Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has announced that it anticipates India to add between 7,000-10,000 MW of wind energy capacity in 2021, its global chief executive believed, in the face of a decline in projects over the last two years.
“The Indian market is making a strong comeback and, if China is excluded, it will be the biggest market in the world by 2021,” Markus Tacke, Siemens Gamesa’s Global CEO, supposed on the sidelines of the Wind Europe conference in Spain lately. “At present, the US is the largest volume-wise, but that may soon change. India is a key market for us.”
In initial 2017, India transitioned from a feed-in tariff regime (where tariffs were set by the power regulator) to a reverse auction system. The transition, though, took time and not enough auctions were held, leading to a fall in new projects.
German corporation Siemens and Spanish wind power producer Gamesa amalgamated their wind businesses two years ago to form Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, but the unification concurred with the new tariff regime in India, and new installations that year, at around 260 MW, were uncertain.
“At the time of the merger, the Indian market went into a standstill with no projects being executed for nine months,” said Tacke. “It was unfortunate. Revenue went down close to zero. But, we knew at the time that the market would revive, and that is now happening.”
In 2018-19, nevertheless, projects worth 10,000 MW were auctioned by the Solar Corporation of India (SECI), with strong partaking by wind developers.
Siemens Gamesa, which only tracks Denmark’s Vestas among global wind power companies, recently installed India’s first solar-wind hybrid project of 78.8 MW in Karnataka.
“There is solar radiation, which is the highest at noon, and good wind speeds in the mornings and evenings. If you combine them and flatten the production curve, it makes a good start. Then you combine that with storage, and you could come to what I call “dispatchable renewables” or (what) in India you call “round the clock power,” he thought.
Tacke also believed wind tariffs had stabilized, and were not likely to fall further. The latest wind power auction held by SECI in February saw tariffs in the range of Rs 2.82 per unit. “Rs 2.80 per unit is not a bad number,” he said. “In the end, the industry needs to have funds to keep developing better technology.”
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