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Government aims to add 10,000 MW per year to lift wind energy sector  

Credit:  By Mitul Thakkar, ET Bureau | The Economic Times | 12 Aug, 2014 | economictimes.indiatimes.com ~~

NEW DELHI: The government plans to rapidly accelerate wind energy generation, adding an ambitious 10,000 MW every year, or five times the total new capacity that came up in the last fiscal, as the Modi government takes steps to reduce India’s dependence on costly energy imports.

Wind energy, which had been overshadowed by solar projects in recent years, got a big boost as the government has restored key tax incentives that had helped India emerge as one of the top countries in the world in generating electricity from wind. The government feels that tax incentives coupled with conducive environment will rapidly accelerate wind energy.

“Originally, the country planned to install 18,500 MW during the 12th Plan period. However, new government is keen to go faster in wind power capacity addition, to reduce its dependence on imported fuels and increase the share of environment friendly energy resources.

At a recent meeting with turbine makers and other stakeholders New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal suggested to add 10,000 MW of wind power installations annually,” said a government official requesting anonymity. He added ministry and wind turbine makers will jointly study the status of grid availability in six states with maximum wind velocity.

According to Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) proposed target is achievable as the country has capacity to manufacture close to 9,500 MW of wind turbines and it can be expanded in short period.

“Wind turbine makers are capable to meet proposed higher targets of the government. Higher volumes will bring down average cost of installations and even tariff to make wind power more attractive. By resolving issues related to wind power evacuation and renewable power purchase obligations of the state utilities, India can attract domestic investments in the sector that is getting increasing attention of global investments,” said IWTMA chairman Madhusudan Khemka, who is MD of Chennai-based Regen Powertech.

Like other power gear makers, Indian wind turbine makers too are facing competition from Chinese counterparts that also offer cheaper finance to the investors in wind energy. Khemka said Indian wind turbine makers with access to best technologies and services are globally competitive but they are unable to offer cheaper finance like Chinese firms.

With installed capacity of over 21,000 Mw, India is fifth-largest wind power producer in the world after China, US, Germany and Spain. According to Centre for Wind Energy Technology India has potential to install over one lakh mw of wind turbines.

Ministry of new and renewable energy and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency are jointly planning to host an international meet in February next year to give impetus to the wind power sector. The ministry is also considering organising similar events to boost solar power.

Source:  By Mitul Thakkar, ET Bureau | The Economic Times | 12 Aug, 2014 | economictimes.indiatimes.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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