India has installed a total battery energy storage system (BESS) capacity of more than 210 MWh as of March 2024. The country is projected to add 1.6 GWh of standalone battery energy storage systems and 9.7 GW of renewable projects plus energy storage by 2027, according to a report by Mercom India Research.

India began adding energy storage capacity in 2013 with small pilot projects. As of March 2024, the cumulative installed energy storage capacity stood at 219.1 MWh (approximately 111.7 MW), with 120 MWh (40 MW) added in Q1 2024 alone. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems combined with BESS (PV + BESS) accounted for 90.6 per cent of the total installed capacity.

“India is an emerging market for energy storage, still in the early stages of development. Despite rapid growth in renewable energy, energy storage has lagged, potentially leading to curtailment and a lack of grid flexibility and stability. To meet energy transition goals and manage the exponential increase in renewable energy, the government must prioritise energy storage to avoid issues faced by other countries with growing intermittent power but insufficient storage capacity,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Chhattisgarh installed the highest BESS capacity, accounting for 54.8 per cent of the cumulative installed capacity. According to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data, the country’s operational pumped hydro storage capacity totalled 3.3 GW as of March 2024, with nearly 76 per cent of the capacity located in Telangana and West Bengal.

As of March 2024, India had 1.6 GWh (about 1 GW) of standalone BESS, 9.7 GW of renewable energy projects plus energy storage, and 78.1 GW of pumped hydro projects in various stages of development (60 GW under survey and investigation, and 18.1 GW under development). The highest capacity of standalone BESS under development was in Rajasthan, driven by favourable provisions in the State’s renewable energy policy and annual energy storage obligations through FY30.

To meet the demand for efficient energy utilisation from renewable sources, various government agencies have issued tenders totalling 57 GW and auctioned 11.5 GW of energy storage projects, with or without renewable energy capacities, as of March 2024. Tenders for standalone and renewable projects with energy storage totalled 7.4 GW in Q1 2024.