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India Energy Storage Week 2020: Excerpts

India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) successfully concluded the India Energy Storage Week (IESW 2020), its 7th annual international conference and expo on energy storage, electric vehicles and microgrids. 

The premiere industry event (virtual) organized by IESA was held from November 2 – 6, and saw more than 1,000 registered attendees participating from over 15 countries globally. Norway, Scotland, Finland, UK, and Japan were the country partners for IESW 2020. The week-long event had a total of 36 sessions and featured 160 thought leaders – from industry veterans, policymakers to researchers, and early entrepreneurs who shared their insights on the business landscape, policy and regulations, R&D, and technological innovations happening across India. The speakers deliberated on ways for fostering an enabling ecosystem for making India a global hub for R&D, manufacturing, and adoption of energy storage and EVs in India.

IESA also launched its 2nd annual 'India EV and Charging Infra Market Overview' report that covers EV market sales and projections till 2027, for key market segments such as e-2W, e-3W, e-cars, and e-buses. It also covers EV battery market, charging infrastructure, and EV components market in detail.

The keynote speaker at IESW 2020, Suresh Prabhu, India's Sherpa to G20 & G7, Member of Parliament, emphasized that "energy storage will be a new thrust area". He said that India has already committed to ambitious renewable energy target and its quest to make the country carbon neutral, in line with the Paris Accord. He feels that critical materials for manufacturing of battery will also depend upon the robust development of the ecosystem for indigenous manufacturing, and congratulated IESW conferences for discussing the issue in detail in the week-long event.

"Through IESW, we aim to address the challenges and opportunities in the sector in order to robust the growth by bringing together global leaders and stakeholders to uncover the possibilities of making India a global hub of EV manufacturing in time to come."

Debi Prasad Dash

Executive Director
India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA)

In the following write-up, ETN brings you excerpts of the workshops, sessions, forums and discussions held at the week-long event, and key notes of the participants.

Energy Storage 101 (Current Technology Landscape & Future Developments)

In this session speakers discussed the current technologies that dominate the energy storage landscape, and some which may come to dominate in the future.

"As the country moves towards renewable sources of power generation to a greater extent, the need for energy storage gains equal importance. The stationary energy market poses a great prospect with a 60 percent market share. Batteries need to be simple, viable, safe, environment-friendly as well as market-ready."

Dr. Balki G. Iyer

Chief Commercial Officer
Eos Energy Storage

"We come from the space industry; we took the cue from the methodology of the same to develop flywheel applications. The differentiator that works in our favor is the absence of degradation and 95 percent efficiency rate. We are working with different partners across a variety of applications, globally, and look forward to supporting the decentralization of energy and electrification of transportation."

Michael Willemot

Chief Financial Officer
Oxto Energy

EV & Charging Infra Technology 101

The speakers discussed about x-EVs and its technology, which included EV charging technologies, charging standards and a deep-dive into powertrain components and retro fitment of ICEs to EVs.

"The retrofitting of conventional autos is estimated to save approximately $4,000 in five years and the conversion of an existing auto takes only about 48 hours. Therefore, government must provide subsidies for at least one year of saving, which could aid in the adoption of retrofitted e-autos."

Madhan B N

CEO & Co-founder
Volta EV (VAIPL)

"Battery Swapping does address all the issues of TCO, price, range anxiety and accessibility, and lowering charging times. The ultimate goal for battery swapping is to bring an easy, quick, accessible solution for customers."

Akhila Vijaykumar

Co-founder and COO
ESMITO Solutions

Workshop on Minigrids / Microgrids for Economic Development for Local Communities (Powered by MICRO Initiative)

The speakers discussed the techno-economic performance of minigrids in India; plant generation, storage and PND network and shared their observations, experience, and lessons from the field and technical audits. Topics discussed also included rural electrification, battery performance, and the contribution of ESS towards diesel optimization in defense-based micro and minigrids.

"The four key roles of a microgrid developer essentially consist of providing access to finance for rural entrepreneurs, helping them identify appropriate gender participation, providing access to markets in the form of micro business advisory support, and most importantly, creating trust between the community and developer."

Sudeshna Mukherjee

Director – Hamara Grid (Economic ecosystem development via minigrids)

"Deployment of microgrids is not just about delivering hardware or providing quality products in households but also about going the extra mile and ensuring long term technical support and ensuring community interaction through local social organizations."

