Development agency boss expresses concern over lack of wind's market progress in India

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While the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has a target of funding for 1700 MW of wind power incorporated in the country's Tenth Plan period, IREDA director Debashish Majumdar is concerned that the market will not allow that much wind development to happen. He is concerned about poor state wind tariffs, constantly changing renewables policies, withdrawal of permits for third-party sales of wind power directly to customers, high charges for wheeling wind power to customers, and non payment for wind power fed into the grid by the State Electricity Boards. Another major issue is land ownership, Majumdar says. "Most projects in renewable energy are on government land that cannot be mortgaged, leaving us feeling jittery." He suggests that project developers be allowed to mortgage forest land to lending agencies. He is also anxious about the lack of rational policies for taking wind power onto the grid. Furthermore, "It is time fiscal benefits be linked to performance. We also need financier friendly PPAs [power purchase agreements] to be implemented, those that will have a provision for routing payments through designated special accounts in case of default."

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