Gujarat is likely to see huge investments in wind power over the next few years as the state government is targeting to double wind power generation capacity in the state by 2022.
As of December 2017, Gujarat was home to 5,526 MW of wind power generation capacity, the second highest in the country after Tamil Nadu, with a little over 7,800 MW. While the southern state is likely to remain at the top, Gujarat will see significant addition in wind power capacity over the next five years, and it is likely to cross 10,000 MW, a senior official said.
“We plan to add 1,000 MW wind power capacity every year till 2022,” Sujit Gulati, additional chief secretary of Energy & Petrochemicals Department, told DNA when asked about the state’s plans to tap wind energy.
Installing one MW of wind power typically costs approximately Rs6 crore, which means that wind power could see investment of around Rs6,000 crore a year if the state achieves the 1,000 MW target.
The target is definitely ambitious as the state has seen wind power capacity going up by 200-300 MW annually in the past few years. Official figures reveal that 392 MW wind power capacity was added in 2015-16, while the figure stands at 209 MW at the end of December in the current year.
The only exception to this was the year 2016-17 when wind power capacity went up by 1,388 MW.
A senior official in Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), whose mandate is to promote renewable power sources, told DNA that the sharp rise in installation of wind power capacity in the last financial year, i.e. 2016-17, was because of generation-based incentive of Rs 0.50 per unit from the central government.
“The target to add 1,000 MW every year is challenging, but achievable. It is also a must for the central government to achieve the targeted wind power capacity of 60 GW (60,000 MW) by 2022,” said a senior official, requesting anonymity.
According to official figures, the installed wind power capacity in the country stands at 32,200 MW. Apart from Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, Maharashtra (4,770 MW), Rajasthan (4,280 MW), Karnataka (3,750 MW) and Madhya Pradesh with 2,500 MW are the other states which are home to significant capacities.
“Not just Gujarat, each of these states will have to aggressively enhance capacities for the target to be realized,” the official added.