India has taken a crucial decision to increase competition among wind turbine manufacturers as the country prepares to hold the first-ever competitive auction in the wind energy sector.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has announced that it has disbanded a committee that approved the wind turbine models for sale in the Indian market.
Until now, turbine manufacturers were required to share the details of any new product that they planned to sell the model in the market. The committee included representatives from the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA), the Indian Wind Producers Association (IWPA) and the MNRE-affiliated, Chennai-based National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE).
An unnamed industry source was quoted by an Indian daily as saying that the committee members used the procedure to make it difficult for foreign manufacturers enter the Indian market. However, this claim seems unjustified as Gamesa has been the leading manufacturer in India for the last three years.
As per the amended procedure, manufacturers will only have to share the product details with the ministry through an online portal. The Ministry shall then take the final decision on approval for sale. Approval shall be subject to the turbine model meeting international specifications.
Removing hurdles for international wind energy companies to enter into India is essential for India. The country is set to announce results of the first-ever wind energy auction next month. More crucially, India is also looking to open up its offshore wind energy market where almost all Indian manufacturers lack any experience.