The wind industry expects fresh capacity additions in 2023-24 to cross the 5GW mark, and end up at around 5.1 GW, D V Giri, Secretary General, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA), has said.  

Speaking at a ‘pre-even celebration to global wind day’, organized at the National Institute of Wind Energy, jointly by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, IWTMA and other wind power developers associations, Giri noted that in the last seven years, the wind power sector had not been doing well, with annual capacity additions hovering around 1.5 GW—which is just ten per cent of the wind turbine manufacturing capacity available in the country. 

The last good year the wind industry saw was 2016-17, when capacity additions crossed 5.4 GW. 

The optimism for the current year stems from the fact that the government company, SECI, tendered out are currently under implementation. About 5.1 GW will be completed this year and another 3 GW in 2024-25, Giri said. 

The good run is expected to sustain because the government has changed the method of auctions from ‘reverse bidding’, which did not work out well, to ‘closed bidding’. Under the first method, bidding continues even after the initial bids are opened but under ‘closed bidding’, where initial bids are final. Reverse bidding led to extremely low tariffs (₹2.43 a kWhr in once instance, before rising to around ₹2.90 a KWhr) . Whether the bids were “irrational exuberance”, as some allege, or not, the fact is that capacity additions suffered severely in the last seven years. 

First tender under closed bidding 

The first tender under ‘closed bidding’ has just been announced for 2.5 GW. The projects shall be set up in five states—Tamil Nadu (300 MW), Karnataka (1,200 MW), Telangana (400 MW), Andhra Pradesh (300 MW) and Maharashtra (300 MW). Bidders will quote (and get) different tariffs for different states, but the buyers—the electricity utilities—will pay a common, average price. 

Giri said that the government is also developing a single, national ‘renewable purchase obligation’-- that mandates a specified amount of renewable energy purchased by the ‘obligated entities’. Until now, India has had state-specific RPOs, which often could not be enforced.  

The national RPO is expected to spur demand for wind power in the country, giving confidence to energy companies to put up wind power projects.