India can Add 23.7 GW Wind Capacity by 2026 with Policy Support: Report

GWEC-MEC+ Intelligence report says hybrid projects will drive the Indian wind market

August 29, 2022

/ Wind

India can add 23.7 GW of wind capacity by 2026 with supportive policies and dialogue between the central and state governments, according to the ‘India Wind Energy Market Outlook 2026’, jointly published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and MEC+ Intelligence.

With 160 GW of installed renewable energy capacity, including large hydro, the country needs to deploy another 15 GW of clean energy to achieve its target of 175 GW by the end of 2022.

Wind power contributed 40.1 GW to the cumulative renewable capacity until March 2022. The report projects that India has the potential to accommodate 302 GW of technical onshore wind resource at 100-meter height and 695 GW of technical onshore wind resource at 120 meters.

India Wind Installations by Scenario

However, the Covid-19 pandemic and the fallout of Russia-Ukraine unrest on the energy markets slowed India’s wind installations in previous quarters.

Cancellations of ~2 GW in central projects are likely in the base case. The focus on low-cost bidding in the current tender design has limited the room to absorb the inflationary pressure on wind projects.

The report said with continued supply disruption, the current pipeline of wind markets will remain restricted to 11.4 GW in the base case.

GWEC CEO Ben Backwell said, “To seize the enormous opportunity in wind energy, India must focus on dialogue between the central government and the states to foster consensus building; delivery to help match timelines and targets, and the potential for India to be a destination for the global wind manufacturers and suppliers.”

Wind- solar hybrid installations

The report said India has a pipeline of 13.4 GW wind-solar hybrid projects. After 2024, the wind market in India will be driven by new capacities awarded primarily in hybrid modes.

GWEC India Chairperson and CEO of Renew Power Sumant Sinha said, “Between 2021 and until the release of this edition, 2.7 GW of the SECI awarded wind/solar hybrid (WSH) tenders, and 3.5 GW of standalone wind projects were awarded. Unlike the previous years, both standalone and hybrid projects were oversubscribed, which reinstates the ever-growing prominent role of wind energy for decarbonization and resilience building in the grid system.”

From 2021 to the date of publishing of GWEC’s report, SECI awarded 2.65 GW of WSH tenders which were oversubscribed.

Wind Installations by Type

In the past year, a 600 MW WSH tender comprising a 150 MW wind component was also issued by NTPC and is yet to be awarded. The announcement of waivers to open access charges as part of WSH policies by some states, with inter-state transmission system waivers by the Ministry of Power, also piqued the interest of developers in WSH projects.

The report said India is home to 174 GW of technical resource across fixed-bottom and floating potential, primarily off the Gujarat and Tamil Nadu coasts. Wind energy, combined with cost-competitiveness and resource complementarity for round-the-clock power supply solutions, is the key to India’s power sector transition.

Recently, the government announced that bids will be issued for offshore wind energy blocks of 4 GW annually until 2025. The bids will be released for wind projects to be developed in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat from the financial year 2022-23.

The advent of the auction regime in 2017 also resulted in a slowdown of India’s wind installations. Aggressive bids in auctions brought tariffs down to the extent that some winning bids were unviable.

The report said a recent surge in the goods and service tax has aggravated turbine costs. Foreign and domestic turbine original equipment manufacturers face cost pressures due to cost inflation related to raw materials and critical wind turbine components, including steel and nickel.

India added 430.45 MW of wind power capacity in the second quarter of 2022, up quarter-over-quarter by 57% from 275 MW. The cumulative wind capacity stood at 40.8 GW, per recent Ministry of New and Renewable Energy data.