Global Wind Day: Where India Stands In Harnessing This Green Energy

Snapshot
  • As the world celebrates Global Wind Day, here is a look at where India stands in harnessing this green energy.

Under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in collaboration with National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) organised an event to celebrate Global Wind Day 2022 and the silver jubilee year of NIWE in New Delhi on 15 June.

NIWE is the technical focal point for wind energy in India and has contributed through technical support in terms of resources assessment, standards, testing, certification and performance assessment, skill development etc, relating to wind energy. This year is also the silver jubilee year for NIWE which was established on 21 March 1998.

The event took stock of the wind energy in India and discussed ways to accelerate wind energy growth. The policy reforms being undertaken in the onshore and offshore wind energy sector were also highlighted.

Global Wind Day

Global Wind Day is an annual celebration of the possibilities for wind energy around the world. It occurs every year on 15 June. It is a day for discovering wind energy, its power and the possibilities it holds to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economies and boost jobs and growth.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) announced the first Global Wind Day in 2007. The association had joined hands with the Global Wind Energy Council in 2009 and since then it has been celebrated as a global event.

Status Of Wind Energy In India

India has achieved 40.1 GW installed capacity of wind power and is ranked fourth globally, in terms of installed capacity, after China, the US and Germany. Against the overall target of 60 GW, the cumulative installed capacity of wind power is 40,100.93 MW as on 31 January 2022. The country had a total installed capacity of 39.25 GW as on 31 March 2021.

Out of the total target of 60 GW, the present status of wind power, as furnished by the ministry, is as under:

Global Wind Day: Where India Stands In Harnessing This Green Energy

Targets

In the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) as per the Paris Accord on Climate Change in December, 2015, India has made a pledge that by 2030, 40 per cent of her installed power generation capacity shall be from non-fossil energy sources.

To achieve this goal, it was decided during the year 2015 that 175 GW of RE capacity will be installed by the year 2022 that includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind (onshore), 10 GW from biomass and the remaining 5 GW from small hydro power.

The table below amplifies the physical target vis-a-vis achievement in respect of wind energy since 2010-11.

Global Wind Day: Where India Stands In Harnessing This Green Energy

Poor Target Achievement

The capacity additions of wind power projects till 2017 (ie, 32.27 GW) were through feed in tariff (FiT) mechanism, wherein the tariff was determined by respective state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs).

The determined tariff was also known as preferential tariff, which was notified by SERCs for a defined period after due hearing and taking into account all the financial parameters (cost, interest, margin, etc). The electricity from wind power projects commissioned during the said period was purchased by the DISCOMs at a determined tariff.

Subsequently, the tariff regime has been shifted from FiT to bidding route, which has slightly slowed the installation of projects. Presently, the wind power projects in the country are installed on the basis of commercial viability through tariff based competitive bidding process.

Under the FiT route, power is procured at a predefined rate whereas under the bidding route, market forces determine the tariff at which market participants (developers and procurers) are willing to develop projects.

However, tariff based competitive bidding process has reduced the tariff of wind power considerably, ie, from over Rs 4 per unit through FiT to around Rs 2.80 per unit in bidding regime.

Way Ahead

The wind power deployment in the country started in the early 1990s and with the conducive policy environment has achieved the highest growth amongst the other renewable energy technologies.

The sector experienced a steady growth during the last three decades through 2015. But from 2016-17 onwards, wind energy lost its momentum primarily due to abolition of FiT and solar becoming more attractive in cost competitiveness.

But the sector’s revival is absolutely necessary to achieve the country’s renewable goal of 450 GW by 2030. The Centre should focus on revising the sector as it is the highest energy source with second-lowest levelised cost of generation and has a potential of 695 GW of onshore wind (at 120-metre hub height).

The wind resources assessment carried out by the NIWE gives total wind energy potential at 302 GW at 100 metre and 695.50 GW at 120 metre hub height. Out of the total estimated potential more than 95 per cent of commercially exploitable wind resources are concentrated in seven states (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu).

The estimated potential is bound to increase with upcoming technological development, which will make it possible to harness wind energy at a hub height of 150 metre.

Over and above the onshore potential, India is blessed with a coastline of about 7,600 km surrounded by water on three sides and has good prospects of harnessing offshore wind energy. Considering this, the government had notified the ‘national offshore wind energy policy’ as per the gazette notification dated 6 October 2015.

As per the policy, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will act as the nodal ministry for development of offshore wind energy in India and work in close coordination with other government entities for development and use of maritime space within the exclusive economic zone of the country and shall be responsible for overall monitoring of offshore wind energy development in the country.

The ministry has set a target of 5 GW of offshore wind installations by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030 which has been issued to give confidence to the project developers in the Indian market.