India’s energy storage industry feels the government’s move to reduce GST on lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries from 28% to 18% will benefit electric vehicles and the renewables sector. The government has also cut GST on the raw materials for battery manufacturing, to jump-start domestic industry.
Dr Rashi Gupta, Director at Vision Mechatronics discusses the EV landscape in India, particularly focusing on the potential for battery manufacturing. While there are currently many challenges, like a lack of raw materials and infrastructure, the opportunities are immense.
If implemented, the huge tendering exercise would dwarf anything that has gone before it. Minister explains bidding will also include solar manufacturing and storage elements.
Underlining India’s commitment to becoming the global renewable energy leader, Shri Anand Kumar, secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said the country plans 500 GW of capacity by 2030. He also underlined plans to become a solar and storage manufacturing hub; and said the International Solar Alliance needs to widen its membership.
Waaree Energies has set up a 1 GW solar PV panel plant in Vapi, which is in addition to its existing 500 MW plant in Surat, Gujarat. The company intends to further increase capacity to 2 GW. Among other key developments, it has partnered with third-party equipment suppliers to manufacture batteries
India’s PV sector is expanding at a serious pace, creating jobs and further securing energy supply for many businesses. Yet, sourcing battery cell technology at the current rate resulted in annual foreign exchange of Rs. 1012 crore creating deficits, that hopefully can be averted in the future.
The EV manufacturer will develop a complete system encompassing electric vehicles (EVs), smart parking, charging infrastructure and software integration platform NEMO for the experimental township of Auroville in Tamil Nadu. Mahindra has also unveiled an energy storage solution for EVs and will help harness renewable power.
To smoothen this transition, the country needs to build fast solar PV-powered charging stations. In 2017, there were only 220-250 operational charging stations in India, compared to 56,000 petrol stations.
Uncertainty in the renewable energy sector continues to drive a “relentless focus on cost” to soften the impact of protectionism, subsidy cuts and rising interest rates throughout the world, EY says in its latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) report. But the evolving outlook for project finance, as well as the gradual maturation of technologies such as blockchain, present new challenges and opportunities.
Scientists from the University of Wollongong in Australia have developed battery cells based on sodium-ion technology which the university says can achieve excellent cycling stability and easily be scaled up to mass production.
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