Wind power is one of the most talked about renewable energy sources. As an emerging leader in sustainable advancements, India is making great strides to harness wind power for electricity generation.
Despite India’s progress in wind power, it lost its 4th position in the world in terms of installed wind capacity to China last year. In 2008, India added 1,800 megawatts (MW) and China 6,300 megawatts (MW) of wind energy as per Global Wind Energy Council. Wind power is being harnessed the world over. India ranked third in terms of new wind power implementation during 2008 compared to several European countries that are also making advancements in wind energy generation.
Wind Power Plan
In 1983-84, the Indian government started the wind power program. Later the government created a ministry for renewable energy. The New and Renewable Energy five-year Plan set by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is targeting the addition of 10,500 MW through wind-based power capacity valued at $19 billion by 2012. Yet, the project investment and research firm Projects Today says only about 6,000 MW might be available for commercial use by 2012.
The Indian central government has created an incentive program to stimulate the growth of the wind energy industry. The incentives include economic benefit of Rs.0.50 for every kWh of energy generated, concessions on import duty on wind turbine parts, 80% accelerated depreciation in the first year, loan programs, and excise duty relief. The Indian government has also created a subsidy support system of $1 billion in government funds.
So far so good
Suzlon Enrgy Limited is the world’s fifth largest wind turbine manufacturer. It has a market share of more than 50% in India. According to Suzlon’s Chief Operating Officer, Sumant Sinha the wind energy growth in India has been steady and constant and is confident that it will continue to be steady.
What’s slowing down the road to success
- Lack of uniformities in policies across States regarding tariffs for power purchase agreements.
- According to Blonnet, the wind energy projects are put up by either private power utilities or those who put them up for captive consumption. There is no tariff based tender system like China. This puts a hurdle in the large scale development of wind farms at the national level.
India’s advancement in wind energy generation is impressive. Yet there’s a wide gap between what can be achieved and what has been achieved. According to the Indian Wind Energy Association, the on-shore potential for wind energy for electricity generation is estimated to be 65,000 MW. So wind power has a very good future for India.