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New windmills will increase the production of electricity, says IWTMA chairman

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tamil nadu windmill

Coimbatore: Tamil Nadu has over 15-year-old windmills that have a cumulative generation capacity of around 1,000 MW which can be replaced with higher capacity machines if sufficient grid facilities are available, a top industry official said Saturday.

“Windmills with a cumulative generation capacity of around 1,000 MW in Tamil Nadu are over 15 years old. Individually, they are small-capacity machines ranging between 200 kw and going up to sub 1 MW,” Madhusudan Khemka, chairman, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) told reporters here.

He said the old windmills are located in suitable places where there are good wind speeds.

“These machines can be replaced with higher capacity ones -1 MW to 3 MW – so that the wind harvest and power generation would be higher,” Khemka said.

Khemka said there is potential to add around 2,000 MW in the old sites, taking the generation to around 3,000 MW.

While most of the wind turbine owners are willing to replace their old machines with newer ones, what is preventing them is the lack of grid infrastructure to evacuate the higher power from the new machines. Apart from this are the existing power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with the power utility, Khemka said.

He said there should be a policy initiative to take into account the new technologies and capacities so that the investors do not lose money due to the lower rates of the old PPAs.

Madhusudan Khemka

Khemka said windmill owners in Tamil Nadu face the challenge of non-availability of grid for evacuation of power or grid back down on wind power and delayed payments by the state utility.

“However the situation has improved in the recent times,” Khemka said.

According to Khemka, investors are now looking at Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for setting up windmills.

Tamil Nadu has an installed capacity of around 7,446 MW of wind power.

Khemka said corporates are now looking at windmills as an asset for investments rather than as a vehicle for claiming accelerated depreciation.

“Big and medium-sized industrial groups have invested in windmills as an asset, earning returns. One can get around 14-15 per cent returns,” Khemka said.

Industry officials said that there are rich fathers who give gifts to their daughters at the time of their marriage which provides them the needed financial security and also income.

According to Khemka, with the availability of hybrid technology-wind and solar windmill sites can be used to set up small solar power plants.

He said the wind turbine manufacturers have a combined production capacity of around 9,500 MW per annum.

With 85 per cent localisation levels, the wind mill industry is a classic example for Prime Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign.

(IANS)

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Pakistan Removes Taxes From Manufacture of Renewable To Overcome Power Shortage

That might be resolved in part by the government starting a certification system for renewable energy products to grade them according to quality, he said.

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Pakistan
Technicians work on a solar panel about 25 km (15 miles) from Karachi, Pakistan, June 18, 2010. VOA

Pakistan’s government has proposed to eliminate taxes associated with manufacturing of solar and wind energy equipment in the country, in an effort to boost the production and use of renewable power and overcome power shortages.

A new government budget bill, expected to be approved in parliament within a month, would give renewable energy manufacturers and assemblers in the country a five-year exemption from the taxes.

“Pakistan is paying the heavy cost of an ongoing energy crisis prevailing for the last many years,” Finance Minister Asad Umar said last week in a budget speech. “In this difficult time, the promotion of renewable energy resources like wind and solar has become indispensable.”

Only about 5 to 6 percent of the power to Pakistan’s national electrical grid currently comes from renewable energy, according to the country’s Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB).

Pakistan
 The rooftop photovoltaic installation supports the Department of DefenseÕs goal of increasing renewable energy sources to 25 percent of all energy consumed by the year 2025. 

The proposed tax reduction should boost that by encouraging greater local manufacturing of equipment needed for renewable power expansion, said Asad Mahmood, a renewable energy expert with the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, which sits within the Ministry of Energy.

Remaining hurdles

But manufacturers said the tax breaks likely would not be sufficient to spur expansion of local renewable energy industries.

Naeem Siddiqui, the chairman of Ebox Systems, which assembles solar panels in Islamabad, said the new tax breaks were good news but Pakistani manufacturers would still struggle to compete with tax-free, low-priced imports of foreign-built solar panels and other renewable energy equipment.

“The government has already waived off taxes and duties on the import of renewable energy products, and local manufacturers cannot compete with the low-priced imported items,” he said.

Pakistan today imports more than 95 percent of the solar panels and other renewable energy systems it uses, largely from China, said Aamir Hussain, chief executive officer of Tesla PV, one of the largest manufacturers of solar energy products in Pakistan.

Solar panels
Workers install photovoltaic solar panels at the Gujarat solar park under construction in Charanka village in Patan district of the western Indian state of Gujarat, India. India is planning new large-scale installations of the technology on hydropower reservoirs and other water bodies in Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand states, and in the Lakshadweep islands. VOA

“As long as the government will not impose duties on the import of finished products, the local market cannot grow,” he said.

Pakistani manufacturers also might need government help in pushing sales of new Pakistani clean energy products abroad, in order to build bigger markets and lower manufacturing costs, Siddiqui said.

Mahmood, of the energy ministry, said he believed the government would also move to cut existing duties on the import of components used in manufacturing finished renewable energy products, in order to help Pakistani manufacturers.

Taxes on those components have pushed up prices of Pakistani-made renewable energy systems, making them harder to sell and leading several companies to the brink of failure, he said.

Certification system

Local manufacturers should work with the government to determine which components should be manufactured locally and which imported to ensure costs of locally made wind and solar systems are competitive, he said.

Pakistan, Sikh
A man waits to cross a portion of track once shared with the Karachi Circular Railway line in Karachi, Pakistan. VOA

Muhammad Abdur Rahman, managing director of Innosol, a company that imports and installs renewable energy systems, said that cheap imports of renewable energy systems from China remain the main barrier to building more such systems in Pakistan.

“The local industry is facing pricing issues because of low-quality solar energy appliances being imported in the country that are very cheap as compared to the local market,” he said.

Also Read: Pakistan Appoints its First Ever Female Hindu Civil Judge

That might be resolved in part by the government starting a certification system for renewable energy products to grade them according to quality, he said.

Amjad Ali Awan, chief executive officer of the Alternate Energy Development Board, said the aim of the new policies was for renewable energy to supply 28 to 30 percent of the country’s national electrical grid by 2030. (VOA)