New PLI Program Essential for Augmenting Grid-Scale Energy Storage: Power Minister

India is forecasted to develop 100 GW of battery storage capacity, with 50 GW available for export


Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh, proposed implementing a production-linked incentive (PLI) initiative for grid-scale storage to bolster capacity and encourage ongoing investments.

Grid-scale energy storage systems play a crucial role in ensuring the round-the-clock supply of renewable energy to meet the increasing energy requirements.

With only public sector undertakings like NTPC and Solar Corporation of India (SECI) issuing tenders for grid-scale battery storage projects so far, the PLI program would encourage more private entities to participate in developing such projects on a large scale.

The minister, while addressing The Economic Times’ Energy Leadership Summit & Awards event in New Delhi, highlighted the potential for diversification of supply chains using technologies like sodium-ion batteries, predicting that approximately 100 GW of battery storage capacity will be developed in the coming years, with around 50 GW available for export.

With increasing renewables capacity added to the grid, India is working towards ensuring more energy storage projects are installed to manage the grid load and supply RTC power.

The government also released energy storage obligations as a part of renewable power purchase obligations for all distribution entities in this direction until the financial year 2029-30.

According to the Central Electricity Authority, India’s estimated installed base capacity of energy storage by 2029-30 will likely grow to 27 GW of battery storage (four hours) and 10 GW (six to eight hours) of the pump storage system.

The government has recognized the obstacle presented by the steep expenses associated with storing renewable energy and has a strategy in place to promote pumped hydropower projects as a viable solution, Singh added.

The minister stressed the growing significance of extensive pumped hydro projects and the necessity for grid-scale batteries to facilitate the continuous supply of renewable energy.

Last month, the government introduced several initiatives to expedite the commissioning of pumped storage projects in the country.

While expressing the need for uninterrupted power in light of the rising energy demand, Singh said the country would not shy away from adding thermal capacity to meet the energy requirements.

Renewables Capacity

Singh provided an overview of India’s achievements in power generation capacity, stating that since 2014, the country has added over 184 GW, resulting in a total installed capacity of 417 GW. Peak demand has reached 221 GW, but India currently possesses sufficient established capacity to meet it.

India has set ambitious targets for renewable energy, with 42% of the country’s energy capacity currently derived from non-fossil fuels.

While India is committed to achieving 50% non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030, Singh expressed confidence in surpassing this target by reaching 65% non-fossil fuel capacity within the same timeframe and suggested that India would add 50 GW of renewable capacity annually.

Anticipating a conservative growth rate, the minister envisions India’s total energy capacity crossing 800 GW by 2030.


The minister emphasized the extensive transmission infrastructure development, claiming the addition of over 180,000 circuit kilometers of transmission lines since 2013, connecting the entire country to a single grid operating at one frequency.

The establishment of the One National Control Center accompanies this achievement. Furthermore, inter-regional capacity has increased by 74,300 MW over the past eight years.

Singh highlighted the government’s substantial investment of over ₹2.2 trillion (~$30 billion) in strengthening the distribution system through programs such as Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, Integrated Power Development Program, and ‘Saubhagya.’

The initiatives have resulted in the addition of 2,900 new substations, upgrading of 3,900 substations, and the expansion or replacement of 873,000 circuit kilometers of high-tension and low-tension lines, ensuring a robust distribution system.

Last month, the Ministry of Power issued guidelines for the tariff-based competitive bidding process for procuring firm and dispatchable power from grid-connected renewable energy projects with energy storage systems.

The guidelines aim to provide reliable and predictable renewable power to distribution companies while addressing the challenges posed by the intermittent nature of renewable energy.