Role of Batteries in Clean Energy Transitions – ET Auto

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The alliance, including India, aims to secure 5 GW of battery energy storage by 2024, aligning with the long-term goal of developing 90 GW of storage capacity worldwide.

India recently achieved a significant milestone in its journey towards clean energy with the commissioning of a 40 MW/120 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Chhattisgarh. This project, unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a video conference on February 24, 2024, marks a pivotal moment in India’s commitment to renewable energy adoption. However, beyond celebrating this achievement lies a broader recognition of the crucial role batteries play in driving clean energy transitions worldwide.The Challenge of Intermittency and the Role of Batteries

The transition to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power is gaining momentum globally. Yet, the inherent intermittency and variability of these sources pose a significant challenge to their widespread adoption. For instance, during periods of reduced solar irradiance or wind speed, traditional energy sources such as coal often experience a surge in production to meet demand. Herein lies the critical role of batteries: they serve as a bridge between energy production and consumption, storing excess energy during peak production periods and releasing it when needed to ensure a stable and reliable energy supply.Empowering Electric Mobility and Energy Access

Beyond stabilising energy grids, batteries are revolutionising transportation through the electrification of vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) equipped with battery technology not only reduce emissions but also contribute to a more resilient energy ecosystem. The concept of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology., where EVs can feed surplus energy back into the grid when parked, exemplifies this transformative potential. Moreover, batteries are reshaping energy distribution by enabling decentralised grids, empowering communities with cleaner and more accessible energy options.One of the most pressing global challenges is ensuring universal access to reliable electricity. Batteries, coupled with renewable energy sources, offer a viable solution, particularly for remote or underserved areas. Distributed energy systems powered by renewable sources and supported by battery storage provide clean and affordable electricity, empowering communities economically and socially.

Emergence of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and its implications

Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) have emerged as essential solutions for backup and storage. These systems act as standby reserves, preventing energy waste by storing excess energy for future use or peak demand periods. BESS enhances grid stability, reducing blackout risks and facilitating the integration of variable energy sources. Research into repurposing transportation batteries for stationary storage units further underscores the versatility and longevity of battery technology in driving sustainable energy transitions. A global consortium was launched to scale up BESS in emerging nations at COP28. The alliance, including India, aims to secure 5 GW of battery energy storage by 2024, aligning with the long-term goal of developing 90 GW of storage capacity worldwide. This initiative will be supported by 1 billion dollars in concessional finance and other commercial funding.

In India, the potential for BESS is substantial, as the country aims to increase renewable energy capacity to 600 GW by 2032 under its National Electricity Plan. Distribution companies (DISCOMs) seek sustainable means to procure large volumes of renewables, making BESS critical. Recent governmental initiatives, such as ‘The National Framework for Promoting Energy Storage‘ and ‘Viability Gap Funding,’ signify a supportive environment for the sector. Collaborative efforts between GEAPP and New Delhi DISCOM (BRPL) in developing a 20MW/40 MWH BESS pilot project demonstrate the practical application and potential benefits of BESS in grid stabilisation and cost reduction.

Realising the full potential of Batteries

To unlock the full potential of batteries in clean energy transitions, concerted efforts from policymakers, industry stakeholders, international organisations and the public are essential. Robust regulatory frameworks, technological innovations, and public awareness campaigns are critical components of this attempt. Policies that incentivize battery storage deployment, technological advancements driving down costs and improving performance, and public engagement initiatives highlighting the benefits of batteries are integral to fostering a sustainable energy future.

Conclusion

Batteries are not just a complementary technology; they are central to the success of clean energy transitions. From enabling the integration of renewable energy sources to facilitating the electrification of transportation and expanding energy access, batteries have the potential to reshape our energy landscape for the better. As we strive towards a more sustainable and equitable future, let us recognize and harness the power of batteries as a catalyst for change.

  • Published On Mar 27, 2024 at 01:29 PM IST

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