We all are aware of the fluctuating nature of wind and solar power. Due to this intermittent nature of standalone plants, it is important not only for the policymakers but also the consumers to promote wind-solar hybrid projects. This needs to be done to provide a longer-duration power supply and maximize resource utilization.
Also, if we add a battery storage system, we can solve the problem of fluctuation and ensure higher grid stability. In order to boost the same concept of hybrid projects, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announces the Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy in the country.
ARE THEY COST-EFFECTIVE?
Well, the cost very much is dependent on various factors, we only can have a rough estimate. As per an executive of a leading developer, the cost for a 1 MW hybrid project is almost Rs 60 million. This is higher than solar which cost around Rs45-50 million but less than wind for same capacity which is Rs70 million.
Geographically, the state with high wind flow is suitable for hybrid projects. For example, in India states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are ideal for hybrid projects.
Hybrid with battery storage-a picture of things to come
Combining wind and solar can yield higher levels of electricity, as solar power can meet the daytime demand, and wind power generation tends to be stronger and night.
Adding battery storage to the mix can ensure uninterrupted power for close to 24 hours. However, battery storage adaption is still in the early stages in India, and the cost of battery storage remains high, making it economically unviable for developers.
CHALLENGES OF wIND-sOLAR hYBRID pROJECTS
Land availability is a big challenge as only a few states are viable options to set up hybrid projects. The next biggest challenge is the cost and availability of wind turbines. The suppliers have been unable to supply in time.
Also, we need support from the government. The renewable market in India is well-positioned for the growth of wind-solar hybrid projects. As energy storage gets cheaper, these projects can become even more attractive. Governments need to get creative with land optimization programs and financial incentives to promote hybrid projects to complement the policy push.