Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy R. K. Singh on July 21 said that in order to achieve the net-zero carbon emission target, storing the renewable energy is necessary so that it becomes available round-the-clock.
Chairing the inaugural function of G20 14th Clean Energy Ministerial meeting and 8th Mission Innovation meeting in Goa, Mr. Singh also said that the governments will have to work on building storage capacities of renewable energy.
Minister Singh said, “If you want to get to net zero (carbon emission), then you will have to store the renewable energy so that it is available round-the-clock and that is a problem. The cost of storage is huge. The G20 Ministerial meeting will discuss the problems that lie on the path of climate action, energy transition and the strategies to achieve it.”
"We kept talking about how important energy transition is and how important climate change is. But if we were actually serious, we would have more capacity of batteries. We have only one country doing it," he said, without naming the country.
Mr. Singh said that another challenge is that the reserves of lithium are limited and the bulk of the reserves are tied up by just one or two countries. "That is a major problem which we need to solve," he said.
"We also need to address the question of chemistry - why only lithium and why not sodium-ion (in manufacturing batteries). I would request - let's get together and crack this challenge of storage," the Minister said.
Talking about India's initiatives in this area, Mr. Singh said that the country plans to use green hydrogen and green ammonia as storage.
"We are huge on pumped storage. We have 33,000 MW of pumped storage under different approvals. We have established 1,500 MW of pumped storage," he said.
The Minister said that the G20 countries also need to address supply chain issues which were exaggerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war. “India’s energy demand grew by 9.5% last year as the economy grew by 7.5%,” he said.
"The challenge is to add more capacity to the energy generation...We have added 1,82,000 circuit kilometres of transmission lines so that we can generate solar installations in Rajasthan and consume it anywhere. We have one grid-one market," he pointed out. The Minister also cautioned about the use of low-carbon hydrogen.
"The problem with this one kilogram of hydrogen from natural gas will get you about 10 kilogram of carbon dioxide. How do we guarantee that it won't leak out - that is a problem," he said.