EVALUATION OF WIND ENERGY (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Energy)

News-CRUX-10     27th July 2023        
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Context: A report titled Evaluation of Wind Energy in India was considered and adopted by the Standing Committee on Energy at their parliamentary sitting held on July 20, 2023.

  • The Twenty-Seventh Report of the evaluation was presented to the Lok Sabha on August 2, 2022 and was laid on the table of the Rajya Sabha on the same day. 
  • The MNRE stated that it had revised the ‘Policy for Repowering of the Wind Power Projects’ issued on August 5, 2016 and it had been circulated for stakeholders’ comments on October 17, 2022.

Standing Committee Report Summary

  • Potential of wind energy: The Committee observed that only a fraction of the country’s wind potential has been tapped. Reasons for slow capacity addition include: (i) shift in tariff system from feed-in-tariff (guaranteed above-market price for producers) to tariff determination by competitive bidding, and (ii) aggressive bidding by developers. 
  • Repowering old turbines: The Committee noted that most of the wind energy potential of India is available in eight states which include Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh.  
    • The Committee recommended: (i) replacing old and less efficient turbines with advanced turbines, and (ii) formulating a policy for repowering of old turbines and issuing guidelines for recycling old turbines.    
  • Change in tariff system: The Committee recommended provisions for a heavy penalty on developers backing out unilaterally and blacklisting persistent defaulters.  
  • ?????Solar-wind hybrid projects: The Committee noted that wind and solar energy are complementary to each other as solar power is harnessed during the day and wind power projects are productive during the night. 
    • It recommended promoting setting up of wind-solar hybrid projects to harness the installable potential of more than 50 GW. 
  • Non-payment by distribution companies: The Committee observed that one of the reasons for the NPAs is the non-payment of dues by distribution companies (discoms). 
  • Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO): The Committee observed that only four states- Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu have fulfilled the RPO target of 19% as per the National RPO trajectory for 2020-21.  
    • It recommended the ensuring RPO compliance by all states and enforcing penalties against defaulting entities.  
  • Offshore wind power: The Committee noted that offshore wind energy (wind energy projects in water bodies) potential was estimated to be about 70 GW off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.  
    • The Committee recommended exploring offshore wind potential in different coastal areas of India.  
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