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NEW DELHI : The Union Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh recently interacted with renewable energy developers, industry and various state government representatives on the draft policy on energy storage systems.

A power ministry statement on Thursday said that on January 25, the minister through a virtual meeting talked to the developers and on Thursday (January 27, 2022), he talked to the principal secretaries of renewable energy rich states -- Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

During the meetings, he asked the sector stakeholders to submit their suggestions on the draft policy on energy storage systems within the next 15 days.

The draft policy which is aimed at promoting the creation of storage systems on a large scale across the country. It seeks to create a technology-agnostic storage system across the value chain of the electricity sector including the generation, transmission, and distribution levels, said the statement.

In the meeting held on Tuesday (January 25, 2022 ) with representatives of the industry, R.K. Singh galvanised the industry representatives and called for their active participation in establishing storage systems and associated manufacturing industries domestically within the country.

During the meeting with the state representatives, the states highlighted the efforts being taken on their side to promote pumped storage projects and battery energy storage systems.

Singh stressed on the need to establish storage systems on a wide scale in the country. He informed that Energy Storage System (ESS) shall be an integral part of the power system under the Electricity Act and that setting up of standalone ESS may be made as a delicensed activity.

Energy Storage Systems will benefit generating companies, distribution companies of the states, grid operators, and other players in the electricity value chain. They will facilitate peak shifting, peak shaving, ramp up or ramp down, and frequency control in the system and enhance the utilisation of the transmission system. ESS is considered essential for a smooth energy transition from coal-based to renewable sources and to a cleaner environment.

Highlighting the elements of the proposed policy, the minister stated that storage will henceforth be a part of the Renewable Purchase Obligation.

He further said that the curtailment of renewable energy will be penalised under the provisions of the Act. As per the proposed policy, ESS developer shall be granted Inter-State Transmission System connectivity under General Network Access (GNA) allowing them to sell or purchase power from any part of the country. Quantum of ESS included with Round-The-Clock (RTC) Renewable Energy shall be counted as Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for storage.

Discoms or obligated entities can set up own storage or procure storage capacity or lease storage space from public or private ESS developers. Any sale of electricity from storage or sale of storage space may be through open competitive bidding or power exchange or a fixed through tariff fixed under Section 62 of the Electricity Act. The policy proposes that transmission cost for renewable energy shall be waived both at the time of charging the storage as well as at the time of selling the stored RE. The participants gave their suggestions.

India prepares for the energy transition from fossil fuel to non-fossil fuel-based energy systems and aims to achieve the reduction in GHG/CO2 emission by 1 billion tonne by 2030.  For this, the government plans to install a total of 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity. Energy storage systems are going to play a larger role in facilitating the large-scale integration of the renewable energy sources.

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