 sec or so.
We have around four patents around this technology and its designed to all the international standards. We have already passed the pre-compliance test for EU-C marking and in our testing, we have fired 16,000 shocks as a part of the durability testing and the device did not fail at that. Just to put this in perspective, a regular defibrillator that complies with ISE 6061-2-4 standards should fire 2,500 shocks but we have fired four times than the required international engineering standards demands.
Therefore, it is indeed world-class in quality, costs one-fourth to one-fifteenth of the big brand has a very long life, and never needs a battery. When everything else in the world has failed --such as your grid and your diesel generator Jeevtronics defibrillator will still work.
Q: The defibrillator is capable of functioning without electricity or battery and makes a strong case for rural India and remote places and ambulances. Do you also give training required to use the device?
A: There are two types are defibrillators. One is internal, which you put inside the body after surgery and there is an external which is in ambulances or hospital. This is external, within that we have the automatic and hospital-grade, ambulance-grade defibrillator. And, this is to be used by trained personnel only -- they being doctors, nurses and EMD technicians and indeed they have training but in addition, we also train people in the use of our specific device when we go to install the device, in that they are also familiar and confident whenever they have to use the device.
Q: What has been your experience with rural installation?
A: In so far we have an installation in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan. There are tier-II, tier-III towns, small hospitals where it has been used and we have reports from three hospitals so far that they delivered a shock using our defibrillator and saved cardiac arrest patients.
Q: Can you share about your current team and its business operations
A: We are a 10 people team as of today, and we have inhouse R&D team and manufacturing function where are the parts are fully designed and manufactured by Jeevtronics. We are also manufacturing the final product, we think like a car company in this regard, where the tire is not made by the car company but sourced from a vendor as per its specifications. Similarly, we do not have machines that manufacture individuals components to save on high capital investment but we source all the parts and components and put them together. We source from ISO-qualified sources built to our standards of quality and also to international std of ICE-6061 standards for the defibrillator. We source, we put together final device in assembly, testing, quality control, and then packaging.
Q: Being from an engineering background, working in the auto industry in the U.S. What really led you two to develop a healthcare device? What is the story behind startup?
A: We are sadhak (followers) of Manushakti Research Center, Lonavla and the founders of the center used to say that apart from what you do for livelihood you need to do at least one hour of Seva (self-less activity) per day. We used to wonder how to do it full time without becoming ascetic so when were studying at the University of Michigan Ann Arbour in the United States, we took a class with professor C.K.Pralhad. He talked about stories wherein someone innovated for the people at the bottom of the pyramid and had a humanitarian impact on a large scale, these were the kind of stories that inspired us and so we came back to India and we developed several products. One was a human-powered generator for lighting then we also did solar lamps, and after that, there came an idea about powering defibrillator in rural India and rural Africa. So, when we looked at the idea we thought, this is something that is dear to our heart and it is in line with our philosophy so we’ll take up as a challenge. We worked on it and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Department of Electronics, and Indo-US Science and Technology Fund Forum -- the bi-national fund supported by the GoI and Government of United States they both supported us in this initiative and at the end of this journey we had a defibrillator that is designed to world-class standards, costs little, never needs a battery replacement and can save a life. It has already begun saving lives here and there.
Q: Has it been challenging for you to change the track from engineering to the healthcare industry?
A: As in the case of any new product development it could be from any industry it is always a challenge but an innovator always likes to take challenges. We have previous experience of working in the automotive sector and developing a product at scale so a lot of our previous expertise in integration and product development came in very handy in this product development and our journey so far. Along with that, we put together a team that was capable in their areas, so it's a team effort so a lot of skill sets that have come together eventually to reach this stage.
Q: How many of these devices have reached the market so far?
A: As of today 65 devices are on the field across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Q: With the current COVID-19 situation, how’s the demand? Has demand gone up significantly for defibrillators right now?
