Wind Energy & Related Issues

Why is it in News?

From 5,500 MW in 2016-17, capacity addition has plunged to 1600 MW in 2018-19 which have impacted 4000 SMEs that supply components to turbine makers.

About Wind Power Generation:

  • When the wind, a natural form of energy, is capable of creating electricity or a mechanical force, it is referred to as wind power.
  • The speed of the wind rotates the blades of a rotor (between 10 and 25 rpm), producing kinetic energy. The rotor then drives a generator that converts the mechanical energy into electricity.

How are Issues related to Wind Power different from Solar Power Generation?

  • Unlike solar, wind power plants cannot be put up anywhere but only in locations where winds blow strong.
  • In India, there are eight states where it is economically viable to put up wind turbines -Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

What is the Government’s Target vis-à-vis Renewable Energy?

The Government has set a target of generating 175 GW of Renewable Energy by 2022of which the break-up is as follows:

  • Solar- 100GW
  • Wind- 60GW
  • Biomass & Small Hydro- 15GW

Why did the Capacity Addition drop in 2018-19?

Earlier, wind power generators used to sign agreement with the windy states (called as Feed in Tariff or FiT) for long term period (around 25 years), but recently the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) changed the model and started buying from the different wind power generators and selling it to the non windy states which led to a huge competition and prices fell drastically below the FiT. This made the windy states wonder as to why they should buy electricity at higher prices when it is available at lower prices through SECI. Thus, they terminated the Agreements and the windy states market vanished.

What is wrong with the SECI Model?

As the best sites like Tamil Nadu & Gujarat were taken, the price of the electricity quoted by developers started to rise in the next round of bidding and due to initial low quoting of price the agreements were also terminated in windy states. The whole process led to crashing of the market in windy states and thus the demand of wind power crashed too.

Which were the Sectors most hit by this Mess?

The worst sufferers in the mess are the 4,000 SMEs who supply components to turbine manufacturers and their two million employees.

About Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI):

  • Solar Energy Corporation of India is a CPSU under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • SECI does not only look after solar energy but it also looks after wind, geothermal etc. Keeping this in mind it was renamed as Renewable Energy Corporation of India.

Source: TH