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Storage key to renewable energy growth, says IREDA chief

According to reports, the drivers of renewable energy are storage and dispatch, said Debashish Majumdar, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA).

He was addressing the media at ‘Renewable Energy Conference – Policy, Regulation, Technology and Finance,’ organised by the European Business and Technology Centre and Council of EU Chamber of Commerce in India here on Tuesday.

As of now no grid manager wanted renewable energy due to issues of dispatch. The solution lies in storage as it would help streamline supply according to gird requirements. The storage can be in the form of heat or in case of solar through thermal storage, he said.

Majumdar said smart grids, storage and forecasting were crucial to further accelerate renewable energy growth. Research had proved that it was possible to forecast wind with an accuracy of up to half-an-hour, he said.

There was potential for generation at point of use as also in off-grid locations. Here, technology would have to play a major role as like telecom where prepaid cards helped in expanding the networks to rural areas.

On parity of solar tariff with conventional energy sources, he said it was possible not because of the declining cost of solar panels but also due to the rising cost of conventional energy over the last 24 months.

On financing for renewable energy sector, he said availability was not an issue but the poor health of the public utilities, which should take up the power, was of concern.

The Ministry of Renewable Energy also funded projects based on new technology which could translate to higher efficiency. One such project had been tried out at a sugar mill near Pune, where German technology helped molasses generate gas to run the boiler.

Plans were on to replicate this at other sugar mills. Similarly, talks were on with Spain for electricity storage through thermal and molten salt.

On States coming up with renewable energy policies, he said by and large they were in sync with the Central norms.

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