Wind power offers great potential for India

Though wind power cannot completely replace conventional power, it could greatly substitute them in meeting the increasing demand
 The global installed capacity of renewable energy will double by 2025. More than 130 countries had support policies for renewable energy. Following the trend, India has also planned to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The new study from Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the global installed capacity of renewable energy to reach 3,203 GW in 2025 at an average annual growth rate of 5.7 per cent.
Wind power is expected to account for 32.7 per cent of total renewable energy capacity additions over the 2012-2025 period — only behind solar photovoltaic (PV) technology which stands at 33.4 per cent.
India’s roadmap to renewable energy“The new government has set ambitious targets for renewable energy for the next 5 years,” equips Chintan Shah, President- Strategic Business Development, Suzlon Energy. “They plan to reach 100 GW of generating capacity from both wind and solar which would require $35 billion investments annually.”Currently, India gets ‎$6 billion investment in the renewable energy sector every year, and the government has recently hosted RE-Invest — a global investor meet in partnership with CII and FICCI. “Since renewable energy projects require big investment, the government is also urging banks to demarcate 10 per cent  of their credit for the RE sector,” states Mr Shah. “Pilot projects for offshore wind energy projects have also been planned to bolster our energy architecture.”
However, Ramesh Kymal, CMD, Gamesa Wind Turbines, seems optimistic about India’s plan to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. “The various policy derivatives being taken by the centre and the state in promoting solar and wind power across the country, definitely augers well for the desired target of 15 per cent,” explains Mr Kymal. “The rising demand for power spurred by industrial growth has encouraged the sector to gear up its manufacturing capacities over the years. Lately, India’s power sector, renewables in specific, has been drawing a lot of attention from local and foreign investors and growth is inevitable in this sector.
“However, there are still some bottlenecks that are hindering the sector from capturing a bigger share in the power mix. While the government has widely opened up its doors for growth in this sector but the passage way needs to be broadened so that we meet the targets comfortably. In order to iron out these obstacles, the government should enforce stricter compliance of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) both in solar and wind and address issues pertinent to evacuation infrastructure. This apart, the must run status for wind has to be improved across the country, and a national level policy needs to be devised offering single window clearance for permits and approval in the sector for speeding up the administrative procedures.”
Wind and ‘Make in India’Renewable energy sector has a great potential in contributing to the PM Modi’s “Make In India” initiative. “In order to meet our energy needs into the future, every available energy resource has to be tapped,” states Mr Shah. “Various estimates put wind energy potential ranging from 300 GW to 450 GW, and with a greater impetus on energy security, wind energy is bound to play a key role in fuelling ‘Make in India’ initiative.”
India is growing and wind power offers great potential for India. Though renewables cannot completely replace conventional power as base load power plants, it could greatly substitute them in meeting the increasing demand. There is a great concern too for scaling of power generation capacity in the country, considering fuel scarcity and the poor financial conditions of big power utilities.
“With the ‘Make in India’ campaign gaining momentum, wind industry has geared up its manufacturing capacities to 10,000 MW annually, anticipating an inevitable growth in the sector,” Mr Kymal. “India has huge potential in offshore and onshore wind, and many states already offer lucrative investment opportunity. Wind being a matured technology in India offers greater opportunity in terms rapid scaling up of capacities to meet this demand.
“Though many efforts have been made to develop assembling capabilities in the country, an efficient supply chain management in the downstream market is equally critical. With various investments and policy opportunities in this sector, it is only a matter of time the bottlenecks are cleared off and we hit the sky.”
Even Mr Shah agrees on the same that India has the potential to be a manufacturing hub for the wind industry and will attract huge investments into this sector. In the developed economy, only the utility companies had been investing in wind projects; now utility companies and financial investors are investing heavily in these types of asset. “This is the positive change,” echoes Mr Shah. “In the next one or two decades, our industries will continuously remain in the growth phase. It will become more and more cost competitive and achieve grid parity, as technology is constantly evolving both on the reliability front as well as lowering the cost of generation.”Overcoming challenges
The energy sector is facing serious challenges. Mr Shah shares how the industry can overcome these challenges. The solutions are:
Grid infrastructure: There is a comprehensive master plan for all state governments to align with this target .The plan is to build grid infrastructure in the next 3 years and build more capacity. There should be plans to build green corridors, green highways. The government also plans to establish smart grid management.
Land acquisition: In order to build up speed in execution, it is important to have reforms for development, process and procedures. India has an on-shore wind energy potential of 200 GW based on the currently available technology. It may be prudent to adopt best practices amongst different states so that availability of land is not a challenge. The Environment and Forest Minister is already planning to establish green channel to give clearances to green projects, i.e. renewable energy projects in a timely manner by the MoEF.
On the opportunities front: Today we see the best possible external environment, regulatory framework and long-term policy in place, with a fair amount of investment communities. In case of wind energy, the technology is fairly matured. Our major focus would now be to achieve volumes, along with increased reliability and achieving grid parity.
PPP initiativesPPP model is the future. “Large public sector utilities looking to meet the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) and Renewable Generation obligations (RGO) will suitably drive the wind market in India once these growth tools are mandated,” claims Mr Kymal. As scarcity and depleting quality of conventional fuel has been driving the utilities towards diversification into renewables, PPP looks promising. Even the development of infrastructure for power evacuation in the green corridor can also take support from PPP model.__________________________________________________________
In order to meet our energy needs into the future, every available energy resource has to be tapped.
Chintan Shah, President- Strategic Business Development, Suzlon Energy___________________________________________________
Wind being a matured technology in India offers greater opportunity in terms rapid scaling up of capacities to meet this demand.
Ramesh Kymal, CMD, Gamesa Wind Turbines

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