With the cost of renewable energy coming down and the market potential expanding, an ancillary industry for storage is the need of the hour, said P.C. Maithani, Advisor, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.

Speaking at the 6th International Conference and Exhibition on Energy Storage, EV & Microgrids here on Thursday, Maithani said the challenge with going purely solar or wind is that solar is available only in the day and wind energy generation can happen between April and September.

For instance, when solar panels come under cloud cover, the voltage drops till the cloud passes. “We can start by seeing if we can store enough energy for 10 minutes. An ancillary industry for storage can look at developing separate storage for solar and wind and a hybrid system,” he added.

Praveer Sinha, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Power, said it is important at a time when grids are becoming complex and is a huge challenge as electric vehicles are coming in.

On the other hand, Sinha said in the last 10 years, the storage business has grown 25 percent and according to projections, it would grow by 20-25 percent in the next 10 years. “There is huge market potential. Opportunities are coming from different aspects such as EVs and microgrids in villages,” he added.

“We are also seeing solar prices going down, which will increase penetration. But we need to make renewable energy sustainable. This is where batteries come in,” Sinha added.

Tata Power is working on several solutions such as lead batteries, advanced lead, and lithium-ion batteries.

S.K. Chatterjee, Joint Chief, Regulatory Affairs, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, said the government is working on policies to create a conducive environment for the growth of renewable energy and also the ancillary market. This includes an amendment to the connectivity regulation and several studies that are currently ongoing.

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