BESS will help reduce emissions through increased use of renewable energy
Published on : Monday 03-05-2021
Ashish Gaikwad, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India Limited.
The future of electricity is said to be decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised. Is this a perfect fit for battery energy storage system (BESS)?
Under the Paris Climate Agreement, India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) include reduction in carbon intensity by up to 35% (from 2005 level) by 2030. India also hopes to get around 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources within the same time frame.
In the last five years, installed capacity for renewable energy increased 226%, and renewable energy now accounts for a little over 23% of the total installed generation capacity in the country.
India has set an ambitious target of 175GW installed Renewable Power by 2022. With continued growth of renewable energy, battery energy storage technology is seen as a way to expedite the transition to a future where renewable energy plays a central role in the push for decarbonisation and decentralisation.
Key growth drivers of BESS include:
1. Critical in storing excess power generated from renewable energy as more power is injected through such sources into the grid, ensuring stability
2. In the past, power moved in one direction from utilities to consumers. The present and future will involve power flowing in both directions – to and from the utilities. Battery Energy Storage Systems will be critical in alleviating grid congestion and increasing grid stability through voltage and frequency regulation.
3. Demand Side Management – Enable utilities to meet high demand periods through energy stored rather than procure at higher rates
4. With increased corporate mandates and announcement from companies to become net zero carbon companies, BESS will help reduce emissions through increased use of renewable energy sources and reducing reliance on grid connections.
Battery Energy Storage Systems will help reduce the carbon footprint, optimise energy costs, and manage grid stability.
Battery storage may offer the best solution for problems related to the grid. So what are the barriers in adoption?
In India, large-scale BESS projects began in 2017 when Power Grid installed the first pilot for frequency regulation. The importance of BESS in enabling grid security, especially given the increased generation of renewable energy, has been highlighted in the National Electricity Plan (NEP).
Per India Energy Storage Alliance estimates, the cumulative potential for energy storage in grid side and behind the meter applications is expected to be around 190 GWh in 2019-2025. Of this, energy storage in grid side is expected to comprise only 17%, largely driven by renewable energy integration.
BESS is still at a nascent stage in India – lack of financial incentives, experience and upfront capital costs are barriers to adoption today. However, clearer financial incentives supported by regulatory policies and benefits of BESS will hopefully drive stronger adoption in the years to come.
Balancing, highly manoeuvrable capacities, and energy storage are essential for the stable operation of any country’s energy system. The advancement of BESS technology offers the promise to meet these crucial requirements in nations around the world, including India.
There are several fundamental contributing factors setting the stage for adoption of energy storage in different geographical regions. Each country’s energy storage potential is based on the combination of energy resources, historical physical infrastructure and electricity market structure, regulatory framework, population demographics, energy-demand patterns and trends, and general grid architecture and condition. The efficiency and/or level of quality of performance of these fundamental factors creates demand for new products and services, and energy storage is increasingly being sought to meet these emerging requirements.
What types of batteries are used in this area, and are they environmentally friendly in terms of recycling?
Lithium Ion (Li-ion) systems are popular in battery storage applications due to the expected versatility of applications and the flexibility of their performance (supplying both energy and power). Multiple configurations of battery chemistries are available for li-ion batteries, making them attractive to electricity providers, especially for applications that require output duration of four hours or less. Lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries are the most widely utilised li-ion chemistry for stationary applications. NMC chemistries demonstrate balanced performance characteristics in terms of energy, power, cost, and cycle life. However, lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries have become increasingly prevalent. The move towards LFP technology is largely due to its safety properties. Li-ion power batteries are increasingly reused in stationary energy storage systems, and eventually recycled to recover all the valued components.
As for the application areas in the Indian context, are they mainly in the bulk storage area or ancillary services?
Battery storage application areas in the Indian market are found in bulk storage and ancillary services. As the mix of renewables increases in the overall energy mix, we expect ancillary services to become a major need to support the power system or grid operation in maintaining power quality, reliability and security of the grid. These services may include scheduling and dispatch, frequency regulation, voltage control, generation reserves, etc.
What is the USP of the Honeywell BESS model vis-à-vis solutions from other vendors?
Honeywell has been a global leader in the development and deployment of advanced battery energy storage systems (BESS) and offers full, turnkey BESS solutions, including control systems to manage redundancy and provide asset control. To date, Honeywell and its partners have delivered over 1 GWh of BESS solutions worldwide.
Honeywell’s end-to-end approach is an effective alternative to standalone point solutions for monetisation of battery assets. It includes the full hardware and software technology offering and outcome guarantees that are needed to significantly reduce charges from transmission and distribution (T&D) service providers.
Honeywell has pioneered advances in remote operations, energy management and energy storage that enable fleet management to generate increased productivity and revenue.
Concerns have been expressed recently about hostile entities attacking power utilities. How secure are these interventions against such attacks?
Cybersecurity is a major concern area for power utilities due to the role they play as operators of critical infrastructure systems and providers of essential services. Specific concerns are related to the rising interconnected nature of infrastructure and systems, and the growing number of attacks targeting utility operations.
There are several industry best practices that will improve energy storage cybersecurity. Principal among them is defense-in-depth approaches, whereby multiple security features are layered in the asset or network. Maintaining a robust cybersecurity program is critical to defending BESS assets and networks from evolving threats.
However, power companies must move beyond reactive measures and take a forward-looking approach that integrates the security function into critical decisions about corporate expansion and the accompanying increase in infrastructure and geographic complexity. In parallel, leaders must develop security-minded plans to address “known unknowns” as attackers continue to find and utilize new attack vectors.
These are the early days for BESS in India. How do you see the market growing?
Fortune Business Insights has forecast that the global battery energy storage market will exhibit a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.4% between now and 2027. Improving access to electricity across the globe will be a prominent trend shaping the growth trajectory of this market.
According to a BloombergNEF report, India’s electricity distribution companies are pushing newer types of tenders that match their demand profiles more closely and shift the responsibility of balancing intermittent renewables to independent power producers. At this point, battery energy storage systems help utilities with grid balancing activities to increase the lifetime of the grid infrastructure.