A: The demand is infinite right now. We keep hearing about ventilators. Similar to ventilator, defibrillator is also required in every ICU hospitals, the demand is huge the challenge is on the supply-side because of the lockdown as some parts are difficult to procure so the supply chain currently is difficult to manage.
Q: How are you managing manufacturing at this time?
A: It has been challenging in terms of the mobility of people and goods. We are based in a part of the Pune city which has been under lockdown so employees cannot move about from one containment zone to another. We have sought permission from authorities so we can continue work. As medical device manufacturing, we are essential service providers, so we are exempt from the order however the challenge remains on the supply-side.
Q: Do you also see opportunities come up in these difficult times?
A: Yes, because of COVID-19 there has been an increased awareness about healthcare, in terms of the need for good infrastructure, health care insurance, and others. Now because of COVID-19, there is heightened awareness which is giving rise to several opportunities and many innovators are coming up with innovative ideas to solve these problems. They have come up with devices, diagnostics, and even drugs. There are new opportunities in the repurposing of technology and techniques and many task forces are currently working on existing drug or molecules that is used for one disease that could be used to cure another. Similarly in devices also we see several opportunities. So there a lot of opportunities, overall in terms of strengthening the health infrastructure and this is a good development for a country like India.
Q: What are your plans on expansion? Are you also looking at raising funds right now?
A: Yes, indeed. We need to work on two-three major fronts. One is, we need to really speed our manufacturing to increase our capacity so that we are able to cater to the needs of society. We are flooded with inquiries outside of India, like Thailand, Bangladesh, and others Second is, we need to hire in-house, assembly workers, and quality engineers. Once COVID-19 has passed us and present demand reduces as business goes to its usual pace it would be important to have a presence across India, and then we will have to have a large sales force. So, all of this will definitely require capital so we are looking to raise funds. We would like one-and-a-half million dollars but we can go in steps and accept smaller tranches too and when funds become available.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nine-minute lights-out call was met with resounding support on April 5, 2020. PM Modi had urged Indian citizens to switch off lights at their homes and light up candles, lamps, and mobile phones in a display of solidarity and the country's ‘collective resolve’ to defeat coronavirus.
While there were apprehensions about the negative impact on the grid due to the sudden drop and spurt in demand following the event, the Indian power utilities along with national and state load despatch centres ensured grid operations remained smooth and uninterrupted throughout the country.
So, how did India’s grid successfully manage a load drop of 31 GW on the night of April 5, for nine minutes? Emerging Tech Radio host Netra Walawalkar spoke with B B Mehta, Chief Engineer, SLDC at Gujarat Energy Transmission Corp Ltd (GETCO) to understand what went behind the scenes in managing this unprecedented event successfully.
Listen to the podcast here: https://bit.ly/2Z2iUN1
Q: Can you share how the load despatch centre prepared for the event and coordinated it. What were some of the planning and projections around the event?
It was a great event. Practically, grid operators are habituated in managing such grid vulnerability on a day-to-day basis however the challenge here was that it was a pan-India event. It was going to be held at the same time for the same time (nine minutes) across India so it was important to have meticulous and precise planning in that aspect.
It was a large-scale distributed operation but in one way it is integrated also.
Electricity is a concurrent subject in our country, it is not only looked after by the states but also the central government. All the states were working in a low demand scenario since the lockdown was announced in the country. The general power requirement of the country has already fallen by 40 percent to 50 percent and amid that, there was a massive event by the people where people were going to have lights out at 21:00 hours for 9 minutes on April 5.
To cope up with that contingency we did a detailed analysis with different stakeholders in the power sector. As you may know, electricity cannot be stored so we need to generate just the amount we want to use and if you don't want to use it then you have to switch off the generation or reduce it. Now, for that we need to have a response time of the generator which is analogous with the goal given by Hon’ble PM; so the fast ramping or fast response devices in generation segment is hydro & Gas power plant and others so they have been called upon a couple of hours before the announcement of the program and they were to act as per the plan. They were informed that there needs to less gap between the power that is being generated and the power that is demanded either on the plus side or the minus side. So, we had a detailed meeting with our generation stations, with regional despatch centre then we had national meetings by the POSOCO and SLDCs, all the SLDCs connected through video conference, and lots of statistical details were prepared and shared.
