Wind energy can help India to meet its clean energy targets provided enabling policies, says report


New Delhi: Wind Energy could help India to add 23.7 GW of clean energy capacity by 2026, provided necessary “enabling policies” and the right impetus for states and the centre, according to the report released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and MEC Intelligence (MEC+) on Wednesday.

The report “Renewing wind growth to power the energy transition: India Wind Energy Market Outlook 2026”   said that, the country can add another 23.7 GW of capacity within the next five years provided necessary enabling policies, facilitative instruments, and the right institutional interventions are put in place.

This third annual edition looking at the wind energy outlook in India highlights wind energy’s critical link to India’s green energy transition.

India has committed to the goal of having 50% of India’s installed capacity to be from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

Wind industry installations have been slowing down in India since 2017. Only 1.45 GW of wind projects were installed in 2021 with many delays due to the second wave of COVID-19 and supply chain-related disruptions.

So far, only 40 GW of wind power capacity has been established.

Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC said: “This Outlook is published as the world faces a decisive moment; there is a narrow window of opportunity to halt the irreversible damage to this planet from climate change by making an urgent shift to clean energy.

 “To seize this enormous opportunity, India must focus on three areas: Dialogue between the central government and the states to foster consensus building; delivery to help match timelines and targets, and the potential for India to be a destination for the global wind manufacturers and suppliers,” he said.

Wind power constituted the majority of the renewable energy mix in India, with 37.7% of cumulative installed capacity, as of March 2022.

However, the overall estimated potential dwarfs the current installed capacity. There is over 600 GW of onshore capacity at 120m hub height, with another 174 GW of fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind potential.

“These statistics demonstrate that there is a huge untapped wind energy potential that will be crucial for advancing the country’s clean energy transition,” said the official statement.

Talking about India’s clean energy transition,  Sumant Sinha, Chairperson GWEC India, and CEO, ReNew Power Private Limited, said “If India is to achieve its climate goals set at COP26, it must harness the full potential of its enormous wind capacity, including offshore, at an accelerated pace.

“We can do it. But to get there, it has to be an all-hands-on-deck, literally non-stop, collaborative and flexible effort from policymakers to clean energy firms to investors to innovators to communities to academia to multilateral lenders—from today, for the next few decades” he said.

He further added that “nothing less will do if we are to ensure that the clean energy transition is successful so our future generations can literally breathe easier and inhabit a liveable planet.”

The outlook finds that the market in India has been affected by the pandemic, with the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, coupled with global supply chain challenges, causing disruption.

According to date, between 2021 and until the release of this edition, 2.65 GW of the SECI awarded wind/solar hybrid (WSH) tenders, and 3.5 GW of standalone wind projects were awarded.

Sidharth Jain, MD, MEC+ said “India’s track record has indicated that the wind installation market is a lumpy market. Considerable momentum has been built in the pipeline since 2017-2018, but inordinate delays in project execution have challenged the assumptions of developers. Despite these obstacles, wind’s role as a supplement to solar energy strengthened in 2021. Given the trends, we are hopeful of the revitalization of demand for wind power towards 2026 in the country.”

Martand Shardul, Policy Director, GWEC India stressed the growing role of both standalone and hybrid wind projects to support the needs of the power sector’s decarbonization as well as the availability and adequacy of reliable green power supply.

According to the IEA, to meet the growth in electricity demand over the next twenty years, India will need to add a power system the size of the European Union to what it has now.


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