IESA Knowledge Series webinar on Pumped Hydro Storage – Opportunities, Challenges and Outlook for India

Gravity is a powerful, inescapable force that surrounds us at all times – and it also underpins one of the most established energy storage technologies, pumped hydropower. Currently, the most common and largely installed type of energy storage is pumped-hydro storage facilities. The method stores energy in the form of the gravitational potential energy of water, pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. The major application segment for pumped hydro storage is for the electric power systems for load balancing. Low-cost surplus off-peak electric power is typically used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power.

Pumped hydropower storage has the lowest cost/kWh, and is reliable and capable of supplying continuous power. The technology has a lifespan of 40 to 60 years, while its efficiency ranges from 60% to 80%. Some facts state Pumped-storage hydropower energy efficiency of more than 80 percent through a full cycle, and pumped hydro storage facilities can typically provide 10 hours of electricity, compared to about 6 hours for lithium-ion batteries. The segment needs to overcome various challenges to accelerate development, including the unavailability of low-cost finance, stressed assets, geological surprises, contractual disputes, pubic resistance, delays in environmental clearances, and limited off-takers. Further, the segment saw disruptions due to COVID as schedules of under-construction projects were impacted due to labour and material supply constraints.

Some 2.6 GW of pumped hydro storage are already operational with another 3.1 GW under construction, albeit much delayed in India. Proposals for another 8.9 GW are on the drawing board. However, given the enormous social costs and absence of a strong price and policy signal for producers and consumers, progress has been stalled for many years. Further, with seasonal water flows and mountainous, remote locations, hydro-electricity requires very patient capital, and engineering technology is certainly challenged. India’s enormous plans for new low-cost, deflationary, domestic renewable energy also comes with an associated, critical need to accelerate storage deployment.

India recently amended its ‘hybrid wind-solar with storage’ policy to clarify that any form of storage – not just batteries – could be used in hybrid projects, including pumped hydro storage, compressed air and flywheels. Then, in March 2019 India’s Ministry of Power proposed electricity rule changes to incentivise electricity supply at times of peak demand, a key pricing signal needed to underpin financial bankability of storage projects. Both government initiatives look very promising. As many pumped hydro projects at partial construction stage or non –operational, but a few projects such as Kadamparai, Tamil Nadu, Bhira, Ghatgar, Poithan, Maharashtra, Purulia, West Bengal, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh are operation and functioning with the electricity system. Pumped hydropower storage currently accounts for over 94% of installed global energy storage capacity, and over 96% of the energy stored in grid-scale applications, according to a report by the International Hydropower Association (IHA). Coupled with solar, this technology could supply greater capacities of green power to the world.

Who should attend: Central Public Units - Technology providers, Private Power Producers – Consultants, Regulatory Boards - State Electricity Board, Civil Work Contractors - State/Central Government Agencies, Interstate Hydro Projects - Equipment Manufacturers, Cross Border Hydro Projects - Legal Firms, Financial Institutions, etc.

Intended learning outcome: This webinar will analyze and discuss the key issues, challenges, opportunities, and outlook for India's pumped hydro storage segment. Global experts will share key learning and international case studies in the webinar.

Registration link for IESA members, email at [email protected]

Thu, Feb 18 2021 03:00 PM - 5:00 pm

₹ 3500