India’s wind power capacity is set to grow 30 per cent or 4,300 MW in 2016-17, helped by capacity addition in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, among others, Suzlon Group Chairman Tulsi Tanti said.
At present, the total wind power installed capacity in the country is around 27 GW, accounting for about 9 per cent of India’s total installed capacity.
“India is a very promising and demanding market. It is set to grow by 30 per cent annually. In 2016-17, the country will add about 4,300 MW of wind power,” Tanti told reporters at Bhuj.
Suzlon has its rotor blades manufacturing facility in Bhuj and maintains sites for some of its clients.
Interacting with the media through video conferencing from Germany, Tanti said: “Most capacity will be added by Andhra Pradesh followed by Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka,Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Some capacity will be added in Tamil Nadu.”
In a blog post in April, the founder of India’s leading wind turbine maker had termed 2015-16 as a “historic year” for the Indian renewable industry. Wind energy surpassed all its previous records with about 3,300 MW installation, a growth of 43 per cent. The previous highest installation was around 3,196 MW in 2011.
“India’s wind energy sector witnessed unprecedented acceleration last year, propelled by technology and conducive policy environment for renewables, by central and state governments. The growth was way higher than the industry estimates of 30-40 per cent,” he had said.
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The industry has attracted an investment of over USD 3.16 billion and the cumulative installation of the sector is about 64 per cent of India’s total grid interactive renewable energy capacity. This is equivalent to reducing carbon emission by over 58.56 million tonnes per annum or planting over 1.76 billion trees, Tanti had noted.
Globally, India is at the fourth spot in terms of wind power installed capacity after China, the US and Germany. The Centre has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 GW capacity from renewable energy resources by 2022 and of this, 60 GW is seen to come from wind power.
Tanti sounded positive on Suzlon’s performance in 2016-17 during his video conferencing with reporters. “We will achieve a market share of 40 per cent in 2016-17 and will generate cash from operations,” he added.
In 2015-16, the firm had a market share of 27 per cent in India, up from 19 per cent in 2014-15. Last fiscal, Suzlon commissioned 900 MW wind energy projects, of which 520 MW was commissioned in the January-March quarter alone.
On the firm making sustained profits, Tanti said: “We will make profits in 2016-17. We made profits last fiscal also. We have reduced our fixed costs. Our break-even is at 14,000 MW currently and 14,000 MW is always in profit. The market is growing at 30 per cent and we are growing more than the market growth rate.”
The Pune-headquartered group has installations of around 15.5 giga watt (GW) spread across 17 countries, of which India accounts for the lion’s share of about 9.5 GW.
For the entire 2015-16, the company posted a net profit of Rs 482.59 crore, as against a net loss of Rs 9,157.69 crore in the previous financial year.
Also, for the January-March quarter of 2015-16, Suzlon Energy consolidated net loss narrowed to Rs 270.55 crore from a net loss of Rs 1,212.06 crore in the year-ago period, helped by higher sales and cost optimisation measures.
On foraying into solar power, Tanti said both complement and supplement each other.
“We need power 24×7. From 9 am to 5 pm, solar will produce energy and then wind can provide power from mid-night to 10 am. So, you see they can complement each other,” he noted.
Suzlon’s role in solar power will be project management, project execution and implementation. “We will be in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) space. We have a 210 mega watt solar power project in Telangana and another 75 MW in Maharashtra. We are also planning 500 MW of wind and 250 MW of solar power in Rajasthan. Of this, 200-300 MW will be done in 2017-18,” he added.
On India’s renewable energy target, Tanti said that to achieve such a huge target, the industry needs technology upgradation to counter lower tariffs and at the same time, grow generation capacity at a competitive cost.
Tanti is of the view that firms should invest in technological upgradation and go for cost optimisation to counter declining tariff impacting margins.
Explaining the rationale, he said: “Now the best sites are exhausted and we need to utilise low wind sites. We need to keep in mind the declining tariff. PPA tariffs are going below Rs 5. Because of these two challenges, it is important for us to invest in technology to make projects viable.”