Prasad Kulkarni

Technical Head - Gram Oorja (Plant generation and PND system) 

"Minigrids can help achieve stability and provide reliability in the peripheral areas in India. From an association perspective, we look to solve minigrid challenges at the sector level with an array of initiatives aimed at accelerating adoption of mini-grid in urban and rural areas and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."

Jens Jaeger

Policy & Business Development Manager - Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE)
(Factors enabling scaling of the minigrids)

 IESA-UNIDO ESS Innovation Workshop (Supported by UNIDO) 

Discussion was on 'Facility of Low Carbon Deployment' (FLCTD) – Energy Storage Innovation Challenge – a UNIDO initiated a project to address technology gaps through use of energy efficiency technologies and support the deployment and scale-up. Speakers also shed light on the latest trends in energy storage innovations, indigenous R&D and pilot projects. 

"We are no longer an electricity starved country, now, we have surplus generation available. Under these circumstances, storage devices have to act like a source to store the surplus energy. Therefore, for what application will storage be required at generation level? Whether we are using it to smooth peak demand or to provide back-up support at a later stage? These are some things that can be tried as a part of the innovation challenge."

Dr P C Pant

Former Advisor


"A major challenge any new technology has to pass through is the 'valley of death' before it becomes a successful technology. The valley of death refers to lack of finance, mentoring, and lack of other supportive infrastructure that may prove to be a hurdle for innovators. The innovation challenge, therefore, helps to address these issues."

Dr. D H Purushotham

Former Chairman & MD

Women in Energy Storage & EV Forum

 This was a dedicated session aimed at promoting the participation of women in the energy storage and emerging technologies areas. IESA also launched an informal women's group 'IESA-WEN (ESA- Women in Energy Network)' where women can participate in various IESA activities throughout the year and invite women leaders to join the group.

"When you look in the field of RE, globally there are around 11.5 million people working and it is going to increase to 42 million by 2050. Wherein we have about 32 percent of women participation. Including storage and e-mobility, if the sector needs to strive and rise to its full potential, then it would require the best of the talents from both men and women."


Global Women Network

"Obviously, there are challenges, because you are in minority, but what actually helped me
in course was excelling in the technologies or services that were rendered at my position. I always strived to be a good team leader so that the industry did not see me as a typical bureaucrat but a person who
can support in providing a pragmatic solution."

Rashmi Urdhwareshe

Former Director
Automotive Research Association of India

Workshop on Role of Energy Storage for Moving Towards 24x7 Renewables 

This session saw participation of diverse players like MNRE, CERC, POSOCO, Gujarat SLDC, BSES, AES, Prayas, and WRI. Discussions centered around promotion of energy storage technologies, and more importantly, on whether we require separate RPO for 24x7 RE Power. 
The session concluded on the note that storage may be imperative for a better grid quality, and there must be a higher push for more storage tenders. All the speakers noted that there may not be a need of a 24x7 RE RPO, apart from decentralized areas that may require 24x7 renewable energy.

"The challenge of integration is different from the one we had when we started with it. Energy storage is critical for the development of RE. Our electricity system has an ability to accommodate a larger amount of vanilla RE. This accommodation is cheaper than more dispatchable power distribution."

Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi

Secretary - MNRE

"Storage is nice technology. We must look at our strengths and harness that. CAPEX is precious and we should not repeat the same mistake made with the gas. Our strength is in the grid. Synchronizing Bangladesh with India will only enhance our capacity by leaps and bounds. We need power generation that is flexible, and cost-effective."

S K Soonee

Advisor, Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO)

Hydrogen Economy and India – Nordic Collaboration 

IESA launched the MIGHT (Mobility and Infrastructure with Green Hydrogen Technology) Initiative to focus on hydrogen production, storage and applications including stationary power generation, transportation, and other usage in India. As part of this initiative, IESA organized two dedicated sessions on hydrogen and fuel-cell and partnered – Hydrogen Economy in India - Nordic Collaboration for Hydrogen Economy supported by Innovation Norway and Business Finland. Session-I discussed the technology collaboration on Green Hydrogen. Session-II shed light on India-Nordic Industry Cooperation, stationary applications for industrial consumers, fuel cell and mobility application.

