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India Gets First Grid-Scale Battery Storage From AES

The first grid-scale battery storage system in India launched this month, marking the first step of one of the world’s largest energy users to a future in which renewable energy is set to feature more prominently.

The project was the work of a partnership between AES, India’s Tata Power, and Mitsubishi. The facility has a capacity of 10MW/MWh and was built by Fluence, the energy storage venture of AES and Germany’s Siemens.

“Battery-based energy storage has an essential role to play in helping India realize its vision for a more sustainable energy future,” AES’ chief executive, Andres Gluski, said in the company’s press release, adding the facility—a first for South Asia—will “open the market for the use of battery storage technology in India.”

India has been late in joining the renewables party, but it now has very ambitious plans in this respect. By 2025, the government plans to have installed renewable capacity of 225 GW. This year alone, the country’s installed renewable energy capacity is set for a 50-percent jump from 2018, with 15.86 GW in new installations. Utility-scale solar facilities will rise to 10.9 GW this year, from 6.83 GW in 2018.

To date, India’s installed renewable energy capacity stands at 75 GW, and projects under construction come in at 46 GW. Tenders for new capacity will reach 500 GW by 2028, of which 350 GW will be solar capacity projects. That’s a major increase in the available capacity, but it is necessary: India’s energy demand will hit 840 GW by 2030 provided its economy expands at an average annual rate of 6.5 percent as economic forecasts have it.

The country is uncomfortably reliant on imported oil, so in addition to pursuing an increase in domestic oil production, it is turning to renewables as a cost-competitive and more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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