But there are considerable challenges to achieving deployment at this scale, from manufacturing to financing to the regulatory landscape. Over the coming months, Windpower Monthly will examine these areas by speaking to major players in the Indian market, starting with manufacturing.
With nearly 7.5GW of new capacity awarded in the past year, the Indian wind industry has recovered from the drastic capacity drop that followed the country’s switch from feed-in tariffs to competitive auctions. Indian OEMs have 10GW of manufacturing capacity. However, many smaller manufacturers have not survived the introduction of the auction system and the actual manufacturing capacity available needs to be assessed.
Voicing this concern, Sunil Jain, CEO of developer Hero Future Energies and president of the Wind Independent Power Producers Association (WIPPA), said: "We really have to look at the capacity available in the market, as many small players, like Regen Powertech and Wind World India, may no longer be in a position to supply capacity. At the same time, we also have to look at the capacity of new entrants such as Senvion and Acciona. I would assess total manufacturing capacity to be around 8GW."
Turbine manufacturers, however, were quick to dismiss concerns related to manufacturing capacity. Tulsi Tanti, managing director of Suzlon Energy and chairman of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturer’s Association said: "At present, we have sufficient capacity to meet market demand. In terms of components like gearboxes for example, local manufacturers have nearly 5GW capacity.
"However, many new entrants are importing gearboxes. We are trying to persuade our supply-chain partners to set up new capacity closer to the action areas. The industry has control over 70-80% of the supply chain, without which it will be difficult to compete at auction prices," Tanti added.
Ramesh Kymal, CEO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) was also confident that scaling up would not be a problem. "I see no constraint from the manufacturing side for up to 15GW. The 18 months after the bid is awarded is enough to scale up capacity, even for components like blades, provided there is order visibility."
Interestingly, the industry had differing views on logistics and transport challenges. While SGRE’s Kymal and WIPPA’s Jain saw no major problems in these areas, Tanti expressed concern. "Logistics is a challenge. Special vehicles required for transport and installation will need to be upgraded to handle new, larger machines and components," he said.
"Most of the project execution will be concentrated in the second half of the year, and logistics may be constrained in this sense too. But India has big transport companies, and we are encouraging them to invest in opportunities available in the wind sector. Yes, there are challenges, but I foresee logistics stabilising next year."