Where we have seen energy storage is most successful, is where you do have a government policy. Eventually, a lot of production has to be localised for India.
New Delhi: India must set out a clear policy around energy storage, much like what it has done for renewable energy, for investments to start coming into what could be at least a $15 billionmarket, top executives of US-based AES Corporation and Fluence Energy said. A stable policy that spells out targets for adding storage capacity will help the localisation of technology where India can emerge as a supplier for South Asia, they said.
“While you have this goal of putting a lot of renewables on the grid, you need energy storage to make sure that the grid can take that amount of renewables,” said Andres Gluski, president of AES, which has partnered with SiemensNSE -1.93 % to form Fluence Energy, a storage technology solutions provider.
Fluence is one of the leading energy storage players in the world and has deployed solutions in 18 countries.
“Where we have seen energy storage is most successful, is where you do have a government policy. Eventually, a lot of production has to be localised for India. But to set up a supply chain, you need to know that there is a certain demand,” Stephen Coughlin, chief executive of Fluence Energy, told ET in an exclusive interaction.
The CEOs were in India to announce the launch of what they claim to be Asia’s largest gridscale energy storage project for Tata Power-Delhi Distribution Ltd (DDL). The project, owned by AES and Mitsubishi, is operated by Tata Power-DDL and will provide grid stabilization, better peak load management, add system flexibility, enhance reliability and protect critical facilities for 2 million consumers served by Tata Power-DDL.
“In India, you have a very ambitious goal of 175 GW of renewables.
We believe that’s only possible using energy storage,” Gluski said.
The companies look at the pilot with Tata as a means to open up the market here. “For Fluence, we are going to be very loud. We want a significant chunk of the market here,” Coughlin said.
“We see that markets like India, which need storage, are most successful because decision makers tend to be risk-averse.
They don’t want to break the grid. But energy storage is proven. With this Tata project, we are going to prove that this works in India,” Gluski added.
Coughlin said in most of the countries where Fluence operates, the company does not receive subsidies. “What could be very helpful is that till you establish that supply chain in India, how do you treat the imported components. Reasonable import tariff for a certain time period is required till the supply chain is established,” he said.
Gluski said while the cost of battery storage is already on the decline, electric vehicles will bring a further reduction in costs. “The real name of the game here is massification, all over the world—very similarly in case of solar panels,” Gluski said.
Gluski, also a member of the India-US CEO Forum, had taken up the case of energy storage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Washington last year.