"There are several applications of wind and hydrogen in oil and gas, exports, ports and remote islands. Around the world there are many islands that get power through diesel generators and it is very expensive; by combining offshore winds and hydrogen we can serve these islands with zero emission energy supply."

Trond Stromgren

Sr Advisor (Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Value Chain), Head R&D- Ocean Hyway Cluster

"Hydrogen is not a silver bullet, it is part of the broader solution. There are breathtaking developments in the EU and other countries on Hydrogen. The cumulative investments in renewable hydrogen in the EU could be up to €180-470 billion by 2050 and in the range of €3-18 billion for low-carbon fossil-based hydrogen."

Aditya Poudyal

Business Development, Hydrogen – Fortum

In this section of the IESW, sessions revolved around exploring opportunities in domestic manufacturing, where the speakers from both Central and State government shared information on the initiatives for making India a manufacturing hub. Participating OEMs, component manufacturers and CEOs looking to invest in gigafactory projects, shared their business plans.

Regulatory and Policy Outlook on Energy Storage and EV Manufacturing 

In this session, the speakers deliberated on Central policies/schemes, regulatory overview, recent developments on the ongoing/ upcoming policies/ schemes by Central and State government. and the roadblocks to implementation (industry sentiments, financial assistance, domestic capability, etc.)

"Energy storage is an important aspect, and it can bring a completely new dynamic in the energy spectrum. We [India] already have an ambitious renewable energy target and, it is our quest to make the country carbon neutral, in line with the Paris Accord.We have many gasification plants, clean coal initiatives, and blending it with the RE initiatives would deliver a form of energy to the consumer that can play a greater role in our tryst towards climate change. And in this tryst, energy storage plays an integral part."

Suresh Prabhu

Member of Parliament (Rajya Shabha)
Indian emissary to the G20 & G7

"We have had a successful launch of mobile manufacturing, and now expect the same in the energy storage. Although it is more complex, but under the battery storage program, we have married the concept of typical manufacturing setup with financially strong back up agreement. As of now, the govt has proposed to incentivize up to 50 GWh of ACC cell manufacturing, the bare minimum demand by 2035. It is completely technology agnostic program, and we are purely referring it with performance specifications."

Aman Hans

Public Private Partnership Specialist, Consultant - NITI Aayog

IESA Vision for Atmanirbhar Bharat - Energy Storage & EV Manufacturing 

"The policy framework has evolved quite a lot in the last five years, the technology price curve has been amazing, but we cannot be waiting for the manufacturing cost to come down and keep on delaying the process. We are almost on the verge of delaying this opportunity for the manufacturing, so I really hope NITI Aayog will get the final nod from the cabinet for the mission this month and we hope in 2021 we will be discussing how we will be implementing the mission."

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar

President & MD - CES India

Supply Chain (Raw Materials, Equipment's & Components) & Global Manufacturing 

In this session the speakers gave an overview of the supply chain in the domestic market, import dependency, and discussed the demand drivers. They also discussed opportunities and challenges, both from the government and the industry perspective and best practices from the global scenario and global investors suitable for collaboration with the Indian ecosystem.

"Looking into the roadmap, we see two technologies taking place in the market, one is silicon plus lithiation combination. It has a high potential in developing EV fast charging. In the near-term market, the demand for EVs and fast charging will only increase and silicon lithium combination will have an active role to play in providing the efficient fast charging solutions."

Dr. Subra Herle

Director, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff - Office of the CTO (Applied Materials)

"For India, we have a target of developing gigawatt factories, but we lack lithium reserves, and also cathode and anode building capacity. From 2016-19, India is dependent on China, Japan, and Taiwan for lithium reserves. We need to develop the capacity for being self-reliant.
Manikaran Power is planning to set up India's first lithium refinery and has started the feasibility study for same. We believe the investment in downstream will not be sustainable until a strategic partnership is formed."

Naveen Kumar Srivastava

Strategy - Manikaran Power Ltd

Recycle & Reuse (Second Life of Battery Packs and Recycling) 

The speakers shed light on the battery handling and disposal - current practices and environmental laws and regulations. They deliberated on the Scrappage Policy, recycling technology and its commercialization avenues, and domestic and international best practices in recycling and reuse of second-life battery packs.

