A recent analysis released today suggests that the cost per unit of green energy may be even lower than thermal power, or electricity made from coal if energy storage in renewable energy is improved.
This report states that if a hypothetical hybrid (solar + wind and lithium-ion battery storage) energy generation system is to be built, then in the coming ten years the price per unit of electricity is expected to fall by about 31 percent as compared to coal power.
Currently, in the year 2021, where the price of electricity from this hybrid system is Rs 4.97 kWh, it will come down to Rs 3.4 kWh by 2030. If compared, the cost of electricity produced from coal power plants in Tamil Nadu currently falls between Rs 4.5 to Rs 6 kWh.
The price from this 1 GHz hybrid system is when only 2 hours of battery storage is considered in 2021. This backup will be done in 4 hours by 2030 in a phased manner and there will be a significant saving.
This research further states that with the help of lithium-based battery storage, due to lack of storage, the situation reducing production to the expected level can also be avoided. This condition is called curtailment. In Tamil Nadu, during the lock-down, nearly fifty percent of solar power plants had to be curtailed. Similarly, in the year 2019, wind power generation also had to be curtailed. Where 1.87 hours of curtailment was taking place throughout the day in 2018, it increased to 3.52 hours per day in the next year, 2019.
This analysis is accomplished through a joint effort by Climate Trends and JMK Research.
In response, JMK Research founder Jyoti Gulia said, “Our analysis found that the cost of electricity in this hybrid renewable energy system is almost equal to the power generated from new coal plants, but with better battery storage in the coming times These prices will be reduced by 31 percent. “
The analysis, released by Climate Trends and JMK Research and Analytics, based the initial capacity of 800MW solar and 200MW wind in this hybrid system with 500MWh of storage. Accordingly, this system will meet Tamil Nadu’s 2-hour annual electricity demand by 2023.
Further, its storage capacity is augmented for three hours of daily backup for 2024–2026, and then 4 hours per day for 2027–2030. In the final year this hybrid system will cater to 29% of the total energy demand of Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 3.4 kWh.
It is to be noted here that Tamil Nadu has 5 new thermal power projects in the next 3 years.
Of these, the Cheyyur ultra mega coal power plant at the rate of Rs 5 – 6 / kWh per unit is the largest of these and will prove to be 32 percent to 43 percent more expensive than the production prices of this hybrid model.
In her response, Aarti Khosla, the director of Climate Trends, says, “Tamil Nadu is at the forefront of the country in terms of installed renewable energy capacity, but at the same time, there are many big coal projects coming up. At a time when this analysis is clear that better battery storage will prove renewable energy and cheaper, then policy makers should think whether they should really give preference to coal power. ”
If the electricity produced by this hybrid system is sent to Delhi, the capital of the country, then even after paying all the charges, it will complete 100% of Delhi’s annual power demand in 2030 and that too at the cost of Rs 4.4 / kWh.