India not doing enough to capture energy storage opportunity: Bridge to India

energy storage

India has barely woken up to the potential of electric vehicles or energy storage

China is dominating the energy storage industry which has been so far led by Japanese and Korean manufacturers such as Panasonic, Samsung SDI and LG Chem said Bridge to India in a report. The country is using every trick like government subsidies, domestic quotas, restriction on foreign players and cornering raw material supplies to dominate, it is also is spending billions of dollars subsidizing local companies to push them at the forefront of storage and electric mobility technologies. According to the report if India does not move quickly and decisively it may miss the bus on domestic manufacturing for a very vital technology of future.

Bridge to India states that China is spurring a huge domestic supply ecosystem for lithium-ion based batteries through demand creation and incentives. By 2020, the country is expected to have over 60% of the global lithium ion battery production.

Energy storage is the next frontier in evolution of energy markets after renewable energy. It is expected to play a catalytic role in growth of both renewable energy and electric vehicles. China is undertaking not only the world’s largest deployment of renewable energy capacity, but is also planning to be a leader in electric mobility with a target of 5 m electric vehicles by 2020. China is using its large domestic demand and extensive subsidies to create fully integrated domestic manufacturing giants.

Tesla and Panasonic’s gigafactory in the US has been drawing a lot of global attention for its massive scale. Their plan is to manufacture 35 GWh of cells and 50 GWh of battery packs annually by 2020. However, a relatively unknown Chinese company, Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL), is already manufacturing 7.6 GWh of cells per year and plans to ramp that up to 50 GWh by 2020. Alongside BYD, another local player that is expected to become the world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer by 2020, the company is close to taking over Panasonic as the world’s largest electric vehicle battery manufacturer. By that time, it is estimated that China will have over 60% of the global lithium ion battery mass production.

Bridge to India states that as compare to China, India has barely woken up to the potential of electric vehicles or energy storage. Domestic battery manufacturing capacity is almost non-existent.  According to a report Indian government is expected to brainstorm on the country’s policy for electric vehicles. Government of India wants an ambitious 6 m electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission. Reportedly NTPC is also planning to create a battery charging ecosystem across the country to promote adoption of electric vehicles. However, in the absence of any clear, long-term policy, such plans will remain as mirage.

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