"Reuse and recycling of Li-ion batteries is key for circular economy and to overcome the challenge of limited resources. The need of the hour is to design batteries to be recycling friendly, identify different battery chemistries, cost-effective recycling process and to minimize recycling waste to zero."

Dr. Dhamodaran Santhanagopalan

Ramanujan Fellow & Associate Professor - Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine,
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

 "Li-ion has emerged as the leading choice for EVs, but raw material required for its production is a challenge. Recycling may be an immediate option to address the issue. It can reduce the load of raw materials and improve supply-chain security and address the environmental footprint. However, the recycling business viability depends on its cost; long term outlook in terms of new investment; sufficient data to do the demand prediction and environmental regulation and control."

Samrat Sengupta

Programme Director, CSE

"If we proceed with the normal mining process and do not look at alternatives like urban mining or recycling, we may deplete the lithium reserves and other metal natural resources. Recycling of battery is an environmental and health issue too, if not packaged and disposed in proper way, it can lead to health issues."

Pawandeep Bawa

Head of Sourcing
Attero Recycling Pvt Ltd

Skill Development & Capacity Building 

In this session the speakers touched upon industry skill demand and availability of skilled work force and how the Central and State governments can play a key role in capacity building. Given the uptake of online learning, the speakers also explored the role of technical courses and online programs in bridging the skill gap.

"ARAI through its academy is contributing to e-mobility development in the country. We have started MTech program as well post-graduate program in e-mobility and autonomous vehicles. We are also collaborating with IESA for training program in microgrid sector. We aim to prepare 10 million professionals to engage in e-mobility sector."

Dr. K C Vora

Head - ARAI Academy

"The e-mobility sector is expected to generate around 10 million job opportunities in the imminent future. We have tied up with companies to provide on-ground experience for the students and acquaint them with the industry expectations from future batch of industry professionals. IESA Academy, ARAI Academy and likes of it have been helpful in formulating such industry-specific training programs and curriculum for preparing innovators and leaders of tomorrow."

Dr. Adinath M Funde

Assistant Professor - School of Energy Studies
Savitribai Phule Pune University

Make in India (CXO's Perspective on Indigenous Manufacturing)

CXOs deliberated on 'Make in India' policy and government initiatives. They also discussed the opportunities and challenges in energy storage and EV and short-term action pointers and long-term strategy.

"My view is we have to continue with innovating at the grassroots level. For example, battery swapping - can India take a much more serious shot at it, so that the upfront investment on battery is not a concern, range anxiety is not a problem, and the charging infra in not coming in the way; so there is a significant segment of the market that would find true innovative, cost-effective, consumer assurance- oriented solutions around swapping. In my view there is not much work done in developing battery swapping as a business model in India."

Vijayanand S

Amara Raja Batteries

"There is a need to create a framework or an environment where you create some sort of a local capacity building and innovation that will create a few companies. My fond hope is that there should be at least four or five companies coming out of India in the second wave and be willing to scale and compete with the global players because they have some unique capacity to address a market that is uniquely domestic and then it can be replicated in Africa, Middle East or South East Asia or other such similar markets."

Rakesh Malhotra

SAR Group


The sessions in this section were focused on stationary energy storage, where the speakers deliberated on the overall ecosystem, starting with policy and regulatory framework, factors that were enabling, and challenges that needed to be addressed. Special focus was given to challenges in the grid-scale energy storage and the opportunities in Behind-the-Meter (BTM) storage market. 

Regulatory & Policy 

In this session, speakers deliberated the need for storage to make the energy transition sustainable. Panelists explored the need for innovative financing and policy support to make storage palatable and fast. Five important things to consider were local manufacturing, regulations for power system by regulators, adoption of storage for end users, operational requirements (BIS Standards, Safety norms), end-of-life decision on batteries (sustainable disposal).

"Different types of energy storage find different use, but we need to have a regulatory policy to support because due to the increasing penetration of variable renewable energy there is demand-supply mismatch, in addition to this, technology uncertainty and lack of market structure and differences in characteristics of different ESS technologies need to also be looked into."

Ravinder Singh Dhillon

CMD - Power Finance Corporation (PFC)

"What we need is a holistic policy framework and standards that enable local manufacturing of BESS, regulations of power systems stakeholders, adoption of storage by end-users and customer; and to make all this work a lot of work is required on BIS standards, safety norms, and sustainability such as end-of-life disposal of the battery."

