Infrastructure has always been in the centrestage of the government’s planning as it could potentially play a pivotal role to steer India’s economy towards the $5 trillion notch. The upcoming Budget 2023-24, billed to be the magnum opus of Modi-led ruling dispensation at the Centre in the face of Lok Sabha elections 2024, may provide a conducive template for financial reforms that could buttress multiple sectors including infrastructure and energy.
Pinning hopes on Finance Minister
The Budget 2023-24, to be presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, may unveil some key proposals for the power transmission sector to promote clean and green energy storage. Storage of energy plays a key role to balance out the variability in renewable energy. Keeping in view the significance of green power transmission and storage of clean energy, the budget proposals may put spotlight on a 900-km Ladakh to Haryan transmission line costing to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore.
Leh to Haryana green energy corridor
Underlining the importance of the green energy corridor connecting Pang (Leh) to Kaithal (Haryana), the Power Ministry has already cleared the proposal of power transmission link for evacuating renewable energy from Ladakh. The National Committee on Transmission had cleared this proposal last year (January, 2022).
Energy storage system
The estimated cost of the power transmission project is around Rs 27,000 crore, reported IE. It could evacuate power from solar energy (9,000 mega-watt) and wind plants (4,000 mega-watt), along with 12 giga-watt-hour (GWh) battery energy storage system capacities at the renewable energy parks on this green corridor. The transmission link from Pang to Kaithal is expected to be completed in five years, which is under the regulation of regulated tariff mechanism (RTM). RTM is a cost-plus model where the state-run Power Grid Corporation of India supervises the execution of the project. Power Minister RK Singh reviewed the execution of renewable energy projects and its evacuation plan in Ladakh.
Reform in power transmission sector
The push to green energy and its storage could bring reform to the power transmission sector. The power grids of the country have to majorly rely on renewable energy. The big challenge the power sector confronting is that electricity can be generated from renewables only when sunshine is available or winds blowing. This could lead to mismatch of demand-supply chain. The storage of energy could be a great help to tackle the shortcoming associated with renewables.
3rd largest producer of renewable energy
India is considered to be the third largest producer of renewable energy in the world. The country gets nearly 40 percent of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel resources. The push for green energy has reduced the emission intensity of GDP by 24 percent between 2005 and 2016. This poses a big challenge for the power grid being increasingly powered by renewables. As per the report published by FE, the size of the energy storage market is expected to grow from $297.6 million in 2021 to $551.9 million in 2029.
Transmission and distribution are key levers to efficiently manage electricity across India. The budgetary allocation could ramp up the efficacy of the power transmission. The power sector stares at the upcoming budget intensely as the capital investments may refurbish it with generation of clean energy, enhanced infrastructure for transmission and distribution, round the clock of energy supply and battery energy storage capacity.