Wind break ends

Centre wants to withdraw sops for wind energy sector; offers an incentive to improve performance

Wind energy has been the poster child of India’s renewable energy programme. Data released by the government shows the staggering pace at which wind farms have been added across the country.

But most of them deliver only a fraction of their generation potential, according to the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). This is due to use of obsolete equipment. The electricity regulators now want to discipline this errant child—no tax holidays, and payment subject to performance. But this is likely to happen if the industry agrees to the new direct tax code, which withdraws sops to the industry.

Data maintained by MNRE shows that between 1990 and 2011 about 13,000 MW wind power capacity was installed in India, propelling it to fifth rank among the wind power producing countries. Wind energy forms a little less than 10 per cent of the total installed capacity of the country, but contributes less than three per cent to the country’s power generation, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) data shows. “At best, Indian wind farms have managed a capacity utilisation of 30 per cent,” says an MNRE official. According to MNRE data, average capacity utilisation in 2009-10 was a low 18 per cent

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