Ganesh Srinivasan

CEO - Tata Power DDL

Grid-level Energy Storage Integration 

Speakers in this session shared their global project experience, learnings and thoughts. They also discussed opportunities in energy storage at various levels in Grid (G-T-D), and ways to make the energy transition sustainable.

"The new tenders that are coming out in the country focus on energy storage as one of the aspects. C&I is also one of the emerging sectors that look to deployment of battery storage combined with large power generation projects. The demand curve in India can only be fulfilled with RE coupling with energy storage technologies. We, at Tata Power, are also looking at such technologies with great optimism."

Sanjay Banga

President (T&D) - Tata Power

"We are very watchful about being technology-agnostic and positioning the same in energy storage. Fluence, today has gigawatts-plus in energy storage technology deployment and we expect to replicate the same in India. Asset digitization is leapfrogging, and we are looking forward to it."

Rajendra Shrivastav

President & Market Business Leader
AES India

"It is necessary to combine renewable energy projects with storage technologies. After the power failure in Mumbai, there was a mutual industry learning takeaway that installing large-scale battery storage is requisite to avoid such incidences in the future. Storage technologies deployment is one of our focus areas and we look forward to it."

Shashank Adlakha

Senior VP - Renew Power

Behind the Meter (BTM) & DER

In this session, the speakers discussed the role of energy storage in BTM applications and the market, and shed light on rooftop PV + storage. Also discussed was: power quality and reliability improvements through ESS, battery technologies beyond Li-ion, BTM & DER application in micro and mini grid market and applications.

"We are at an exciting stage when we are seeing fuel source getting changed, globally regulations like FERC 2222 is being implemented, which means decentralized technologies can play at a larger scale and this will eventually be adopted by other countries as well. In India there is a lot of excitement from potential BTM customers. The biggest driver for this is that the cost of storage is declining rapidly and storage makes solar reliable."

Adarsh Das

Director & CEO - Sunsource Energy

"Policy and regulation remain the main barriers to the BTM market affecting their viability, in addition modeling the solutions are also critical."

C Niranjan

Sr. GM - Advanced Products, Amara Raja

Asset Management - Analytics & Digitization

This session focused around: O&M optimization and improvement of asset life through analytics and digitization avenues, potential software platforms in the market today and how they benefit operational projects, operational case studies androle of analytics and digitization in optimizing O&M costs and making fault detection easier.

"One of the key things is to maximize asset lifetime and maximize the returns and optimize the value that people are investing within there, and one of the things to improve all the areas of performance is to reduce the time to identify defects."

Andy Bray

BD & Sales Manager

"To transform the business intelligence data analytics is key and also automation has a big role to play. Also, the turnaround time of the entire process is critical, and thus reducing that increases reliability and availability."

Rahul Pendharkar

Senior IT Manager

Financing Storage Projects

This session saw discussions on the current financial institutions and their approach towards the present transition to energy storage. Speakers touched upon financing instruments that currently prevail in the market and what more the industry needs to do to promote investments.

"Financing is a critical aspect in India's transition to clean energy. There is a need for innovative finance mechanism developed and deployed to accelerate the market development and enhance the viability of the sector. The creation of ancillary services market will help make a case of battery storage market development."

Kanika Chawla

Fellow & Director - Centre for Energy Finance

"Lenders look at multiple risks and rewards; revenue diversity of energy storage is a one of the key parameters. The key challenges in financing for storage is technologies, asset life mismatch, off-taker risks, PPA bankability, contracting structure risks and operational risks.
Storage financing will become easier if these streams are in place."

Sunil Jain

Hero Future Energies

"The battery storage market is accelerating, and we are working closely with investors like IFC, government agencies like the NITI Aayog, and others to innovate new ways for enhancing the market further through finance mechanism."

Simon Stolp

Country Lead (India) - Energy & Extractives
World Bank Group

The sessions held under this section focused on electric mobility. The panelists analyzed the complete ecosystem starting from policy framework, and significant State-specific policies that have been passed to incentivize EV adoption.

Regulatory and Policy

This session had speakers covering NEMMP, FAME I & II, Phased Manufacturing Program, in addition to relevant State-level EV policy. The panelists also discussed the policy barriers on battery swapping such as GST on batteries, insurance and warranty on batteries, interoperability, and coverage of retrofitted solutions with AIS certification.

