Odisha is all set to join the list of states that are home to the wind energy industry, D. V. Giri, Secretary-General, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA), said here today. At present, wind power plants are operational in eight states – Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh — with good wind speeds. 

“Odisha is offering 500 MW of capacity under the ‘feed-in tariff’ mechanism and intends to provide incentives for turbines or components manufactured in the state,” Giri said. (Feed-in tariff, or FiT, refers to a fixed, per kWhr price for electricity supplied, as opposed to tariffs discovered through competitive bidding. FiT is considered more remunerative for the energy companies.) 

Giri was speaking at a curtain raiser on Windergy 2023, an annual wind industry conference, to be held in Chennai after a gap of 11 years, between October 4 and 6. . 

On newer states opening up for the wind industry based on their technological advancement, Giri said Odisha was a good example.  

He said the state government held a meeting a month ago with IWTMA, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the National Institute of Wind Energy, inviting the industry to the state.  

Further, Odisha has come out with background paper on wind potential off the state’s coast. The state intends to encourage transportation of goods through inland waterways.

“They are very keen on promoting renewable energy because they want to set up green hydrogen manufacturing facilities at Paradip and Gopalpur ports,” Giri said.  

In February, the International Forum for Environment, Sustainability and Technology (iFOREST), a think-tank, came out with a report on the renewable energy potential in Odisha. While the report was mostly about solar — it put the solar energy potential at 170 GW — it also said “86 locations have been identified with an average wind speed ranging from 6.19 metres per second to 8.78 m/s, at a 150-m hub height across 16 districts.” 

Dr Saravanan Manickam, Chief Executive Officer, Nordex, a wind turbine manufacturer, said the industry is today producing bigger machines — 5GW and above in nominal capacity — standing on taller towers (as much as 150 meters), with a larger sweep of the blades, describing a circle of as much as 160 metres in diameter. These monsters can produce electricity viably even at relatively lower wind speeds, of about 6 metres per second. As such, these machines are opening up new geographies — such as Odisha. 

The industry’s travails and prospects would be discussed at Windergy 2023, expected to be attended by over 6,000 delegates. An area of 4,400 sq m will be taken up by 180 exhibitors at the event that is supported by 23 sponsors, Giri said. 

After many years of languid performance, the wind industry is looking up this year. India has a little over 44 GW of wind power capacity today. In 2023-24, India will add 5,000 MW of capacity, said Parag Sharma, President, Wind Independent Power Producers’ Association (WIPPA).  

Sharma said the momentum in capacity addition would sustain, not least because of the market of ‘commercial and industrial’ customers. 

Today, the trend is towards the supply of round-the-clock renewable electricity, which means both wind and solar will have a complementary role to play, Sharma said.