Wind Energy in INDIA: Present scenario and the way forward
By Vanshika Vijh
India is blessed with such a marvellous wind system that wind energy can be harnessed round the year in India and that too effectively which has made wind energy as the one of the top most renewable energy resource for India .
Why wind energy is a preferred energy source
- In comparison with fossil based energy sources, wind power has negligible environmental impact as there are no gas or water emissions, no radiation or solid waste production.
- It benefits us tremendously with only minor problems caused by it such as bird kills, noisy turbines that affect TV reception nearly which can be managed by aptly choosing location of turbines.
Procedure of wind energy harnessing: Wind power programme
MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) has developed a broad based wind power programme which aims to catalyze commercialisation of grid interactive wind power. It consists of following steps:
a) National Wind Resource Assessment: Through NIWE channel (National Institute of Wind Energy) and state nodal agencies wind monitoring stations are installed and monitored all over India Based on the data received from these stations economically viable wind energy spots are selected.
b)Choosing Technology: There are two types of turbines
- Stall regulated (fixed rotor blades)
- Pitch regulated (Adjustable rotor blades that change the angle of attach depending upon the wind speed
C)Demonstration Programmes: They are taken up by state government, State Nodal Agencies or State Boards in areas where commercial wind power projects have not yet been initiated or taken off.
d)Manufacturing of Wind Electricity Generators: Wind electric generators are being manufactured in the country through
- Joint ventures
- Subsidiaries of foreign companies under licensed production
- Indian companies with their own technology
Import content is higher in high capacity machines whereas lesser capacity machines are indigenously manufactured.)
e)National Institution of wind energy: It is under the administrative control of MNRE. It performs the important tasks of resource assessment testing and certification.
Promotional policies to boost wind energy sector
- Accelerated Depreciation (AD): It is a tax benefit scheme which can be availed by anyone who sets up or invested in wind energy form under this, 80% of project cost is paid back if form commissioned before 30th Sep of financial year. (Note: From April 2011, 80% will be capped to maximum of 40% to maintain efficiency and bring in serious investors.)
- Generation Based Incentive Scheme: Power projects not availing (AD) are eligible for GBI scheme at the rate of Rs 0.50 per unit of power fed to the grid, subject to ceiling of Rs 1 crore per MW. Idea behind this was transition from investment based incentive to outcome based incentive.
- Concessional custom duty on specified items, exemptions from excise duty, sales tax and income tax for 10 years.
- Preferential Tariffs: State Elec. Regulatory commissions determine preferential tariffs. There have been an increase in tariff of potential states such as T.N. and Rajasthan.
- Renewable purchase obligation: Regulatory commission in each state mandates the DISCOMs, Open Access Consumer and Capture Consumer i.e. those generating and consuming power from captive cost/ natural gas would generate a certain % of electricity from renewable sources.
- Renewable Energy Certificate (REC): It is a tradable market based instrument which provides evidence that a generator has produced a certain amount of electricity from a renewable energy resource. One REC=IMWG REC mechanism helps entities in meeting their RPOs. If the above mentioned instruction have failed to produce their their share of renewable energy they can purchase REC’s to meet their obligations.
Problems faced by wind energy sectors:
- Delays in signing up to PPA’s have put developers in a quandary about the future of their projects (Note: PPA (Power Purchase Agreement): It is regarded as the central document in division of independent power plants and is the key in obtaining finance for the project.)
- Wind machines must be located where strong dependable winds are available most of the time.
- Intermittent nature of wind energy.
- Wind turbines and its blades are subject to damage from high winds and lightening. Rotating parts which are located high off the ground are difficult and expensive to repair.
- Electricity produced by wind power sometimes fluctuates. This can cause difficulty in lining its power to a utility system.
- True benefit of wind power can be gained by involvement of rural communities more than just being limited to land and unskilled labours
- Instead of requiring whole of the land, concept of “spots” should be boosted which can reduce the cost for investor and at the same time prevent farmer from being “landless.”
- Local population can be trained/ skilled in area of wind energy management which can prevent unban-rural migration and at the same time converge “SKILL INDIA” with wind energy development.
- Promotion of Entrepreneurship especially in rural area in field of wind energy can be a total game changes for this sector.
Wind energy sector in India has crossed many milestones but success/ target can be achieved only if stake of rural sector in wind energy can be increased. An inclusive setup with a coordinated effort, open mind, positive approach and innovation can change the contribution of renewable sources on the energy map of India.