Today, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) announced that they will establish GWEC India to work with government and stakeholders to renew momentum around wind power development and support India in achieving its ambitious renewable energy targets. The new industry association will focus on building out India’s huge potential and local supply capacity, addressing regulatory bottlenecks, sharing best international practices and experience and facilitating dialogue and cooperation between government and industry stakeholders.
India is the world’s fourth-largest onshore wind market by cumulative installations with nearly 38 GW of capacity. The government has set an ambitious target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022, which calls for current wind capacity to nearly double within the next two years, totaling 60 GW of onshore wind and 5 GW of offshore wind. GWEC estimates that India risks undershooting its 2022 wind energy target if urgent issues are not addressed.
According to GWEC’s Q3 2020 Market Outlook, the impacts of COVID-19 combined with market challenges in India will likely bring down onshore wind installations by 6.1 GW in the next five years compared to pre-COVID forecasts, a reduction of 29 per cent. Looking to offshore wind, India has huge potential, but development of the industry has so far been slow.
Despite these challenges, the Indian government maintains its ambitious targets and recognises the role that wind power can play in a green economic recovery from COVID-19. In order to foster and sustain market growth, GWEC India will be a key partner for both the government and industry to resolve current challenges and tap into the economic benefits of wind power.
Sumant Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director of ReNew Power, commented: “Wind energy kickstarted the renewable energy revolution in India, and today, with over 38 GW of installed capacity, India is the fourth largest wind power market in the world. The sector has also been a torch bearer of ‘Aatmanirbharta’, as most of the equipment for the wind energy sector is manufactured domestically. Wind power has helped India mitigate around 50.87 million tonnes of CO2 in the past two years and will be a big contributor to India meeting its decarbonisation goals under the Paris Agreement. The time is now ripe to accelerate growth and create a framework for government-industry partnership to tackle the challenges being faced by the sector. GWEC India will be an indispensable platform for policymakers and the industry to come together and turn these ambitions into reality, and I am thrilled to be part of this important initiative”.
Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC, added: “With over 300 GW of onshore wind potential and a further 195 GW of offshore wind potential, we have only begun to scratch the surface of India’s wind power capability. GWEC has a proven track record working with stakeholders to address regulatory barriers and unlock growth potential in emerging markets across the world, and we are looking forward to doing the same with GWEC India. As the government looks to establish the country as a renewable energy manufacturing hub, it will be essential that we have long-term market visibility in order to bring in investors and encourage development of a local industry. This is more important than ever as the industry can be a critical driver of jobs and investment, while delivering low-cost power to energy-intensive industries, to power an economic recovery from COVID-19”.
Sumant Sinha, has been designated as the Chair of GWEC India, which will be supported by a local office and GWEC team. The association will leverage the expertise of GWEC’s global network to draw from international best practices, publish market analysis and support policymakers in shaping a sustainable wind sector. Key challenges addressed by GWEC India will include grid and land availability, off-taker risks, onerous tender conditions, low tariff caps and offshore wind development.