SOLAR + STORAGE: What Are The Key Emerging Business Trends In India?

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Mr. K.R. Harinarayan, Founder and CEO, U-Solar Clean Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd

Solar is definitely a great solution as there are innovative ways to transfer the energy from peak-hours to non-peak hours using this technology. The only disadvantage of solar is that it is a fluctuating source of energy, due to various deterrents. As batteries are becoming cheaper it plays a more holistic role with respect to energy security and power quality assurance when integrated with solar. The trend in solar + storage adoption is increasing as a result of technology advancement and steady decrease in battery costs. Additionally solar + storage solutions overcome the grid penetration issues in transmission corridors by creating distributed energy sources and by matching energy generation requirement.

The general trend in battery technologies is also changing as solar + storage solutions popularity increase. The transition from the Lead-Acid battery technology to Li-ion
batteries is taking form. Li-ion batteries are starting to come into the market in a modest scale and in a couple of years there will become more main-stream. It is expected that Li-ion batteries will slowly replace the use of Lead-Acid batteries as a result of is superior technology and longer lifetime, although they are more expensive. We also observed that under the present market conditions solar + storage solutions can be an effective substitute for the use of a diesel generator, in off-grid location.

U-Solar is implementing quite a few projects for such facilities, where they see the benefit is translated directly as they reduce their fuel costs. The implementation of these projects (solar + storage with diesel generators as back-up only) in offices, small factories and warehousing facilities has given us an insight into the operation of such power plants. The owners of these facilities note that this transition makes business sense as the technology is reliable, easy-to-use and cost-effective.

Mr. James V Abraham, Founder and Director, SolarArise

Today, solar power generation is limited to daytime, when the sun shines. And even during the day, the power is at the mercy of the season, cloud cover, pollution and a host of environmental factors. Batteries can change all that.

With batteries, small, unpredictable fluctuations can be smoothed out. Batteries can also ‘time-shift’ power, storing it during the day and delivering it at night, eliminating the need for conventional power plants. But batteries are still too expensive. The installation cost itself is high, efficiency is low, and they last half-as-long as a solar power plant.
All this is changing. Prices are dropping, efficiency is improving, and so is lifespan. At a total installed cost of US$150 per kWh, the industry could deliver tariffs that would rival most large installed conventional plants. That target is just a few years away.

Along with batteries, we also need new deep data analytics. It’s not enough to simply deploy batteries in a plant. Analytics will help determine when to store, when to dispatch, and when to let the batteries drain. Analytics will also show that some batteries are best at the plant, some in the grid, and some at the consumer site. This is an opportunity for new new technologies in data science and control systems.

There is much work to be done, but we finally stand at the brink of being able to shutdown every polluting coal plant.

Mr. Alnishan Shahul, CEO, Almiya Engineering Consultant Pvt Ltd

Solar, an immense form of energy, is nowadays a great market in a country like India ,which is the world’s third largest consumer of crude oil..Entry of Electric Vehicles make Energy storage Booming. Earlier off grid systems ,which allows customers to store a part of energy was declining due to worst ROI and battery Lifespan. Now a days Lithium Ion batteries with greater Life span are introduced ,Lithium iron phosphate batteries are now trending due to its larger life span in the coming days, more hybrid solar systems will emerge with maximum utilisation of solar power, with the storage cost being reduced .Standalone systems will be more efficient with the decrease in cost of solar storage devices.Less maintenance and large lifespan makes it more acceptable with middle class sector as well.

Lookout for new Tesla batteries (power wall), FIMER hybrid inverter with inbuilt battery, those can power domestic homes with ease plug and play protocol.

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