We probably went wrong in some of the places, initially with respect to Gujarat we submitted a drop of 12,500 MW but probably our regional load and national drop came around 700 MW to 800 MW only. By and large, there was an idea that there will be a load drop of 12,500 MW but we all went wrong, when it took place, we had around 31,000 MW load drop.
With respect to preparation, we identified the team which will do each operation, we put perfect people on those teams and at power stations and sub-stations. Our protection team was on its toes, for voltage control our sub-SLDC was trapped on time and with that level of precise planning, we were ready to meet the challenge on the day of April 5.
Q: How exactly was the operation managed during the nine-minute event on April 5?
It was very precisely planned as to who will contribute to the management of the grid variation. Say, the grid is having some baseload and there was some delta factor which is going to vary during the nine-minute window, which plant will play a role to control that dynamic so that hydro station was informed and put on mark an hour before the start of the event. They were operating at an MW-level as per what is planned by the regional load despatch centre and as soon as the load started to fall, they promptly responded by reducing their generation so as to have the net balance remain as is. As soon as the load dropped, the frequency shot up to some 50-point level but by that time the generation was drastically reduced to ensure it does not go beyond the limit.
Further, once the event was over, instructions were passed as to who will pick up how much generation to ensure there is no hue-and-cry over any imbalance or mismatch. They acted very promptly and all power plants who participated in the event were part of the video conference and it was a seamless transfer of information. Overall, it was a very tightly integrated approach and there were no more deviations beyond the standards and the grid code and we could manage it very promptly.
Q: As we see, this event was planned and scheduled and still unprecedented in the history of the power grid, what are some of the learning from this event?
An important lesson is that our action plan for mitigating these contingencies should be more precise. We should have a more detailed study of the load and the component because, as you see, it was anticipated 12,500 MW but it went up to 31,000 MW drop. Further, we had a strict advisory from the government that other states should not face any problems because of us, so we had double back up.
We could curtail wind generation when frequency crossed about 50.2, it was about 600 MW wind generation immediately shut off and it was planned, advanced intimation was given to the wind generation station and on one call they immediately operated it. We had taken the help of agriculture load too, some of the [agriculture] load was going to switch off just before 21:00 hours on the day of the event so as to have more inertia on the load of the demand. For some of the agriculture power which was scheduled to start after 21:00 hours we preponed them, we told farmers they will get power half an hour early so that there is less load drop from the grid point of view and overall grid management will become easier.
Another learning is that we should take the help of these dynamics, this may not be available to distribution companies serving only urban cities like Delhi or Mumbai but for large state discoms this was one of the good opportunities. Another learning is that we still need to have a more flexible generation at our disposal to mitigate such events in case such contingency arises in the future.
Q: Since 2011 the Regulatory Commission has talked on tightening the frequency band but there has been no firm step taken in this regard, what are your comments on that.
No, they have been tightened the band a little but ultimately frequency is a benchmark that indicates the balance between the generation and load.
Today what happens is that the load is not in my control, everyone is free and flexible to use power as per his convenience, so the requirement of power is not in the hands of the grid control operator anymore. Generation was under the control of the grid control operator, but it seems to have declined over the last decade as the portfolio of renewable has increased. What has happened is there is limited control of renewable as we do not know how much renewable will be harnessed. Now, there are some forecast regulations but those regulations itself have a lot of loopholes. Say, there is a percentage error formula that does not match with the conventional power percentage error formula. There is already an open band with respect to Gujarat say there is up till 12 percent zero penalty. So, if I have 8000 MW portfolio of renewables to manage but I cannot vary more than 250 MW, that is one of my boundaries, that is also one of the regulation.
