Bengaluru: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, the second largest manufacturer of wind turbines in the world, expects India to add between 7,000 and 10,000 megawatt (MW) of wind energy capacity in 2021, its global chief executive said.
The optimism comes despite a slump 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, said on the sidelines of Wind Europe conference in Spain recently. “At present, the US is the largest volume-wise, but that may soon change. India is a key market for us.”
In early 2017, India transitioned from a feed-in tariff regime (where tariffs were set by the power regulator) to a reverse auction regime. The transition, however, took time and not enough auctions were held, leading to a fall in new projects.
German conglomerate Siemens and Spanish wind power producer Gamesa merged their wind businesses two years ago to form Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, but the merger coincided with the new tariff regime in India, and new installations that year, at around 260 MW, were modest.
“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, however, 10,000 MW of projects were auctioned by the Solar Corporation of India (SECI), with strong participation by wind developers.
For Siemens Gamesa, India is the fastest growing market for hybrid plants, Tacke said. “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 said.
(The reporter attended the Wind Europe conference at the invitation of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy)
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