The ongoing electricity shortage in India was much anticipated as 70% of its power generation is dependent on Coal, our primary energy source, and coal being a fossil fuel has its own demerits. With non-renewability and negative environmental impact, fossil fuels do not seem to be a viable energy source in the long run. Also, renewable power source like Hydroelectricity which is reliable but impacts the environment. Solar and Wind energy are comparatively cleaner than Hydroelectricity but sporadic in nature. This is where Pumped Storage Projects (energy storage technology) can play a better and alternative role.
As per the International Energy Agency, India is expected to overtake the European Union as the world’s third-largest energy consumer by 2030. Pumped Storage Projects (PSPs) are a modern approach to meeting the rising energy requirements of India and elsewhere. In PSPs, the water is raised to an upper reservoir by pumping/recharging with electricity during the off-peak season. Then during peak power demand of electricity, the same stored water is then used to generate power using turbines to met peak demand per day during the peak season.
One can look forward to the multiple benefits of using Pumped Storage Plants like:
- Balancing and ensuring the stability of the grid and handling any overload
- Facilitating back-up reserve, voltage support, and having quick start and shutdown capability
- Helping in water resource management and flood control
- Capacity to work at an efficiency level of up to 82 percent
- Having economic life of more than 80 years
I have provided various consultancy services like topographical surveys, cost estimates of individual projects, economic feasibility assessments, environmental impact studies, preparation, and review of detailed project reports and many more for a number of PSPs.
The Purulia Pumped Storage Project in West Bengal is one of the many successful pumped storage ventures delivered. It is the first 900 MW capacity plant established in India to meet the excess power demand. The project commenced in May 2002 and was completed before its estimated date in 2007. The plant runs at an efficiency rate of 77.80% and is expected to run successfully for many more years to come.
With its innumerable benefits to the public and the environment, one can anticipate only more investments in Pumped Storage Projects in the coming years ahead.
Written By R K Gupta Founder of Vibgyor Marvels, Former Chairman-cum-Managing Director, WAPCOS and NPCC, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, President, India Water Partnership