Wind Energy in India

Wind Energy Position Paper

Wind Energy today occupies a prominent position in the overall scheme of things in the power sector. From a technology that was regarded as fringe technology few years back, it has moved to center stage as an option offering near grid parity, which will become more attractive with scale. At the end of June 2014, 337 GW of worldwide wind power capacity meeting 4% of the world’s electricity requirements had been set up (Source: WWEA). India with 22 GW ranks fifteen in the world.

The Wind Energy Program in India was initiated in early eighties. Institutionally, the program began as Commission for Additional Sources of Energy (CASE), which was set up in the Department of Science & Technology in March, 1981. CASE was converted into a full fledged Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (DNES) under the Ministry of Power. In the early ninetees, DNES was converted into a full fledged Ministry now known as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Today, there are 20 wind turbine manufacturers in India and the total manufacturing capacity established in the country is about 10,000 MW/yr

Growth in wind power development has been exponential. The main driver to windfarm development in India since 1986 has been energy shortage and even before climate change emerged as an issue, windfarms were being set up in India. However, today the main drivers are Energy Access or Energy Shortage, Climate Change and Energy Security. Tamil Nadu has maximum installations of around 35% of total wind power installed in India.

The compound annual growth rate of cumulative wind power installations since 1986 is 37% and in more recent years i.e., since 2001 it is 23%.

In the early years percent incremental capacity additions would be high because of low capacity at that time. In 1995, establishment of windfarms under 100% accelerated depreciation seems to have reached a certain high after which it declined rapidly coinciding with the Asian contagion of 1997. After 1997, accelerated depreciation was also reduced to 80%. The percent annual incremental growth has again risen to almost 50% (1716 MW) with consolidation in industry after the 1998-99 low, introduction of megawatt series of wind turbines, greater confidence by investers and establishment of feed-in-tarrif regime in the country.

Every year more or nearly 1500 MW of capacity has been added, highest so far being in 2011-12 at 3195.2 MW. The high capacity added 2011-12 happened because of two policy measures in force at that time – a) Ganeration Based Incentive (GBI) and b) Accelerated Depreciation (AD). However, the very next year Accelerated Depreciation was withdrawn and the capacity addition subsequently fell by almost 50%. In 2014 – 15, since August 2014, both GBI and AD are again in force and a capacity addition of the order of 2700 MW is expected.

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