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India fast emerging hub for wind power gear makers

According to reports, with India set to remain among the major markets for wind power, the country is emerging as a wind turbine manufacturing hub with global and domestic majors continuing to beef up their operations here. The annual wind turbine production capacity in the country is expected to cross 10,000 mw during the current financial year.

“Established and proven wind turbine technology in India led to huge investments in the sector. India is emerging as a major wind turbine-manufacturing hub today. Increased domestic demand and expansion of the in-house manufacturing capacity of the Indian wind industry has resulted in attracting many new manufacturers into the fray,” said India Wind Energy 2012 report.

As of 2012, 16 existing manufacturers have a consolidated annual production capacity of over 9,500 mw. The expectations are that at least four new companies could enter the Indian wind sector over the next couple of years. Hence by 2013-14, over 20 wind turbine manufacturers and turbine suppliers would be operating from India. So, annual wind turbine manufacturing capacity is likely to cross 10,000 mw during the FY 2012-2013 if all manufacturers go ahead with their plans.

Indian manufacturers are engaging in the global market by taking advantage of lower manufacturing costs in India. Indian companies now export domestically manufactured wind turbines and blades to Australia, Brazil, Europe, USA and a few other countries. Some of the international companies with subsidiaries in India are sourcing over 80 per cent of their components from Indian component manufacturers. Leading manufacturers like Suzlon, Vestas, Enercon, RRB Energy including newer entrants like Gamesa, GE, Siemens, ReGen Powertech, WinWinD and Kenersys have set up production facilities in India.

Ramesh Kymal, president, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA), said the targeted capacity additions in the country could be reached through strong and large domestic manufacturing industry supported by right policy support. He also said there is a growing acceptance for ‘India-built’ wind turbines in overseas markets.

“The wind turbine manufacturing sector with the-state-of-the-art-technology is able to harness energy in low and medium wind regimes. Localisation of components and building indigenous supply chain will hold the key both in cost management as well as lead time management,” pointed out Madhusudan Khemka, managing director, ReGen Powertech.

Most parts of India except in pockets in Tamil Nadu have low wind regimes, which require considerable changes not only in the design of turbine components but also in generator configuration. The companies have started offering turbines with newer technologies and higher power capture capabilities to suit to various wind conditions in the country. Companies make turbines in range of 250 kw to 2.5 mw out of their Indian production units. Hug heights up to 100 meters and blade diameter up to 100 metres have also been achieved by some companies.

“This year will see lower capacity addition of wind power in the country due to economic slowdown and uncertainties over policy framework. However, the potential to harness energy from renewable energy sources is very high in the country and we hope the government will reintroduce GBI (generation-based incentive) scheme to boost investor confidence and also facilitate higher annual capacity addition. Though capacity addition target is 15,000 mw for 12th Plan, the industry is capable of achieving 25,000 mw through right policy support,” said Kymal.

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