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Legal Implications of Energy Storage Technologies

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on September 8, 2023

As it grapples with the global challenge of climate change and seeks to lessen its reliance on fossil fuels, India is undergoing a revolutionary shift towards renewable energy. The government is making remarkable progress towards its ambitious objective of 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from Renewable energy sources by 2030.[1]

The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, on the other hand, offers a huge obstacle to a reliable and stable energy supply. India is turning to energy storage technology to solve these problems and realize the full potential of renewable energy. Integrating energy storage systems (“ESS”) with renewable energy projects, on the other hand, has a complex set of legal and regulatory ramifications.

The Growth of Energy Storage in India

In recent years, India’s Ministry of Power recognised the enormous potential of energy storage and classed it as a service. This strategic decision is expected to spur investment in the energy storage sector, boosting India’s renewable energy targets even further. For instance, currently India’s overall energy storage industry has increased from 115.94 GW in March 2018 to 172.00 GW in March 2023.[2]

Over the next five years, this expansion is expected to not only revolutionize the energy sector but also to create over 3,00,000 jobs in the renewable energy and storage sectors. Energy storage technologies are gaining popularity in India due to their potential to replace diesel generators. Solar power systems combined with energy storage have the potential to save industrial and commercial consumers up to 5 per unit. These economic and environmental benefits are accelerating the adoption of energy storage technology.

The promise of energy storage is appealing, but it is critical to navigate the legal and regulatory landscape in India to enable a seamless and sustainable integration with renewable energy projects. Here are some of the most important legal consequences and challenges:

  1. Electricity Act, 2003: The Electricity Act, 2003 establishes the overall legislative framework for India’s electrical sector. It establishes the roles and obligations of various entities involved in the power supply chain, such as generators, distributors, and transmission system operators. The Act gives regulatory agencies the authority to create rules and regulations governing different facets of the electricity sector, including energy storage. The Electricity (Amendment) Rules, 2022, classify Energy Storage Systems as a component of the power system, as described under Section 2(50) of the Electricity Act, 2003. This classification is an important step towards recognising ESS’s importance in the electricity sector.
  2. National Electricity Policy and National Tariff Policy: The National Energy Policy and the National Transmission Policy are policy papers that guide the growth and regulation of India’s energy sector. These policies contain provisions about the integration of energy storage technologies and their role in ensuring energy security and grid stability.
  3. Renewable Energy Regulations: Renewable energy policies in India include various National Policies, such as the Solar Power Policy and the Wind Power Policy. To guarantee grid stability and reliability, these rules may include measures for combining energy storage with renewable energy projects.
  4. Grid Codes: Grid Codes are issued by the Central Electricity Authority (“CEA”) and outline technical and operational requirements for India’s power grid. These rules may provide requirements and guidelines for the grid integration of energy storage technologies.

As energy storage technologies attempt to integrate smoothly with renewable energy projects in India, they confront several legal and regulatory difficulties. These include:

  • To successfully navigate this landscape, complex tariff structures must be devised, taking into account technology variations and delivering incentives connected to efficiency gains.  
  • Furthermore, the significant upfront costs of energy storage systems require fiscal incentives and subsidies to encourage early adoption while assuring the long-term viability of existing investments.
  • Access to precise data is critical for market participants to identify profitable storage opportunities, necessitating the establishment of a transparent data gathering and distribution node.
  • Encouragement of domestic battery manufacture is consistent with India’s goal of becoming a competitive global battery provider, reducing reliance on imports. Furthermore, policies should recognise energy savings from battery storage, establishing a viable market for trading these savings and encouraging energy efficiency.
  • Strong R&D centres are required to stimulate innovation in battery technology, with collaboration between the government, investors, and stakeholders pushing progress.
  • Strict enforcement of renewable energy purchase obligations not only promotes renewable markets but also encourages the use of energy storage to improve the resilience of renewable energy systems.
  • Finally, a clear and consistent policy framework is required to create synergy between renewables and energy storage while providing investors and stakeholders with confidence.


Despite these hurdles, India’s regulations and rising RTC power demand are expected to encourage investments and technological breakthroughs in the energy storage sector, particularly Battery Energy Storage Systems (“BESS”) across a wide range of industries. While projecting battery cost reductions is difficult, India’s affordability is projected to improve as raw material prices, such as lithium-ion, fall. To promote this expansion, the government can provide critical support in the form of tax breaks and capital subsidies, similar to how it supported the early solar and wind sectors.

Government-backed projects aiming for 51 GW of five-hour BESS by 2030 highlight the need for significant sector expansion, necessitating yearly capacity increases of 6 to 7 GW over the following eight years. Energy storage is critical as India pursues renewable energy targets and reduces emissions. A strong legislative framework is essential for balancing innovation and investment and maintaining energy storage’s critical position in India’s sustainable energy future while keeping up with shifting technology and cost dynamics.


What are Battery Energy Storage Systems (“BESS”)?

BESS refers to energy storage systems that use batteries to store electricity for later consumption. They are adaptable and important in improving grid stability, regulating peak demand, and incorporating renewable energy sources.

How can India achieve its ambitious 51 GW BESS target by 2030?

To accomplish this aim, approximately 6 to 7 GW of BESS capacity must be added per year. To encourage innovation and decrease costs, it relies on strong government assistance in the form of exemptions, incentives, and industry collaboration.

Why is a legal framework important for energy storage in India?

A legal framework is required to solve regulatory issues and pave the way for the integration of energy storage technology. It contributes to the balance of innovation and investment, ensuring that energy storage plays a critical part in India’s sustainable energy future.


[2] PRID=1944691#:~:text=Progress%20made%20by%20India%20in%20the%20field%20of%20New%20and%20Renewable%20Energy&text=The%20Union%20Minister%20for%20New,increase%20of%20around%201.48%20times.

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