According to reports, the government will launch its first wind energy mission this year to give a boost to the renewable source and putting it in the same league as the high-profile solar mission. The ‘National Wind Energy Mission (NWEM), which would be launched around the middle of the year, would give incentives to invest, east land clearances and regulate tariffs. But unlike the flagship ‘National Solar Mission’ it would not involve projects for bidding. It would act as a “facilitator”, officials said.
“We wish to coordinate separate lines of action in the wind sector and involve all the stakeholders. Wind energy led to the establishment of renewable based power in the country but lately it has been marred by several issues,” said Alok Srivastava, joint secretary (wind) in the ministry for new and renewable sources of energy.
Under the proposed action plan, MNRE would strengthen grid infrastructure for wind power, identify high wind power potential zones, ease land clearances for the projects, regulate wind power tariff and incentivise investment in the wind sector.
“The proposed NWEM would be placed in the cabinet soon and we wish to kick start it in the next 6 months,” said Srivastava. He also said that all stakeholders in the wind sector, ministry of power, Powergrid corporation, central and state electricity regulators, planning commission, private and public sector project developers would be a part of the mission, with MNRE acting as a key facilitator and moderator amongst all of them. “A national program would uproot the scattered impediments faced by the wind sector and spur it towards the second phase of growth,” said Srivastava.
Grid connected wind based power in India has been in existence from almost 20 years now while solar made its debut just 4 years back with the national solar mission. India is the fifth largest wind power producer in the world with an installed capacity of 19 GW.
Caught in the policy net, capacity addition in the wind sector fell to decade low during last & current fiscal. The industry, especially the private sector has also complained about the lack of proper grid infrastructure for evacuation of wind power.
There have been delays in payments by the states to the power developers due to the same. Through this mission, government aims to have a generating capacity of 100 GW of wind power by 2022. The potential of wind based power in the country is estimated to be 300 GW.
MNRE also plans to extend the ‘generation based incentive (GBI)’ for the project developers for five years. This would amount to a total expenditure of 18,000 crore. Budgetary allocation for GBI in the current fiscal is 800 crore.
GBI was notified in the union budget 2013. Under this financial scheme, government would pay wind power developers Rs 0.50 for every unit of power generated from the wind facility.
Till April 2012, wind sector enjoyed two fiscal benefits. Accelerated depreciation (AD) has been in force for the wind industry since 2003 till 2012 when its was withdrawn. GBI, announced in 2011 was discontinued in 2012, only to be reintroduced in 2013 in the union budget.