Thanks to a spurt in wind power installations in March – estimated to be over 800 MW – the total wind power capacity added to the country in 2013-14 has come up to 2,126 MW, a figure that has surprised many. Installations in 2012-13 were at 1700 MW.
Only in early February, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy told Parliament that installations in April 2013 to January 2014 totalled 1,148 MW. Against that backdrop, few in the industry and none outside believed that even the March-momentum would carry the total installations past the 2,000 MW-mark.
Sources in the industry say that a major reason for this was the government beginning to disburse the ‘generation-based incentive’, from December.
Until then, investors were keeping their fingers crossed over whether the GBI, formally approved in October, would be implemented or not. Between December and March, the Union Government disbursed about ₹300 crore by way of GBI, of 50 paise per kWhr of electricity.
Madhusudhan Khemka, Chairman and Managing Director, Regen Powertech, and Chairman of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association, feels several projects got cleared in a bunch in Maharashtra.
The State, incidentally, ended up with fresh installations of 847.70 MW and ranks No.1 in terms of capacity additions in 2013-14, compared with 281 MW in the previous year.
Better year ahead
In contrast, Rajasthan fell from 645 MW in 2012-13 to 47.6 MW in 2013-14.
The mood in the industry has suddenly turned positive, nourished by the efforts of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to get another key incentive — the tax-saving ‘accelerated depreciation’ — brought back.
Industry sources also say that next year would be an even better year for one more reason. In the last couple of years, wind power companies bought substantial capacities of pre-owned assets.
As the opportunity for acquisition gets used up, these companies would begin to buy new machines, sources say.
The Spanish wind power major, Gamesa, led the table with sales of 426 MW, followed closely by Suzlon with 400 MW.
Windworld (previously, Enercon) sold 351 MW of machines, while Regen Powertech sold 331 MW turbines.