India’s plan for renewable energy storage

India has readied a plan for creating energy systems that could store upto 10,000 MW of intermittently generated renewable power at a fraction of the cost the West will bear. The project project showcases the frugal innovation an our ability to work around issues in a different way – India’s plan for renewable energy storage with solar power and hydel pump, could lead the way in addressing rural India’s power requirements.

The project entails setting up hydel pump storage systems in several states over next 5-6 years. A pumped solar facility has few components and is designed to work as follows:

  1. It consists of 2 large water tanks at 2 levels, one at the base of the hill and the other at the top.
  2. During the day, solar power is generated a portion of the solar power is used to pump the water from from the lower tank to the higher tank.
  3. At night when the solar power isn’t available, the water from the higher tank is released to generate power from a turbine generator.

Such storage systems are capable of storing a 1000 MW or more of power, for any duration at a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion batteries