Move to shield industry from delays in realising payment
The Centre is mooting directly paying the feed-in tariff to wind energy suppliers and later deducting the equivalent from the allocation to the State Government concerned, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said on Wednesday.
Inaugurating the three-day ‘Wind Power India 2012’ hosted by the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA) and the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE), Dr. Abdullah said that the drastic step was being considered to save the industry in States where the suppliers were hit by delays in realising the tariff from the government.
“The Central Government will step in to make the payment and deduct it from the allocation to the State.”
Dr. Abdullah promised to take up with the Finance Ministry the demand for retrospective implementation of the reworked generation-based incentive for wind power developers. With the existing schemes of accelerated depreciation incentive and generation-based incentive expiring in March 2012, the industry has been demanding that the new incentive mechanism take effect from April 1, 2012, instead of the eventual date of notification by the government. He expected the new incentive scheme to be announced soon.
The Centre planned to add 3000 MW per year as far as wind power is concerned. “If generation-based incentive is given, industry can grow further and can be motivated in producing more power”, he said.
Later, Dr. Abdullah told reporters that the utilisation of renewable energy sources, including tidal, had to be maximised in a country with an energy demand supply gap of 8 per cent, peak shortages to the order of 11-12 per cent and grid access beyond an estimated 55 per cent of the rural population.
Establishing offshore facilities to tap wind power was among the options being explored. The wind power potential is estimated to be 49,000 MW at 50 m height though the actual realisation could be much higher with the availability of better and more efficient wind turbines, he said.
India, which had over 26,000 MW of renewable power installations that accounted for 12 per cent of the net capacity, aimed to be the world leader in wind energy generation, Dr. Abdullah said. At present, with a wind power output of 18,275 MW, it was ranked fifth.
According to the Minister, among the various initiatives to generate solar power was the installation of the Solar Radiation Resource Assessment (SRRA) facility in Chennai. The initiative by C-WET networked with 54 stations in order to measure the intensity and humidity of wind and solar energy.
“We are planning to add further 60 stations in the country this year. So, we are moving in a much bigger way as far as solar energy is concerned”, he said.
To a query, he said the Tamil Nadu Government had to improve the power transmission system and must seek funds from the Centre for it.
Ramesh Kymal, IWTMA Chairperson, Steve Sawyer, Secretary General, Global Wind Energy Council, G. M. Pillai, WISE Director General and Madhusudan Khemka, IWTMA vice-chairperson, also participated.