March 22nd, 2019 by Saurabh
After a bump, India is speeding through wind energy tenders at the national level as it tries to makeup for the lost time and meet its target to have 60 gigawatts of installed wind energy capacity by March 2022.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India, a central government agency tasked with organizing all national-level solar and wind energy auctions, has issued the seventh tender to allocate wind energy projects of a cumulative capacity of 1.2 gigawatts across the country.
The specifications of the tender would very likely be the same as the ones issued over the last few months. SECI recently completed an auction for 1.2 gigawatts of capacity in February. The auction was the first organized in fourth months. SECI had issues with sticking to the original timelines to hold auctions after developers raised concerns over availability of adequate transmission capacity to support new and large onshore wind projects.
The first two wind energy auctions organized by SECI had 1 gigawatt of capacity each on offer. Subsequently, and in-line with the planned trajectory, SECI increased the tender capacity to 2 gigawatts but could keep up with this capacity only for two tenders before switching to 1.2 gigawatt tenders.
In November 2017, the Indian government announced plans to complete auctions of 28 gigawatts of onshore wind energy capacity by 31 March 2020. The target for 31 March 2019 according to this original timeline was 18 gigawatts. With a month to go, India has managed to complete auctions for 11 gigawatts, which includes 8.45 gigawatts of auctions carried out by SECI.
India has also announced a medium-term renewable energy target of 500 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2030. This target would include 140 gigawatts of installed wind energy capacity. To achieve this target, India plans to continue wind energy auctions of 10 gigawatts of capacity each year between April 2020 and March 2028.
It would be interesting to see the tariff bids submitted by project developers as the lowest bid in the last auction was around 15% higher than the lowest-ever bid seen in SECI wind energy auctions. The competition, too, has increased in India’s wind energy market, with SoftBank-based SB Energy entering the fray with a bid to set up 600 megawatts of capacity.