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Batteries, the mundane old economy product, have evolved over the last decade, as one of the key drivers of the current technology world.  The term Electrical Energy Storage and its acronym EES has come to mean batteries and is as much a part of the current technology lexicon as are AI, ML, IOT and BOT. How do you view this evolution and the role of EES in the emerging world?

Basically, there are many energy storage technologies like Thermal, Electrical, Mechanical, Electro-chemical, Chemical etc.  The most common nomenclature which is evolving and has become synonym is Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) which some call Electrical Energy Storage system also. The BESS system stores electrical energy in form of chemical energy and as on when it is required to charge discharge it changes its form to electrical energy. In past couple of years, we have seen evolution of multiple energy storage technologies like Lithium, Flow, Ad Lead etc. A few technologies has taken a leap from RnD to commercial Installation especially Lithium batteries. We have seen 70-80 % cost reduction in Lithium battery prices in last couple of years which has opened up many market segments.

The focus of world towards clean and green energy will drive the market for EV & Stationary energy storage system. We have seen one wave of market evolution of renewable energy (Solar & Wind) and next awaited is of BESS as this mitigates basic problems of Automotive & Renewable industry

 

How does the EES requirement for grid management and for EVs differ and how are they met?

The most important difference is that ESS is generally stationary in nature while EV is all together mobile in nature. ESS requires longer life in terms of year and Energy Capacity while EV requires more power. The C rating, DOD, Cycle life, BMS and the cell architecture all are different 

 

Huge Lithium-ion battery manufacturing plants are being set up in many countries. What are the competing technologies on the horizon that can pose serious challenge in the near future? 

The Niti Aayog is supposed to bring tenders for more than 50 GWh of manufacturing base establishment of Lithium battery in India. In near future India is going to be one of the largest markets for battery both for Automotive and ESS segment. Indian government has already announced certain incentives for EV segment while for ESS segment we are expecting some policy changes in near future.

In Lithium there are technologies like NMC, LFP , LTO etc which  are commonly used across industries .Beyond Lithium there are many other technologies like Flow, Supercapacitors , Pumped Hydro , NaS etc which are gradually evolving and as we see decrease in prices for these technologies a huge market is expected to evolve.

 

How is the storage market evolving in India and the world and what are your company’s strategy to serve the market in near and long term?

The storage market is still at its nascent stage and there are only a few handful of government funded tender live in the market. As the prices of complete system is decreasing so is the market evolving at greater pace but certain policy changes and government focus is definitely required to nourish and make the market sustainable.

Raychem RPG is basically a system integrator with core focus of PCS & Control manufacturing. We have presence across the market segments with wide range of product availability.  As the market matures enough we will stick to our core business i.e. manufacturing of PCS & Controls

 

How would the Government of India’s Make in India initiative and the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Energy Storage support enterprises, large and small, to create the infrastructure of the size required to meet the emerging requirement?

Government of India is providing lot of incentives under Make in India initiative and the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Energy Storage, programme and also mitigating long term risks associated with capital investment for creation of such a large Infrastructure.

 

We missed making our country a semiconductor and PV manufacturing hub, though we were among the earliest nations to start the right initiatives. How is the EES industry working together to prevent history from repeating itself? 

We definitely missed the opportunity of Make in India for semiconductor and PV manufacturing but I guess, government has learned from their mistakes and taking necessary basic steps related to battery manufacturing in India. Niti Aayog has already announced GWh scale manufacturing facility and incentive linked to it. On the market side government is very conservative in providing tax incentives on imported items similar to solar PV industry which is prohibiting foreign companies to dump their products at cheaper rate.

 

What are some the developments in the EES segment that excites you and why?

I guess the most exciting part of this market is its dynamic nature. One needs to be on the toes to have a complete grip on the evolving technologies and at the same time upgrade themselves as per market need. The best part of ESS is that it is a one stop solution for all your power quality issues across different market segment. Only the look and size changes w.r.t BESS but the concept of the technology remains same.

 

Ashish Kumar is head of Energy Storage business at Raychem RPG. Prior to this, Ashish was with Corporate strategy & Business development team for the organization, where he incubated many new businesses and business models. He started his career at NTPC limited and has worked with customers across different business domains related to power & energy vertical especially for clean & green Energy. Ashish is a Mechanical Engineer from NIT-Patna and PGP from IIM-Ahmedabad.

Mr. Ashish Kumar is a member of The Smarter E India 2019 Conference Advisory Committee will speak in The Smarter E India Conference in the session "Energy Storage: Linking Solar to Smart Grid and EV" scheduled on 28th November.