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the mobile phone. The pocket-sized gadget is being used to read news, receive best farming practices, weather updates, and consumes films, music, internet and so forth. Solar battery technology has a similar advantage over the utility scale plants, but on a much larger scale and towards an allencompassing goal. Solar battery storage is the quickest energy remedy for over 100 million Indian households that continue to remain alien to the grid infrastructure. Secondly, India’s vast rural landscape has abundant rooftop space. Many Indian states have already passed net metering laws which would allow rooftop solar consumers to sell surplus power to the discoms. The solar battery costs around $500 for each kW of storage. While developed economies have gradually adopted it, developing countries continue to find it unaffordable. But that should not leave us disappointed, because the battery costs have already started declining globally. What is stopping a battery revolution is not a technological breakthrough, but a technological advancement. More than $3 trillion has already been invested in smallscale solar and battery storage worldwide. Today the solar battery market — estimated at $50 billion annually — is poised to increase 10-fold in just three years to 2,400 MW. Even without any special effort, lithium-ion batteries would be cheap enough to be deployed on a large scale within five years as a result of a yearly cost reduction of 20% to 30%. Battery costs have seen substantial decline every decade since inception in the early 1990s. At least five major technology and battery companies are working towards making ENERGY STORAGE the battery technology last long and make them affordable and enhance its storage efficiency. Tesla alone has invested $5 billion near a lithium mine in Nevada (US) with an aim to produce batteries that will cost 30% less. Tesla has planned a 35- GWh annual production capacity, which is more than the total worldwide production of lithium-ion batteries in 2013. US based Aquion Energy which manufactures sodium ion battery systems has installed a battery system in Hawaii which can store electricity generated by 512 solar panels. Batteries come at a cost which will soon be affordable and finally end the cyclical chicken and egg solar argument. It is high time we break this cycle. Solar is an idea whose time has come and the only foreseeable pragmatic solution to the decade-long stumbling block that power consumption in India peaks in the evening is to store the invaluable, clean solar energy 31 energetica INDIA · NOV | DEC15


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