High taxes on battery imports undermine India’s renewable energy drive

Excerpt from ft.com

High taxes on battery imports in India are pushing up the price of installing storage vital to achieving the country’s COP26 climate change goals, said the chair of ReNew Power, one of the country’s largest renewable power companies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has pledged to meet 50 per cent of India’s energy needs from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. But wind and solar need battery storage, devices that enable renewable energy to be saved and released when needed.

Combined customs and imports on battery storage systems stand at about 40 per cent. “The one thing that they [the government] can do in the budget is they can bring down the customs duties on battery imports,” said Sumant Sinha, chair and managing director of ReNew Power, which listed on the Nasdaq last year.

India’s budget will be presented on Tuesday. It will take “at least four or five years for domestic batteries to start getting manufactured,” estimated Sinha. “Until then, if they bring down the customs duties it will just allow battery installations to become a lot cheaper.”