At a recent meeting of the association in Delhi, the problem of second hand wind turbines and the threat they could pose to a new and uncertain market was among several issues touched upon by chairman Yogesh Mehra. Also at the meeting, a representative of the Ministry of Non Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) assured that the matter was one the government was aware of. "We will be trying to evolve some strategy to avoid this," the official said.
The association has 23 industry members and the Delhi meeting -- called to discuss a number of issues currently plaguing India's wind industry -- was its first. Mehra said the association offers a common platform for the industry to air its views, gain recognition as an established industry, and assist decision makers in formulating policy.
At the meeting it was agreed that efforts should be made to ensure that current government support of wind power must not be phased out too soon "Today, the wind industry in India is worth INR 20 billion and employs directly or indirectly, 20,000 people," Mehra pointed out. Raj Kumar of NEPC Micon also stressed the importance of continuing to back the fledgling industry.
Listening to the opinions of association members at the meeting were officials from MNES, the finance ministry, utilities and government financing agencies like the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, IREDA. Their presence was seen as a sign of changing times towards better industry and government collaboration. Ajit Gupta, adviser to MNES, said: "Periodic interaction between government and industry is a healthy development."
The interaction meeting discussed wind policy after 1997. One participant commented: "We would like to know if the government plans to continue its subsidies as our future plans depend on that." Other subjects discussed were uptake of wind power by the State Electricity Boards and their ability to extend their grids for this purpose, a thorn in the side of many projects at the moment, the lack of wind mapping, easy access to finance from IREDA, and easing customs and excise regulations.