Sunday, May 22, 2022

India urges developed world to set up fund for low-cost energy storage

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  • The minister said that India is committed to developing battery energy storage on a large scale, which will help the country in bringing down the cost
  • Reiterating India’s resolve to emerge as the biggest hub for green hydrogen in the world, Singh called on the developed world to invest in low-cost green hydrogen technology

New Delhi: Calling out the developed world for their failure to invest in large-scale energy storage facilities, which are crucial to the deployment of renewable energy (RE) across the globe, Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh urged them to set up a fund that will offer low-cost or zero-interest loans to countries that can develop low-cost energy storage. Addressing the “India Energy Spotlight” session held on Thursday at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), the minister said, “Let’s set up a fund for storage of renewable energy. Funds should be made available at zero rates of interest to other countries who can develop storage at low cost.”

India will bring down cost of energy storage: RK Singh

The minister said that India is committed to developing battery energy storage on a large scale, which will help the country in bringing down the cost. Currently, since the cost of energy storage is high, it is rarely deployed on commercial scale. Energy storage is essential to the deployment of RE as it helps in addressing the intermittency of power generation of RE sources. “When we increase the volumes, the price will come down. That’s what India is going to do about storage. I urge the developed world to do the same,” Singh told the gathering.

Referring to Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) technology, Singh said that the technology is at pilot stage only the world over. Referring to India, he said that there are two pilot projects which are functional in India. “Without CCUS, you can’t achieve net zero because there will be sectors where emissions cannot be reduced to zero,” he added.

India to invite bids for 2,000 MW offshore wind energy projects soon

While stressing that India has the largest market for RE and a transparent and open bidding process, Singh told the delegates that the government will soon bid out offshore wind energy projects in two phases. “We have set a modest target of putting in place 60,000 MW of offshore wind energy, which is five times the current capacity installed the world over. Two global bids are coming up soon. The first bid will be for 1,000 MW along Gujarat’s coastline. And the other bid will be for another 1,000 MW along the Tamil Nadu coastline. We will give VGF (Viability Gap Funding) initially and see how pricing shapes up,” said the Power Minister.

‘India wants to emerge as biggest hub of green hydrogen’

Reiterating India’s resolve to emerge as the biggest hub for green hydrogen in the world, the minister also called on the developed world to invest in the development of low-cost green hydrogen technology. “Once fuel cell technology becomes more affordable, green hydrogen will be more affordable. And the developed world can help in developing low-cost technology, which can then be given away to nations at low royalty,” he said.

Taking a jibe at the developed world which has so far failed to meet their climate commitments, the minister wrapped up his address, saying, “I want to end my address with a question for all of you. Shall we be doing it alone or together?” India has well achieved the climate targets it committed to in the Paris Climate Accord and its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The country has also committed to sourcing 50 percent of its energy requirements from non-fossil fuel based sources by 2030 at the Glasgow Summit in 2021.

The event was attended by more than 300 delegates from 29 countries. 

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