Rather than inviting competitive bids for 1,000 megawatt (MW) wind power projects, the Central government should call for 5,000-6,000 MW tenders to give a clear direction to the wind power sector, the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturing Association (IWTMA) said. “The government wants everything to be procured through competitive bidding. We are for it. In their first initiative, they started with competitive bidding for 1,000 MW. But we feel that 1,000 MW is not enough… you come with 5,000-6,000 MW,” said Sarvesh Kumar, chairman of IWTMA in an interview with Mint on Wednesday. “If you have given us a target to do 60,000 MW of wind power by 2022 which means there has to be a capacity addition of 6,000-7,000 MW every year. So keeping that in mind, they should come into competitive bidding with (tenders for) 5,000-6,000 MW. Industry is ready to meet those challenges and whatever the tariff comes we are ready to work with that,” Kumar added.
IWTMA has already appealed to the ministry of new and renewable energy to announce a bid for 4-5 gigawatt in 2017-18 to give a definite momentum to the process. Kumar also stressed that “while competitive bidding is a good vehicle, it must also encompass freedom in open access to sell the power to both captive and group captive transaction.” Under the Paris Climate Agreement, the Indian government has committed to install 175 GW of renewable power by 2022, of which 100GW will be from solar power and 60GW from wind power. Wind is already the mainstay of India’s renewable power. Of about 50,018 MW of installed renewable power, about 57.3% (28,700 MW) comes from wind alone.
The past few months have been very positive for the wind sector. In February 2017, wind power witnessed a significant drop in tariffs when it reached Rs3.46 kilowatt hour (kWh) for a 1,000 MW tender by state-run Solar Energy Corp. of India (SECI).The government also recently announced that India added a record 5,400 megawatts (MW) of wind power in 2016-17, exceeding its 4,000MW target.IWTMA also acknowledged the support of MNRE in framing and enforcement of various policies and initiatives for the wind power sector.
The association in collaboration with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is organizing a mega three-day conference ‘Windergy India 2017’ during 25-27 April in Delhi. Stakeholders and experts from across the globe are expected to take part in the conference. IWTMA expressed confidence that the industry will surpass the government’s target of 60 GW by wind by 2022. Chintan Shah, vice-chairman of IWTMA, said, “Tremendous opportunity lies in exports from India as our goods are accepted with international quality.” “We need to sort out problems of freight, logistics, and favourable lines of credit and this can witness an export of 2 to 2.5 GW per annum in a span of 18 to 24 months,” Shah added.