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  • The wind power sector in India has undergone a paradigm shift since the competitive bidding regime was announced in 2017. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has conducted six auctions so far, awarding 8,440 MW of wind power capacity, and the seventh SECI auction for 1,200 MW has already been announced. Driven by competition, tariffs had fallen to a record low of Rs 2.43 per kWh before rising to Rs 2.83 per kWh.

  • With tariffs falling to such low levels, state governments too stopped purchasing power at fixed feed-in tariffs and launched their own auction programmes. The state as well as NTPC's programmes of up to 2,550 MW have taken the total project awards to 11,000 MW.

  • However, the on-the-ground implementation of these projects has been poor. One, there is a lack of adequate transmission capacity. Two, a significant majority of bidders has decided to set up projects in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, leading to land-related issues. In fact, Gujarat recently announced a land allocation policy, asking IPPs to shift to wind parks, a move that has evoked sharp protests from the industry.

  • On the bright side, low tariffs have resulted in higher wind power offtake as discoms now prefer it to other sources. A transparent and streamlined project allocation mechanism has been put in place with well defined trajectories to achieve the desired targets. Greater consolidation is being witnessed in the industry, weeding out non-serious-non-core developers. Moreover, project sizes are becoming larger, bringing in advantages of scale.

  • On the regulatory front, there is an increased focus on the effective implementation of forecasting and scheduling norms at the state level. Issues pertaining to banking of wind power and must-run status are being resolved speedily. The waiver of interstate transmission charges has also been a positive move.

  • There also has been greater clarity on evacuation infrastructure availability, with Power Grid Corporation of India Limited pressing ahead with building substations and transmission lines. The government is contemplating substation-wise auctions in order to avoid transmission-related roadblocks and allow bidders to quote a price factoring in substation availability. As for land, wind companies have now started buying private land or locating projects elsewhere, with SECI's cooperation.

  • With these steps, the expectation is that a lot of projects will come up in 2019-20, unlike in 2018-19, when just around 2 GW of wind capacity was added.

  • Besides, the government is providing a significant push to new technologies and project designs. Both solar-wind hybrid, and offshore wind policies have been finalised. The target for solar-wind hybrids has been set at 10 GW by 2022, while the offshore wind energy target has been set at 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030. Finally, there has been a growing focus on energy storage technologies for the wind power sector.

  • The mission of this conference is to study the changing market dynamics, examine new opportunities, assess the impact of recent policy and regulatory initiatives, discuss the risks and challenges, and showcase the latest innovations, promising technologies and noteworthy projects. It will also provide a platform to project developers, EPC companies and technology providers to share their experiences and exchange ideas.

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