"We are primarily focusing on charging infrastructure across the EV value chain in the country. Having worked in these areas for last three years, two aspects are important: 1. air quality, which has been impacting the economic activities on the country and 2. dependency on crude oil, which helps the mobility in the country."

Sameer Pandita

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)

"The willingness of masses to adopt e-mobility made a case for implementing effective charging infrastructure in the State. We were fortunate to have Fortum to come forward and help us set the charging infrastructure along with IOCL and PowerGrid Corporation. The electric storage system is integral for success of e-mobility. One area which we invested in is standardization of equipment. Our target is to ensure 100 charging station to be established in the State."

Jayesh Ranjan, IAS

Principal Secretary to Government of Telangana -
Industries & Commerce (I&C) Department, & (ITE&C) Department

Electric Mobility 360 (OEMs perspective: e-2W, e-3W, e-4W, CV: LCV, BUS) 

Here the speakers discussed the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic and digitization effect on consumer behavior. On the market-side the panelist shed light on the demand segments and exports opportunities and also EV financing. Some other topics discussed in the session were technology and EV ecosystem.

"The water transport is significant sector in India. Solar-electric boats are economical, availability of sun is in abundance in the country. There are three things we look to address: remove the discrimination, identify water transport under FAME II for subsidy, develop the marine battery technology for further enhancements of the e-boat sector."

Sandith Thandasherry

NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats

"In the last five years, a lot of progress has been made on policy side. Booster incentives in subsidy will make the e-vehicle more attractive to the customers. Support from lenders for demand creation will be beneficial. Li-ion is the future, and we were the first to launch an e-2W with Li-on battery kit. I urge the batteries companies to expedite the advancements in BMS. Battery swapping will also need to gain momentum."

Sulajja Motwani

Founder & CEO
Kinetic Green Energy & Power Solutions

EV Components, Power Train and other Opportunities for Indian Manufacturers 

Discussion in this session was on pathways for strengthening domestic value chain for components, alongside the gaps in supply chain. Speakers also touched upon policy interventions required, R&D incentives and standardization (connectors, power rating, range, safety, and energy), localization challenges, cost reduction strategies, contract manufacturing, battery as a service, strategic alliances and partnerships among OEMs, technology suppliers, and internet-tech ecosystem.

"Electric vehicle value chain in India is expected to reach $4.8 billion by 2025. Two-wheeler and three-wheeler are the most promising segments for electrification in India for a 2025 scenario."

Arvind Goel

Tata Autocomp

"To support Atmanirbhar Bharat, child parts (i.e., NdFeB magnets, Mosfets) imports (which are not available in India) should be made duty free, and the import of full CBUs have to be discouraged by imposing suitable duties."

K. S. V. Babu

Head of E-mobility Business -
Lucas TVS

 "First-generation EVs were adaptations of popular chassis existing at that time. However, there could be interesting second-generation vehicle technology trends like chassis as a service involving light weighting of vehicle with different component and battery fitments. Tesla is on third-generation platform keeping more focus on software side to provide great user experience in connected and autonomous vehicles."

Guruprasad Mudlapur

MD - Bosch Automotive Electronics

Charging Infrastructure and Battery Swapping 

The panelists discussed existing business models of charging infrastructure companies, TCO economics, in terms of the improvements with battery swapping. Also discussed was utility-led charging infrastructure: residential, commercial vs swapping and public fast-charging network.Speakers deliberated on the role of utilities in customer connect, demand aggregation, project implementation and operations. Standardization of charging equipment and safety protocols were also discussed.

"We are working on enhancing the scale of charging infrastructure set up in the country. We have adopted European standard for manufacturing of vehicles in the country. Bharat charging standards have been formulated to provide a benchmark for the indigenous manufacturers to scale-up their manufacturing."

Reji Pillai

President - India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) &
Chairman - Global Smart Grid Federation

"In India, we have two-wheelers take the top position in terms of e-mobility. There is a need for a reliable public charging network, though home charging is picking up at good pace. The Electricity Act is currently being amended. I would like to recommend State governments to allow open access to green power for powering the charging points across the country."

