India added a record wind power capacity of 5,400 MW in 2016-17, much more than the target of 4,000 MW it had set itself for the year.
The ministry of new and renewable energy said the previous best was 3,423 MW in 2015-16, and before that 3,197 MW in 2011-12. Of the new capacity, around 3,026 MW was added in March 2017 alone. With this, the country’s total wind capacity stands at around 32,177 MW.
India’s renewable energy programme has accelerated rapidly in the past three years, starting with successful auctions of solar energy projects, which led to a sharp fall in tariffs. In the fiscal year that ended last week, the government has also launched several initiatives for the wind energy sector. These include introduction of bidding, steps to encourage wind-solar hybrid plants and new guidelines for the development of wind energy.
Only nine states in the country have winds strong enough to generate power. Of these, Andhra Pradesh added the maximum capacity of 2,190 MW, or over 40% of the total capacity added.
It was followed by Gujarat with 1,275 MW and Karnataka with 882 MW. In addition, Madhya Pradesh added 357 MW, Rajasthan 288 MW, Tamil Nadu 262 MW, Maharashtra 118 MW, Telangana 23 MW and Kerala 8 MW. Last year, Madhya Pradesh had added the maximum capacity of 1,291MW, followed by Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
The wind energy sector saw a number of fresh initiatives in 2016-17, especially the holding of the first wind auction, which brought the wind tariff down to Rs 3.46/ kWh. Until then, the tariff, set by state power regulators, had varied between Rs 4/kWh and Rs 6/ kWh in various states.