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MNRE secretary invites storage industry to set up battery manufacturing in India

MNRE secretary Anand Kumar opens the REI Expo in Delhi. Credit: Tom Kenning

The secretary of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Anand Kumar has stressed the importance of energy storage to the overall renewables sector and invited industry to come and set up battery manufacturing in India.

Speaking at the REI Expo in Delhi, India’s largest renewable energy focused event, Kumar said: “We cannot succeed unless storage is here.”

“From 2010 to 2017 we have seen a sharp decline in the prices of storage batteries and by 2019/22 I hope and pray that the storage becomes affordable by the renewable energy sector.”

Kumar noted pumped hydro, thermal storage and Lithium-Ion technologies in his speech before adding: “We cannot delay as a nation to focus on storage and I encourage my friends here today to set up the bases for manufacturing of batteries in India. […] Once we overcome this obstacle of storage then we will see the real solution. Everybody will have a solar panel on the top, store the energy and use it in the night so its 24 hours - a 24 hour promise of free energy.”

At the same time, Kumar announced that the second edition of the RE-INVEST event, which brings high ranking government officials, industry leaders and investors together would take place this December along with a formal ratification of the International Solar Alliance. He also stressed the need for R&D in India to keep renewables’ prices down and efficiencies up. 

Also this week in India, the Indian Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) will be celebrating World Energy Storage Day on 22/23 September, including a presentation at an event organised by International Solar Alliance in Kolkata on the 22nd, and the IESA India Energy Storage Policy Summit in Delhi on the 23rd, which Energy-Storage.News will be reporting from. 

Rahul Walawalkar, executive director of IESA and president and managing director of Customized Energy Solutions (India) received the Renewable Energy India (REI) award in the category of Leading Crusader for Energy Storage Solutions at the ongoing REI Expo this week. Rahul is sixth and youngest individual to receive Jury’s Award.

At least two global technology leaders could set up Gigafactories to manufacture lithium-ion cells in India in the next couple of years, according to Walawalkar.