Therefore, to me, there is a huge mismatch between the regulation being planned. They may have the idea to give incentives and promote renewables, but electricity follows some law, and renewable does not follow different law and conventional does not follow some different law.
So, with respect to the management of the grid, our rules should be analogous with each other, the amount of penalty can be different. One more thing, we knew that promoting a type of generation say renewable, is going to have huge vulnerability, variability, or uncertainty but we are not planning any balancing mechanism and we are asking grid to do plus-and-minus 250 MW at SLDC-level.
Frankly speaking, we have planned 175 GW, but we never plan any gigawatts for balancing. Now, they are planning 450 GW, but I do not see any associate planning for balancing with that. If you know you are planning something intermittent, seasonal, or variable, but we are not planning to counterbalance that type of source, that creates a lot of problems with respect to the grid operation. Therefore, we need to take a call.
Unfortunately, due to the lockdown, the demand has fallen but renewable or wind remains as it is.
One other important thing was the real market operations date, it has been delayed by two months, it was supposed to be started by April 1 and I am surprised as to why that has happened.
So administratively, at the policymaking level, we need to take a call that we have homogeneous synchronous planning, regulations, and policy that supports grid operations in the true spirit.
Q: Yes, the real market operations date is now postponed to June 1, and so discoms and generators will get one more avenue of managing their schedule with real-time market starting and that will help to manage charges and penalty but how do you see the role of energy storage in grid management?
Energy management and energy storage is the need of the hour. I already mentioned that we have missed the bus planning about storage and balancing device. We need to take a call for promoting storage.
Today what happens is, suppose someone wants to plan a 10 MW storage he has to think about CAPEX, as soon as he is the member of the grid he has to pay the transmission charges, who will bear that cost? These are some of the problems that need to be addressed.
And some of the storage mechanism which is already with us like pumped board hydro station; probably across pan-India more than 4000 MW pumped board hydro station which is constructed, technically tested, but not in operations due to administrative or small technical issue so people are talking storage but people are not taking actions, there is still no road map that is that being prepared.
Q: What are your thoughts on battery energy storage system?
I think somebody has to take the call. If you remember the history of solar, the state of Gujarat during 2008-09 we invited and paid ₹15 tariff for the solar. Similarly, if we want to grow towards a new technology today, somebody has to pay the high cost then the research will take place, the industry will take shape, and someone will come with a lower-and lower tariff. Say pan-India I do not think we have more than 100-200 MW of storage solutions in service or under construction. Say, we have a 3000 MW grid and we do not give 300 MW storage solution under implementation here, so somebody should take the call. If the required viability gap fund can be utilized, but we need it.
Storage in lieu of the penalty of renewable; my point is why do we have that ‘penalty thinking’. My thinking is storage in lieu of balancing the dispatch of the renewable, if you think and talk in that sense then there will a huge quantum, and balancing requirement will be justified, and the course can be determined later.
Today, what happens is every state regulator is first keen to know what is the penalty of renewable and whether the storage solutions fit in that or not, so the RE developer is happy to bear the penalty and not go for storage. That is not the system need, it is a commerce/economic requirement.
My requirement is very simple, if I have a variation of wind, a 1000 MW every day, almost 250 days in a year then I need to have at least 300 MW of storage then I can mitigate something. But then, people start asking how many penalties it can raise? How much impact on your grid? I say, if 1000 MW variation is already there then we should at least have 1/3rd of that for balancing, and to keep it operational wherever the support is required it should be granted.
Large transmission projects have a huge impact on the tariff of the distribution company, whether the project is taken up by the CTO or the STO but that is being granted because it is essential for the transmission of power from one place to another. My plea is that balancing is also an important element of the grid to maintain the grid discipline and to operate the grid within the desirable hygiene.
Last, but not the least, I’d add the event was a great challenge for us, but it was a large distributed operation with one integrated theme: let us all control the grid. And, we have all been successful.
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