Much will depend on the outcome of the national elections to be held in May 2014 in India, wrote the authors of the Global Wind Energy Council’s Market Forecast 2014-2018 report a few months back. That about sums up the mood of the wind industry in India.
After suffering for two years after the withdrawal of two key tax-breaks, the Indian wind industry surprised everybody by adding 800 MW in March last year after one of the withdrawn sops – the ‘generation-based incentive’ or GBI – was brought back.
In 2013-14, India saw addition of fresh installations of 2,146 MW, up from 1,700 MW in the year before, but much lower than the 3,200 MW it achieved in 2011-12.
Now, as the new Government settles in, the industry hopes for a helping hand.
Reviving ‘Wind Mission’
The GWEC report noted that the “paralysis that currently plagues New Delhi, resulting in the stop-start policy situation, which has hampered market growth over the last two years, will hopefully come to an end.”
The wind industry is today harmed by too many niggles, from land acquisition and right-of-way issues, to evacuation infrastructure, and low tariffs in some states. In its dying days, the previous UPA Government came up with a ‘National Wind Mission’, which, the industry hoped, would help sort out these issues.
This is what the industry expects the Government to do. GWEC commented back then that while the new National Wind Mission was a welcome step, “what is really needed is clear, stable national policy and government investment in infrastructure, strengthening transmission.”
The Modi Government and its familiarity with renewable energy – the BJP has a ‘Renewable Energy Cell’ – is expected to deliver this. As if on a cue, some good news has come from Tamil Nadu, the windiest state in the country – the State Government has withdrawn a five-year-ban and has allowed power producers within the State to sell their electricity outside the State – something the wind power industry wanted.