India powers Gamesa’s wind energy business

The short but shining list of multinational companies that derive substantial revenues from their Indian operations, including Swiss cement-maker Holcim and UK-based telecom giant Vodafone, has just got longer. Last year, one-fifth of wind turbine maker Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica’s revenue came from India, almost twice as much as in the previous year, making India one of the key markets of the Spanish firm.


Gamesa achieved a turnover of €2.33 billion (around ?19,400 crore today) in 2013, compared with €2.66 billion in the previous year, but India’s contribution rose from 12 per cent to 22 per cent.


“And this will increase,” says Ramesh Kymal, Chairman and Managing Director of Gamesa India. The company is set to commission 203 MW of wind turbines and orders worth another 600 MW are on hand. In 2013-14, Gamesa India topped the list of wind turbine manufacturers, with sales of 425 MW.

The company has developed a strong “megawatt pipeline”, which refers to readiness to execute orders after completing all the preparatory work such as acquiring land and securing approvals. “We are the darling of the IPPs (independent power producers),” said Kymal on Thursday, at a press conference to note the company’s completion of 1,000 MW of capacity in India, which it has done in four years of inception. IPPs are into the business of generating and selling electricity to distribution companies (discoms).

Since it set up shop in India in 2009, Gamesa has invested ?1,500 crore in factories that make turbines, towers and blades.


Answering a question, Kymal said it was a myth that the wind mills produced fickle power, making it difficult for discoms to commit sales to its customers.


The view that ‘wind is infirm’ is primarily what caused the electricity discom in India’s windiest state, Tamil Nadu, to discourage fresh capacity addition. As a result, capacity addition in the State fell from over 1,000 MW in 2011-12 to around 113 MW in 2013-14.


“It’s wrong to say that wind power is infirm,” said Kymal, stressing that during the wind seasons wind turbines do produce a steady stream of power.


There could be a day or two in a month when wind may not blow and consequently there might be no generation, but such suspensions of production happen in other power plants, too.


For instance, thermal power plants shut down or produce small amounts of power when they run out of coal, he said.