In what may help reduce wind energy tariffs in the country, the 1 gigawatt (GW) tender floated by state-run Solar Energy Corp. of India (SECI) has received 2.6 times the quantum of bids offered for the grid linked capacity.
Experts say this may potentially bring down wind energy tariffs which currently ranges from Rs3.9 per unit to Rs5.9 per unit.
“The industry is eagerly awaiting the outcome,” said a wind energy developer participating in the auction process, requesting anonymity.
Another clean energy developer who also requested anonymity said, “There is a possibility that the tariffs may fall as low as sub Rs4 per unit.”
Bids totaling 2,600 MW have been received from 13 companies including Adani Power, Hero Future Energies Pvt. Ltd, Renew Power and Inox Wind for the two-stage process—technical and financial.
Those qualifying the technical bid stage will be eligible for the financial bid stage. Once, the financial bids are opened, a reverse bid auction process will be run to select the developers. The last date for the bid submission was 9 January.
“2,600 MW is the maximum bids received. The final award can be less than that. Financial bids are yet to be opened,” said Ashvini Kumar, managing director, SECI, declining to identify the companies who have taken part in the bidding process.
In India, which is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China, renewable energy currently accounts for 15%, or 45,917 MW, of the total installed capacity of 3,10,005 MW. Of this wind energy projects alone account for 28,083 MW, placing it at fourth position after China, the US and Germany.
“In the long run, the price difference between wind and solar will go. Now whether that happens in this tender or the next one (remains to be seen); they (wind and solar) will be competitive,” Kumar said while adding that the final tender will be awarded within the next two to three weeks.
Spokespersons for Inox Power and Hero Future Energies confirmed their participation in the tender.
Queries emailed to spokespersons for Adani Power and Renew Power remained unanswered at press time.
India plans to achieve 175GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as part of its climate commitments; wherein it has promised to achieve 40% of its electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030.
This includes 60 GW from wind power, 100 GW from solar power, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydro projects.
While remaining hopeful, experts sounded caution on the 1000 MW wind energy project tender.
“Just as the solar tariffs have benefited from lower panel prices, wind tariffs will also optimise as the auction will create pricing pressure on WTG (wind turbine generator) suppliers.
However, given that 70% of the bids are from Tamil Nadu, a high wind regime, the tariffs from this process should not be considered as a benchmark by lower wind regime states going forward.
Overall, this is a good initiative and the sector will benefit from this auction,” said Srishti Ahuja, director, at consulting firm EY.
This comes at a time when the wind energy sector is grappling with issues such as squatters on good wind potential sites, inordinate delays in signing of power purchase agreements and untimely payments, and distribution firms shying away from procuring electricity generated from wind energy projects.
The other pertinent issues are: proper scheduling and forecasting of wind energy, availability of transmission facilities and rationalisation of transmission tariffs for wind energy projects.
The union government has called a national review meet of states and the nodal agencies for ironing out issues plaguing the green energy sector as reported by Mint on Friday(bit.ly/2iquTy0)
India has a wind power potential of around 302 GW at 100 meter hub-height.