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Slow Development of Wind Power in India: Why?
 
India is the leading developing country in wind energy with 1,025 MW of installed capacity. But, since 1997, the development has slowed down, and India is not likely to reach its goal of 3,000 MW wind capacity by 2003.
The rapid development from 1993 to 1997 was supported by the Indian government with a package of fiscal incentives. This included 100 per cent accelerated depreciation on the capital investment in the first year of operation; reduced import duty and other measures. Particularly the accelerated depreciation attracted many investors that could invest their profits from other activities and thus avoid taxes. But the governmental policy did not (sufficiently) encourage sale of power to the grid. In the haste to put up windfarms, many were not sited optimally, and today 70% of the investors only produce 30% of the electricity. Some wind farms are idle, while others are falling far short of their generating capacities. When the tax credits were reduced in 1997, many investors found that the income from selling the electricity was not sufficient to pay for investments in new windturbines.
In spite of the problems, several observers see a great future for Indian windturbines, if they are well sited and planned.

Source:
Article “Gone with the wind” in Down to Earth, June 30, 1999, by Mridula Chhetri, Centre for Science and Environment,
New Delhi, India.
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ISSUE #26 (855KB) 18 pages (1999-08-01)
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