The Growing Market for Wind Turbines

The recent announcement of companies both international and local to set up wind turbines in India is a welcome development. Favorable climate conditions and regulatory support lined the way for investors and companies to large number of power plants. With the growing need for energy in Asia-Pacific regions especially densely populated countries like India and China, this is going to be a nice opportunity for growth. When turbine manufacturers met at the Wind Power India 2011, a three-day event on the industry that was recently concluded, they planned strategies to either set up new service-facilities or obtain wind turbines of larger capacity, to tap the growing market. These turbines will be tailored to accommodate the low wind sites in the country.

The Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) was established by the Indian government in the early 1980s to satisfy the growing energy demand and to encourage diversification of the country’s energy supply. In 2006, this was renamed as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Wind Power is the ideal choice for India as it is of moderately low cost when compared to other renewable sources of energy. Renewable energy is a rapidly growing industry in Indian Economy.  The number of wind energy turbines installed in India as of December 2010 is 13,065 MW. According to Industry Intelligence Reports, renewable energy sources (excluding large hydro) currently credit for 9% of India’s overall power generation capacity and Indian Government is planning to add an extra 14 CW of renewable sources.

What is even more delightful news is that it is a completely pollution free source of energy. This is a very efficient way to deal with mounting needs of population in a sustainable way. With technological innovations and improvements, wind will become an extremely efficient and useful green source of power generation, thus creating immense business opportunities for manufacturing and material procurement companies. This, in turn, will compel the growth of the manufacturing sector of the nation in a great way.

India’s Wind Energy Market is the biggest renewable energy sector in India (non-hydro) and is the 5th largest in the world. But wind energy companies in India are not world-class except for Suzlon. Wind Turbines in India are still restricted to small Tubular Steel Type cylinders and less sophisticated technology than those available in the Western Markets. Direct drive wind turbines, which are the current choice of Wind Turbines these days, are still not installed in India. Hopefully, the Indian Government will take into account technological developments to repower the old turbines to replace them with much better ones.

Global Wind Turbine Leaders like Siemens, Enercon and GE have started Wind Turbine Equipment Manufacturing in India in recent times to lower the costs. Siemens is planning to set up a plant near Vadodara, Gujrat to manufacture Wind Turbines. Larger Wind Turbines of 3MW and greater sizes should be made available in India. Many small Wind Farms in India were put up to capitalize on the depreciation and tax incentives rather than on their Efficient Running. This scenario should change. Hope India would use its strengths like greater land availability and expanded resources to explore the full potential of the Wind market to achieve their objectives in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Nandana Nallapu

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