Wind-solar hybrid policy amended to include all storage technologies

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In a notification issued on August 14, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) explained that in its National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, storage was defined in terms of battery storage only.

“This restricted usage of other forms of storage such as pumped hydro, compressed air, flywheel, etc., under the Hybrid Policy. To broaden the definition of storage the word ‘battery’ is removed from relevant clauses (1.6 and 5.4),” MNRE stated in the circular.

Under the newly amended policy, storage may be added to the hybrid project to reduce variability of output power from a wind-solar hybrid plant; provide higher energy output for a given capacity (bid/sanctioned capacity) at the delivery point, by installing additional capacity of wind and solar power in a hybrid plant; and ensure availability of firm power over a particular period.

Bidding factors for wind-solar hybrid plants with storage may include minimum firm power output throughout the day, or for defined hours during the day, the extent of variability allowed in output power, and the unit price of electricity, the notification added.

On May 14, India announced its first National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, which provides a comprehensive framework to promote large grid-connected wind-solar PV hybrid systems for optional and efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land, thereby reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability.

A hybrid draft policy was first issued in June 2016, which had targeted 10 GW of hybrids by 2022. However, no target has been set in the final policy.

India has set an ambitious target of reaching 175 GW by 2022, which includes 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind power capacity. At the end of 2017-18, the total renewable power installed capacity in the country was almost 70 GW.

The global hybrid market could be US$1.47 billion by 2024, and the U.S. market alone is projected to grow from 2015’s $195 million, to more than $300 million by 2024, according to Global Market Insights.