Investor confidence on wind energy soars

Thursday, 22 November 2007, 08:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: The growth recorded in wind power generation in the country in recent years is a reflection of the growing investors' confidence in this renewable energy source, says K.P. Sukumaran, advisor to the ministry of new and renewable energy.

While addressing a one-day conference on renewable energy organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here Thursday, Sukumaran said that generation capacity in wind power was currently being added at the rate of 1,700 MW every year compared to just 200 MW a year four years ago.

"This is indeed a reflection of the dramatic turnaround in investors' confidence in the wind power sector," said Sukumaran.

He said this had also put to rest the debate on whether wind power generation was viable or not.

"Instead, the debate has moved on to how capacity addition in wind power can be accelerated," he maintained.

Speaking earlier, Rakesh Bakshi, managing director, Vestas RRB India Ltd, a key player in wind power, said the share of renewable power in the energy mix must be raised to 20-25 percent if the country's long-term energy security is to be ensured.

It will help fight the growing threat of greenhouse gas emissions, he said, adding that wind energy, which is clean and environment-friendly, is not just an option but a need of the hour.

He appreciated the support being provided by the government to developers of wind power projects. However, he added that wind power was still at a disadvantage vis-à-vis hydrocarbon fuels.

"The government should impose environment protection cess on fossil fuel-generated power in order to level the playing field for renewable power project developers," said Bakshi.

Wind power is emerging as a key factor in India's quest for energy security as fossil fuel-based power generation has failed to keep pace with growing electricity requirement of a surging economy.

Wind power accounts for 7,230 MW of the country's 10,175 MW of renewable electricity generation capacity. The share of wind power in the country's total generation capacity stands at 7.5 percent.

The ministry of renewable energy has envisaged capacity addition of another 10,500 MW in wind during the 11th plan period (2007-11).
Source: IANS
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