Awadhesh Jha

VP – Charge & Drive and Sustainability
Fortum India

EV Adoption in India and Users' Perspective

In this session EV adoption from a user's perspective was the center of discussion. Apart from the driving factors of EV adoption, the panelists shed light on CO2 emission targets and TCO economics and also deliberated on the challenges in terms of energy, infrastructure and e-mobility and the strategy for achieving zero emission trucks and vans on the road.

"In shared mobility, there are host of players who have shown interest. We have reached 1,500 cars addition to our fleet and are in process of adding more for which tenders will be floated. The total cost of ownership of an EV is much less than an ICE vehicle. The State governments have also upped their ante with incentives in form of subsidies for the EVs. It is the right time to push for e-mobility in the country."

D.G. Salpekar

Head of Electric Vehicle Programme

"There has to be a uniformity across the State offering level-playing field between private and the State transport operator. The subsidies available for e-bus is missing. Equal amount of bank guarantee to the subsidy offered needs to be in place, which has been a major drawback and discourages private operators. Most of our cost is related to electricity tariff, manpower cost. etc. These are few points that are keeping the private operators away from adopting e-bus mobility."

Prasanna Patwardhan

Chairperson & MD - Prasanna Group of Companies
President - Bus and Car Operators Confederation of India (BOCI)

In this section of the week-long event, the focus was two-fold: R&D activities and the Energy Storage and Investment summit. The sessions included discussions on energy storage and investments both in India and globally. The peakers looked at how investments at the global scale can be synergized with the opportunities in India.

Indian R&D Ecosystem & Industry - Academic Partnership on Storage Technology Research

The speakers discussed battery research status in India, various government initiatives on battery research and the way forward.

"The R&D ecosystem in the country is strong as we have a funding for past 50 years. We have look into the TRL, IRL and system resilience level for the business scenario to flourish. We are taking the input of the industry and sharing it with scientist to carry further research on the same. The storage market is worth $119 million and India is growing at an excellent CAGR level."

Dr. Sandip Chatterjee

Director / Scientist F
Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology

"In India, the R&D is a blend of several autonomous research institutes across the country. CSIR-CECRI is the theme nodal for E2D theme. We have half-a-dozen labs working in different form of energy research
to ensure sustainability for energy sector. We have identified areas of concentrations and that have made impact. We have classified different technology spectrums and are working on it. It will help us to identify the R&D gap."

Dr. N. Kalaiselvi


Advancement of Battery Technologies and Recycling

The panelists in this session spoke on advancement of Li-ion, sodium-ion and other chemistries of batteries technologies and recycling, including solid state battery, metal air battery and high temperature battery.

"To meet the e-mobility ambitions, the need for mega factories for Li-ion batteries manufacturing is of utmost importance. We have set up a state-of-the-art Li-ion battery manufacturing plant in Chennai.
ARCI has developed unique kind of batteries. There is also a process in place to reduce the cost of such battery manufacturing."

Dr. R. Gopalan

Regional Director - International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and
New Materials (ARCI)

"The idea is to combine sodium batteries with energy storage systems for solar energy and wind energy projects. The target for the storage system is 100-2000 MWh for deployment in India. The cost of LiB is higher and limitations on resources. In the case of large-scale storage systems, to overcome the geo-political issue, sodium batteries are a viable option. We have also introduced a non-flammable electrolyte for sodium batteries."

Prof. Palani Balaya
National University of Singapore (NUS)

Technological Readiness of Hydrogen Storage for Stationary and EV Applications 

In this session, the panelists discussed research status on hydrogen storage including electrolyzer, hydrogen storage infrastructure and fuel cell for stationary storage.

"For solar energy to succeed in India, it has to be coupled with efficient energy storage systems. Having solar cells plus batteries or solar cells power conversion to hydrogen is the point of deliberation. Like many labs in India, we at IIT labs focus on developing electrocatalysts. A lot of research has been done in photo electrolysis over a while."

Prof. Raj Ganesh S

Pala - IIT Kanpur 

"Renewable energy represents a big potential in setting up an energy-efficient electricity generation and supply sector. We look into the potential hydrogen application in India. We are setting up funding programs for addressing the off-grid applications, which require a significant amount of R&D."

