Gujarat
Power Project
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Gujarat Power Project

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Wind energy outlook in India.
India has long played an important role in the world’s wind energy market. Already established in the 1990s, by 2005 it had developed into the world’s fourth largest market, and the only sizeable market in Asia at that time. The installed wind energy capacity has grown consistently at a CAGR of 34% between 2004 and 2008 to reach 9,645 MW in 2008.

Strong untapped potential.
The total potential for wind power in India was first estimat¬ed by the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET) at around 45 GW, and was recently increased to 48.5 GW. This figure was also adopted by the government as the official estimate. The C-WET study was based on a comprehensive wind mapping exercise initiated by MNRE, which established a country-wide network of 1,050 wind monitoring and wind mapping stations in 25 Indian States. This effort made it possible to assess the national wind potential and identify suitable areas for harnessing wind power for commercial use, and 216 suitable sites have been identified.

However, the wind measurements were carried out at lower hub heights and did not take into account technological innovation and improvements and repowering of old turbines to replace them with bigger ones. At heights of 55-65 meters, the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) estimates that the potential for wind development in India is around 65-70 GW. The World Institute for Sustainable Energy, India (WISE) considers that with larger turbines, greater land availability and expanded resource exploration, the potential could be as big as 100 GW.

Currently, wind power in India has been concentrated in a few regions, especially the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which maintains its position as the state with the most wind power, with 4.1 GW installed at the end of 2008, representing 44% of India’s total wind capacity. The wind power installed capacity in Tamil Nadu is already 76% of the total potential in the state. In contrast, states like Karnataka and Gujarat that offer the highest potential for wind energy currently have huge unutilized potential.

There is not a national renewable energy policy but the promotion of renewable energy figures prominently in section 86(1) e of the 2003 Electricity Act. However the absence of a national renewable policy has hampered the development of renewable energy which accounts for only 1.6% of the electricity mix. The Indian government is committed to its stated target for renewable energy to contribute 10% of total power generation capacity and have a 4-5% share of electricity mix by 2012 and has put in place a number of initiatives to promote renewable energy.

Definition of renewable portfolio standards
The Electricity Act 2003 required the SERCs to set Renewable Portfolio Standards for electricity production in their state. Following this, the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued guidelines to all state governments to create an attractive environment for the export, purchase, wheeling and banking of electricity generated by wind power projects. Following this, ten out of the 29 Indian States have now implemented quotas for a renewable energy share of up to 10% and have introduced preferential tariffs for electricity produced from renewable sources. In addition, several states have implemented fiscal and financial incentives for renewable energy generation, including; energy buy back (i.e. a guarantee from an electricity company that they will buy the renewable power produced); preferential grid connection and transportation charges and electricity tax exemptions.

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