Markets - 07/December/2018

Economic woes take wind out of India sales

Financial problems are currently the biggest block to wind energy achieving its full potential in India and with elections forecast for 2019, the situation will not be resolved in the coming months

India has a huge wind resource, enough to power 300 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind turbines, according to the country’s National Institute of Wind Energy. By the end of 2017, nearly 33 GW of that potential had been developed, with India in fourth place globally for installed wind capacity after China, the US and Germany. That year, the country built another 4 GW, a record annual figure, reports the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Even so, to reach the Indian government’s wind goal of 60 GW by 2022, project developers will have to speed up their build rate to 5.4 GW a year.

The government’s target and the industry's aspirational goal of 10 GW a year for onshore wind is definitely possible, says DV Giri, secretary general of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association. He cautions, however, that the sector is going through a transition and that it will take a while before it can realise its full potential. This is partly linked to a change in the procurement model from premium purchase prices at a fixed rate to competitive bidding for contracts, which means the wind industry is now dependent on the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) issuing tenders to get new wind farms built. So far, SECI’s five auctions have resulted in contracts being awarded for 7200 megawatts (MW) in total. The lead time for bidders after each auction announcement is 18 months, resulting in a slow moving market. ...

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