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Govt may miss 2022 wind capacity target

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on March 25, 2021

A host of issues hinder progress, says report

Multiple issues are challenging the Central Government’s ambitious capacity addition target in the wind energy sector.

The Centre has fixed a renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 including 60 GW of onshore wind energy. As of February 2021, 39 GW of wind capacity was installed, comprising 10.25 per cent of the power mix.

“The government’s 2022 targets may be missed, due to constraints around land allocation, grid availability, recurring financial instability of Discoms, tender design and PPA (power purchase agreement) sanctity,” says Global Wind Report 2021 of Global Wind Energy Council.

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Reviving a long-term national mission to scale up wind and renewables by resolving these challenges, such as through increased government industry coordination and knowledge-sharing, will provide a much-needed boost to the sector, it said.

Growth of wind power over the next five years will be driven by the expiry of the inter-state transmission (ISTS) charges waiver in 2023, as well as the trend of hybrid tenders combining wind, solar and storage technologies. The government has also shared its vision for longer-term renewable energy targets of 450 GW by 2030, including 140 GW of wind.

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With wind and solar prices beating fossil fuel-based generation across India’s grid, the expansion of affordable renewables can support de-carbonisation of energy-intensive industries such as steel, iron, cement, transport and agriculture.

Through the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, the Modi administration has already enacted an aggressive electric and hybrid vehicle scheme and aims to shift Railways from coal dependency to the world’s first net zero railway network by 2030. The government has also announced that green hydrogen auctions will be launched in 2021, although tender documents have not yet been issued, as of February 2021.

While the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliance) and “Make in India” for energy security and supply chain competitiveness will accelerate growth in renewable sector, the development of offshore wind and green hydrogen capacity will further support India’s shift to a more flexible, resilient and clean energy system, the report said.

Positive moves

Meanwhile, industry representatives pointed out that some of the recent developments augur well for the wind energy sector.

Recently, the Prime Minister launched the world’s largest (30 GW) Hybrid Renewable Energy Park in Kutch district, Gujarat. More such hybrid parks are expected to be developed across India on the lines of solar parks.

These hybrid parks will be on a plug and play model wherein the land and power evacuation facilities will be provided by the state/development agencies. Also, hybrid tenders are increasingly gaining traction wherein the minimum wind capacity will be 33 per cent of the contracted capacity.

Published on March 25, 2021

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