Originally published on Planetsave.
India is planning to initiate work on several fronts to maximize the use of renewable energy at the least cost possible.
Officials of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) recently told media outlets that the central government is planning to set up 10 GW of pumped storage capacity across the country. The entire plan is expected to require a total investment of Rs 80,000 crore (US$12 billion).
The officials explained that solar power will be combined with hydro power pumped storage to maximize the use of renewable energy and keep the carbon footprint of power generation minimal.
Solar power projects will be set up near water reservoirs. During daytime, a part of the solar power generated will be used to pump the water up the hill, while during the night the water will be released downhill to generate hydro power in the conventional manner.
This process will also negate the requirement to store solar energy in batteries. The officials stated that using lithium-ion batteries to store solar energy would increase the tariff of electricity by around Rs 10/kWh (US¢15/kWh), whereas a pumped storage system would result in a tariff increase of just Rs 0.30-0.40/kWh (US¢0.45-0.60/kWh). Thus, the main aim, of stabilizing the grid while increasing the use of renewable energy, will be achieved at a very low cost.
The total potential of setting up pumped storage capacity in India is estimated to be around 90 GW. The CEA is believed to have identified sites to set up 10 GW of pumped storage capacity.
India is experimenting with a number of ways to integrate renewable energy projects into its power grid. The Solar Energy Corporation of India recently announced plans to hold its first auctions for storage-enabled solar power projects. The government is also working to set up dedicated transmission lines for renewable energy projects.
Reprinted with permission.
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