The National Wind Energy Mission, which is expected to be launched this year, may provide the much-needed boost to wind energy development in the country.
The proposal for setting up a NWEM in the ongoing 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017) had been floated by the Planning Commission taking into consideration the importance of wind energy. Following the Planning Commission’s proposal, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy prepared a concept note and held a national consultation with stakeholders to deliberate on issues relating to the need and rational for a NWEM.
The primary objective of the NWEM would be to enhance the wind power generation capacity to 100 GW by 2022 from the present 20 GW through large scale promotion of onshore and offshore wind power as well as small wind turbine systems.
The wind energy sector in India is currently plagued by a host of challenges. Some of the serious issues confronting the sector relate to resource potential, land availability, grid connectivity, clearance procedures, zoning, withdrawal of accelerated depreciation benefits, lack of an integrated energy plan and limited validity of Renewable Energy Certificates.
Owing to the various challenges, the wind energy sector had been witnessing a significant fall in capacity addition over the past few years. Annual wind installations fell from over 3 GW in 2011 to 2.3 GW in 2012 to 1.7 GW in 2013. According to the Global Wind Report – Annual Market Update 2013 by the Global Wind Energy Council, the year 2013 was one of the toughest years for the Indian wind industry since the economic recession of 2008.
The report said that following the announcement with regard to NWEM, the industry was hopeful of a recovery over 2014 – 15.
“The strength of the recovery will be closely linked to how effectively the NWEM and its contents can be made operational and how well it is designed. If everything goes according to expectation then during the Indian financial year 2014-15 wind capacity addition is likely to cross 2,500 MW,” it said.