Hollande and Modi at COP21 in France last year. Image: Narendra Modi official flickr.
A joint statement on economic and social cooperation between the governments of India and France has “noted the important role of energy storage to promote renewable energies”.
French president Francois Hollande is currently in India for a three-day visit, which includes the occasion of India’s Republic Day on Tuesday. India and France issued a joint statement today, highlighting the recent fostering of close links between the two countries and “close interactions” between Modi and Hollande at G20 in 2014 and the recent multilateral climate talks.
The statement was published today by The Hindu newspaper. It covered areas as diverse as defence, security, education, space exploration and sustainability, included the announcement of a €300 million (US$324 million) pledge by France’s development agency, AFD, to the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The ISA is a grouping of over 120 countries which agreed at the COP21 talks to work together on promoting solar energy.
Also in the statement was a section on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Over the weekend French and Indian companies and organisations signed 16 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). The French CEA (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) signed two MoUs for renewable energy initiatives involving energy storage.
One is with Mumbai-headquartered Green Ventures, which works in areas including hydropower and solar, to develop solar PV installations in rural areas in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
The other is with Crompton Greaves, a power transmission and distribution equipment and services subsidiary of Indian global energy management and application company Avantha Group, to develop solar PV installations with energy storage for India’s airports.
‘Important role of energy storage to promote renewable energies’
The India-France joint statement this morning said the two deals had been welcomed by Modi and Hollande, “noting the important role of energy storage to promote renewable energies”.
The energy storage sector in India appears primed to play a significant role in Modi’s energy, environment and infrastructure plans that call for 175GW of new power generation by 2020. In October 2014, Rahul Walawalkar, head of the Indian Energy Storage Alliance, told Energy Storage News that the energy storage industry had been encouraged by Modi’s early enthusiasm with international inverter maker Bonfiglioli and Indian solar company ACME both telling the site that they saw great potential in the market. Walawalkar wrote in a November 2014 blog for the site that India was looking forward to a "decade of energy infrastructure transformation", in which storage would play an important role.
IESA’s Walawalkar recently also blogged for Energy Storage News in the wake of severe flooding in Chennai that micro grids with solar and storage could add much-needed resiliency to backup power and critical infrastructure operations, a market segment that international companies including developer SunEdison and flow battery maker Imergy have already started working in.
Solar and storage could be part of a "decade of energy infrastructure transformation" for India. Image: Tata Power.