Karnataka (India) to add 4,000 Mw of wind energy by 2014

Karnataka has moved an amendment to the Karnataka Land Reforms Act to facilitate wind energy producers to acquire revenue land for developing wind farm plants in the sector.

Presently, the acquisition of revenue and agriculture land is not easy and renewable energy producers are finding it difficult to acquire land. The amendment is expected to simplify procedures for land acquisition, K Jairaj, additional chief secretary, government of Karnataka, said.

Jairaj told reporters on the sidelines of 14th annual general meeting of the Indian Wind Power Association (IWPA), here on Wednesday: "We have proposed an amendment to the KLRA to facilitate the renewable energy developers to buy land for their new wind turbines. Now, the state government has also given industry status to renewable energy (RE) in the new RE policy. They can also go through the single window agency and secure clearance as well as the land acquired from the KIADB."

He said although the Union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) takes longer time to clear the wind farm projects, the state government has set up an empowered committee to give speedy clearances, he said.

Earlier, addressing the members of IWPA, Jairaj said the state government was planning to add 4,000 MW of wind energy to the state grid during the next four years. In 2010-11, the state plans to add 712 Mw of wind power to the grid. Of this, already 80 MW is added in the first quarter of this year. The state would also add 60 MW of solar power and 130 MW from mini hydel projects, he said.

Stating that Karnataka has a potential to generate 12,000 MW from the wind energy sector, Jairaj said so far only 1,866 MW comes from the wind power, which is about 15 per cent. "In our endeavour to become the top producer of renewable energy, we have recently put in place a new renewable energy policy and the challenge now is to implement it. In this direction, we are encouraging the private sector to come out with more projects in RE sector," he added.

He suggested the wind power producers to reduce capital cost and promote entrepreneurship so as to increase power generation in the state.

Debashish Majumdar, chairman and managing director, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, said the generation based incentive (GBI) scheme, introduced by IREDA to encourage renewable energy producers, did not take off as expected. "Under this scheme incentive will be given up to 4,000 MW of renewable energy and it expires on March 31, 2012. So, in order to extend this scheme or make changes, the ministry of new and renewable energy is holding a meeting with the stakeholders on July 21, 2010 at New Delhi. The renewable energy producers can give their suggestions on this," he said.

K Kasthoorirangaian, chairman, IWPA, urged the Union ministry of Finance to raise the accelerated depreciation from the present 80 per cent to 100 per cent as was done before. It also demanded for exempting wind energy income from minimum alternate tax and accord priority sector status to the wind energy sector in the financing of wind power projects and an interest subvention of 300 basis points.

He also urged the state government to exempt wind energy from electricity consumption tax and give capital subsidy for installation of wind turbines.

Karnataka is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Goa to the northwest, Maharashtra to the north, Andhra Pradesh to the east, Tamil Nadu to the southeast, and Kerala to the southwest. The state covers an area of 74,122 sq mi (191,976 km²), or 5.83% of the total geographical area of India. It is the eighth largest Indian state by area, the ninth largest by population and comprises 30 districts.