India has the potential to dominate the global wind energy supply chain

India could emerge as a central figure in the global wind energy supply chain because of its comprehensive strategy to enhance wind turbines manufacturing and export capabilities while fostering domestic renewable energy growth.

This information was revealed in the report India Wind Energy Market Outlook 2023–2027, jointly published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and MEC Intelligence (MEC+). The report was released a month ago, coming ahead of the discussions at the GWEC’s Asia Pacific (APAC) Summit, “Offshore Wind and Green Hydrogen Summit,” which ended last August 31 in Melbourne, Australia.

“The upcoming decade offers a pivotal window for the Indian wind industry to translate intentions into tangible actions. Together, we can make significant strides toward reaching the milestone of net-zero emissions,” Kane Xu, Chairman of Envision Energy India, said, highlighting how India’s wind energy landscape is developing with extensive collaboration between the government, industries, and institutions.

India’s strategic position

India’s immense potential in the export market will happen simultaneous to addressing the domestic challenges of accelerating wind energy deployment. India has made ambitious targets with projections of approximately 22 GW of wind energy capacity over the next five years. The possibility of exceeding 26 GW under an accelerated growth scenario, driven by demand from central and state markets, as well as commercial and industrial consumers of clean energy, offers more challenges.

“India’s strategic geopolitical position and scale make it a prime candidate to develop as a global supply chain hub, provided the industry shores up competitiveness,” Sidharth Jain, Managing Director of MEC+, said as he referred to how the collaborative report examined facts, offering insights and recommendations to guide the industry’s trajectory.

While the government of India aims for 140 GW of cumulative installed wind energy capacity by 2030, experts suggest that achieving around 100 GW by the end of the decade is more likely. To bridge this gap, proactive policy and industrial strategy support will be crucial.

“The leadership already demonstrated by the Government of India to enable the expansion of wind energy in the country’s electricity mix is commendable. The potential is there for even more, and proactive policy support could enable more than 68 GW of total wind energy installed in India by 2027,” GWEC CEO Ben Backwell said, praising India’s leadership in expanding wind energy within its electricity mix.

In the context of increasing domestic demand and a favorable policy environment, the Indian wind energy market experienced substantial growth in 2022, with the awarding of tenders totaling 4.7 GW. An additional 3.5 GW in tenders have already been granted, and there are plans to announce an additional 5 GW of tenders for 2023.

Simultaneously, the industry is exploring new frontiers, including offshore wind and the development of a hydrogen ecosystem. These emerging sectors are driving growth and have the potential to contribute significantly to India’s wind energy expansion. As a result, there is a target to achieve a 10 GW wind energy market by 2030. However, practical estimates suggest that challenges such as policy transmission delays and infrastructure limitations may result in a more realistic goal of reaching 5 GW in that timeframe.

This combination of growing domestic demand, expanding tender awards, and the exploration of new wind energy opportunities underscores the dynamic and evolving nature of the Indian wind energy market as it strives to meet ambitious targets while navigating various challenges.

Creating a conducive environment

India’s strategic significance on the global stage, including its roles in the G20 Presidency and the upcoming COP28 in Dubai, positions the country to influence global efforts to transition to a net-zero energy system, with wind energy deployment playing a pivotal role.

“India, with an extremely conducive policy environment under the current government, a fairly advanced manufacturing supply chain and growth of new opportunities like the C&I business and offshore wind, is uniquely positioned to play an important role in helping the world meet its ambitious 2030 targets,” Sumant Sinha, Chairperson of GWEC India, said.

At the GWEC Summit, Dr. Prabir Kumar Das, Scientist-D, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, indicated in an open discussion that India’s 500 GW is a global commitment, but also outlined how contracts with a span of about 1 to 2 years do not match the time needed for construction of onshore and offshore wind energy projects. He also mentioned how concessional financing is necessary for the industry to grow in his country.

“Challenges are huge and opportunities are huge too…if you see in this period, India’s continued to grow and we expect that the we strategic in the regional supply chain for wind energy,” Das said.

Last year, India issued tenders for 10.4 GW of standalone wind and hybrid projects, marking a substantial growth opportunity after years of limited activity due to the e-reverse auction regime.

“India has an enormous strategic opportunity to leverage an invigorated domestic market and its existing wind manufacturing base and knowledge to become a key player in the global wind supply chain. This would establish the country as a renewable industrial hub in Asia and beyond, advancing climate action across the globe,” Blackwell stressed.

Discoveries and recommendations

One of the primary objectives of India listed in the India Wind Energy Market Outlook 2023-2027 is the alignment of market demand trajectory with specific targets. This involves robust support for the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) segment, while also ensuring compliance with Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO). By synchronizing market demand with defined goals, India can effectively chart its course towards becoming a dominant force in the wind energy sector.

Furthermore, the report underscores the importance of international trade agreements.

Creating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and refining tax and documentation procedures are essential steps to secure competitive access to critical raw materials and cutting-edge wind technologies. These measures will enhance India’s ability to compete on a global scale and attract investment in its wind energy sector.

To accommodate the evolving needs of both the domestic and export markets, emphasis on the importance of acquiring the necessary resources to develop advanced wind energy models is needed. This forward-looking approach ensures that India remains adaptable and can respond effectively to changing market dynamics and technological advancements.

“India’s wind power sector stands at an inflection point looking at multiple opportunity areas. With a growing domestic market and evolving global supply chain dynamics, Indian companies have exciting prospects to serve the global demand for wind equipment supply,” Jain expressed, summarizing the potential of India in the wind energy sector in the region.

The GWEC APAC Summit encourages the nurturing of an offshore wind ecosystem in Asia, with reports from Gregory E. Bautista.

By Raymond Tribdino