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IESW 2023: Deepening the handshake between ESS and C&I users

Source: ETN

The post lunch session on Day 2 of IESW 2023 sought perspectives from the government and private players on energy storage for commercial and industrial sectors.

Moderated by Harsh Thacker, Director of Emerging Tech at CES, the session explored the present state of the energy storage systems (ESS) and highlighted opportunities and challenges faced by participants. It also contained sound advice from seasoned "batterymen" on what not to do.

The session began with a Keynote Address by Jeevan Kumar Jethani, Executive Director at AREAS and Senior Director/ Scientist-F at the ministry and new and renewable resources. Jethani mentioned the high tariffs compared with cost of supply, and proposed that in the future, there could even be independent, off-grid units that would be solar-powered and battery-assisted. "Open [electricity] market too could soon be a reality in India," he added.

Dr Saroj Sahu, Chairman of Golden Gate Battery, highlighted the nature of energy storage products, including safer offerings with zero fire risk and no supply risk.

Ketan Chitnis, Business Head of the Energy Storage Vertical at L&T Power said Energy Storage has a key role to play in 'peak shifting' and allowing large industrial units to overcome deficits. He cautioned that energy storage systems are currently better suited for multiple applications rather than a single use case. "We are looking at a band of applications, as no single application is large enough to offer economies at this point in time," he said.

He listed five factors that would enable faster growth in the sector: better financing and insurance options for customers, product standardization and serial manufacturing for better quality control at manufactures, capital incentives for localized energy storage, incentives for new industries availing Open Access and ESS, and carbon credits for energy used from ESS.

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Michael Hoff, Chief Technology Officer of American Battery Solutions noted the decline in cost of storage from $2,000 per KWh at the turn of the century to about $100-200 per KWh now. A lot of this, he said, was driven by the automotive industry which had sparked innovations and afforded economies of scale. His advice to everybody evaluating BEES was to focus on flexibility of the product use. "None of my customers has used the batteries solely for what they bought them for," he asserted.

Suresh Narayan, VP of Product Management at DEIF, began on a lighter note, explaining that he learnt the importance of storage during his childhood in Chennai, where summers are filled with water shortage and the monsoon filled with floodwaters.

He stressed on the importance of proper control systems. "Technology," he said, "is critical to the success of a renewable energy project – even months before commissioning begins."

Aditya Trivedi, Executive Director at AES India, spoke via video. Trivedi highlighted three challenges that needed resolution before the sector could scale up: limited knowledge about energy storage technology in the market, absence a clear business models for providers and a lack of financing options for companies.

Pointing out to the number of battery chemistries in the market, he said this prevented consumers from making a clear choice. He touched on two reliabilities that the industry would have to offer consumers: that of battery technology and the supplier's continuity. "Suppose you buy a battery today, and one year later the supplier does not exist. How will you resolve service and maintenance?" he asked.Enter your text here ...

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Author : Mandar Bakre
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