‘Bring back generation-based incentives for wind power fast’

Chennai, April 30 (IANS) Even though the government has been sending out positive signals for the wind energy sector, it is time for it to actualise measures like re-introducing generation based incentives (GBI) and a standard bidding document, said a senior industry official.

“The recent union budget announced reintroduction of GBI. We haven’t seen the fine print. It is high time the government rolls out the scheme,” Ramesh Kymal, chairman, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) told reporters here Tuesday.

Wind power producers were given an incentive of 50 paise per unit generated subject to a cap of Rs.62.5 lakh per MW of installed capacity. The scheme ended March 31 last year.

Kymal said the scrapping of GBI and the accelerated depreciation benefits brought down the wind energy capacity addition last fiscal drastically.

“Last year the capacity addition nationwide was around 1,700 MW against 3,169 MW of the capacity added the previous year,” he said.

In Tamil Nadu, around 170 MW of fresh wind energy capacity was added last year as against around 1,100 MW added the previous year.

Expecting the capacity addition during 2013-14 will be similar to last fiscal’s levels nationwide, Kymal said the wind energy sector grew out of private investments which has now stalled due to policy uncertainities.

If the situation continues, some of the wind turbine manufacturers may have to shut down their operations, he warned, adding it is time for the centre to wake up to the situation.

Expressing concern at the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd’s (RREC) plan to set up 300 MW under reverse bidding mode, Kymal said the non-availability of accurate wind data and no assurance of 95-98 percent grid availability, especially during high wind season, can make the entire programme a non-starter.

According to Kymal, the central government should come out with a National Standard Bidding Document to states which will govern the interest of a bidder, the utility and the consumer.

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