The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) announced in June 2008 by the Govt. of India proposes increasing the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix to 15% by 2020. In order to achieve this, NAPCC recommends pegging the minimum share of renewable energy in the national grid at 5%, starting from 2009-10, to be increased by 1% per annum in the following years so as to reach 15% by 2020. This requires a quantum jump in renewable energy generation across the country.
The country’s current cumulative installed capacity is 13 GW (as on Dec 2010), reaching 64 GW by 2020 (as per GWEC estimates). The current annual wind power market is about 2200 MW with forecasts predicting a 5000 MW annual market by 2015 (research done by the World Institute of Sustainable Energy).
As per NAPCC, if India needs to achieve 15% RE by 2020, wind’s contribution to the total energy mix would need to transcend even greater heights, requiring an additional installed capacity of almost 50 GW by 2020, over and above the present level. This poses several challenges for policy makers and regulators, and wind industry stakeholders in India, who would need to rise up to the occasion and develop suitable strategies, policies and regulations to meet the NAPCC target.
This includes a major focus on augmenting the power evacuation/grid facilities and transmission planning, availability of non-recourse project financing and skilled manpower, speedy and appropriate implementation of the latest policy/regulatory measures such as renewable energy certificates (RECs) [linked with state-specific renewable purchase specification (RPS) with penal provisions for non-compliance], the Indian Electricity Grid Code (IEGC) 2010, etc.
To understand, deliberate and discuss all these critical issues and challenges related to the role of wind power in attaining the 50 GW mark by 2020, the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE), Pune, in association with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), and the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA) is organising WIND POWER INDIA 2011 from 7–9 April 2011 at the Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai, says a release from the conference organizers.
It seems like two key elements in the challenges that have been missed out above, include the payments by the utilities to the developers and the second key challenge which is availability of land. Another important problem in the already existing good wind sites is that of evacuation.
The proposed targets seem rather ambitious given the fact that the installation in India has been range bound between 1470-1750MW a year over the last five years and the installed capacity for 2009-10 was around 1565MW. This year the expected capacity is close to around 2200MW according to officials.
Financing in wind is not as much an issue as most recently ACCIONA Energy has closed the long-term financing of the 56.1-MW Tuppadahalli wind farm that it is building in Karnataka state (south-west India) with Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited (IDFC), a leading Indian infrastructure finance company. The agreement has been completed in three months, a record for this type of operation.
As Panchabuta had discussed a while back, Kerala cabinet had decided to evict Suzlon from the land that was claimed to be illegally acquired by them and restore the land to tribals at Attapady in Palakkad district.
Subsequently, Andhra Lake Wind Power Project in Pune district has run into rough weather with the Bombay High Court restraining the promoter, Enercon (India) Pvt Ltd, of the 113.6 MW power project from cutting a single tree until further orders. The proposed project, coming up in proximity of Bhimashankar Wild Life Sanctuary in the Western Ghats, requires about 26,600 trees to be cut down.
As Panchabuta has discussed earlier the number of easily available Class II wind sites are rapidly reducing and Suzlon’s announcement a couple of months ago of the launch of their new wind turbines for Class III sites might have even more relevance if these problems and protests increase. This could also lead to offshore wind bandwagon gaining further momentum and announcements of policy and requirements for the same. Disappointing to see not enough attention being given to offshore in this planned conference, though Panchabuta does understand that it is still very early days and will require a long time for policy to evolve for the same as the number of stakeholders in such a project if far more than an on shore one.