Dr. Julius von der Ohe (né Scholz)

Programme Manager of International Energy Concepts - National Organisation Hydrogen and

Fuel Cell Technology (NOW GmbH) 

Importance of R&D for Advanced BMS, Thermal Management, Datamining, AI to Address Safety and Better Performance

The panel discussed the significance of BMS, thermal management, multiscale modelling and AI and data mining research in e-mobility space.

"R&D confirms that the final product will work as intended but it includes challenges in form of cost and time to confirm performance and safety. These challenges can be met with a combination of dedicated modelling depending upon the product. UL has worked extensively and has collaborated with academicians on the modelling system."

Dr. Judy Jeevarajan

Research Director
Electrochemical Safety - Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

"When we talk about the battery management system, the most important part is safety. Maximizing its life is another aspect. Some aspects become integral to the battery management system for optimal results and safety. Multi-scale modelling helps in understanding system behavior. Analytics is one tool that requires data and it is extracted from the battery pack."

Dr. Kaushal

Sr. Project Advisor
C-BEEV - IIT Madras

Drivetrain and EV Components Related Research to Improve Performance of EV

"A high-performance battery is something that is integral to new-age e-2W along with utmost safety. R&D cannot be limited to the design aspect and it needs to encompass manufacturing as well. We actively designed the BMS for a crash scenario. We are actively looking at R&D in every aspect of electric two-wheelers."

Shreyas Seethapathy

Team Lead - Battery Engineering
Ather Energy

"Designing an electric driveline is a complex process. With increasing power density, the thermal management system is important for the successful deployment of an optimized and powerful drivetrain. Testing in a reliable environment, which in turn requires building testing capacities. In India, the kind of overall competence needs to be enhanced from the present conditions."

Dr. A K Jindal

Advisor E-Mobility, New products and Technology
TATA AutoComp System

This was the concluding section of the IESW. Sessions revolved around Global and India investments in energy storage and EV ecosystem, pathways of investments in early stage startups, and sector-wise trends. In the final session, 12 startups that were shortlisted for the Global Startup Outreach Program, presented their startup pitches to the jury board.

Early-Stage Investment in Startups

The panelists put forth their thoughts on investment in early stage startups, angel investment, the significance of incubation and accelerator. They also discussed investment by family offices and diversification by conglomerates.

"We believe that incubation and acceleration for such startups is increasingly important. What takes a startup forward in their journey is not always funding but also support with how they target the market segment, how do they figure out where the solution fits in, even softer skills are useful and I do not think that should be discounted from our discussion on building a startup ecosystem."

Sidharth Choudhary

AVP - AGNIi, Invest India

"We are investing across the gamut, because we still take the view that there is a whole universe of opportunities and new developments in energy storage and we are going to 'seed the field' to 'see the field'. We have to put a lot of companies on the starting line to find out what the end results would be and we should not presume anything (battery chemistries, or other things) as a lot of these things are yet to be determined."

Danny Kennedy

CEO, New Energy Nexus

M&A, JV, Investment in Growth Stage Companies in Energy Storage & E-Mobility 

The focus of this session was on sector trends and technologies subjected to large scale investments. Panelists discussed the latest JVs, strategic partnerships impacting the stationery storage and EV sector
and discussed merger and acquisitions.

"Energy storage is one of the booming sectors in India, it can be one of those sectors where the application of the product will become more valuable than the product itself.In the last few years, especially in the energy storage segment VCs have pumped up over $120 million of institutional money in the startups, primarily funding EV manufacturers doing in-house battery development."

Saransh Roy

Investment Specialist
Invest India

"We typically work with companies at seed to series 8 level, where they are grooming their products and services, innovation, getting access to market, early validation from customers or the end-business, and scaling their business from thereon."

Ishaan Khosla


Start-Up Pitch by 12 Shortlisted Startups 

This final session had 12 startup pitches presentations (shortlisted from over 40 applicants) and jury feedback on each, as a part of the Global Startup Outreach Program. The program was organized by IESA in association with UNIDO, for startups in e-mobility, clean energy, energy storage and clean transportation sectors. The program was supported by Invest India, Startup India, TiE Global, New Energy Nexus, MeitY start up hub and VJTI- TBI.

Minion Labs, NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats and Jeevtronics were the top three winners that emerged
from the Startup Competition. All the three winners were awarded with a complementary IESA membership for a year and access to mentorship from IESA Leadership Council. (To read more about the program and the winners see Page 110)

Author : IESA Admin
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