According to a recent estimate, wind power capacity addition is expected to be half what it was last year. Against the backdrop, the Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah, is scheduled to meet representatives of the wind power industry on August 1.

Much is not well with the Indian wind industry today. ‘Accelerated Depreciation’ is gone, so is ‘Generation-Based Incentive’, and the sector is hoping to make a strong pitch for these benefits to be restored.

Describing the situation on the ground as “pathetic”, Mr Ramesh Kymal, President, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers and Chairman and Managing Director, Gamesa India, says that unless urgent steps are taken, wind power capacity addition in the current year may not exceed 1,500 MW.

Abolition of ‘Accelerated Depreciation’ will hurt investments, especially in Tamil Nadu, which is basically a ‘AD market’ and where the operating environment is difficult. Already, there are serious evacuation issues, and even where the evacuation infrastructure is stable, the grid is not made available to wind power producers — though they pay fixed transmission charges and ‘infrastructure development charges’. And now, the State distribution utility, TANGEDCO, wants the ‘banking facility’ removed. The facility allows a power producer to ‘bank’ any surplus power and draw it back at a time of its choice, within a specified period. Tamil Nadu also does not allow power produced within the State to be sold outside it.

If this is the situation in Tamil Nadu, things are not much better elsewhere. In Rajasthan, there are payment delays. In Karnataka and Maharashtra, developers are beset by land-related problems.

The wind industry will present these issues to the Minister and urge him to strive, in view of these difficulties, to get back the AD and GBI incentives.

mramesh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 29, 2012)
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