‘Karnataka tapped only miniscule portion of potential wind energy’

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Bengaluru, Jan 7 (IANS) Karnataka has only tapped a miniscule amount of its wind energy generation potential, leading wind energy company officials said on Thursday.

“Though Karnataka is one of the first movers to take up wind energy, its installed capacity is only 2,600 MW while the potential is about 56,000 MW,” said Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) chairman and Regen Powertech managing director Madhusudan Khemka at a workshop to discuss prospects, opportunities and challenges for the renewable energy form in the state.

Major challenges he listed include strengthening of grid infrastructure, unrecoverable tax passed through to investors from the government and acquiring land to set up operations.

“It is imperative that Karnataka government outlines a clear vision for development of wind energy projects in the coming years. We are concerned about the tariff as well as the tax structure currently present… I urge Karnataka government to expedite the policy on renewables,” said Khemka.

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Requiring no fuel or water to generate power unlike other renewable energy sources, he said wind energy can offer a future proofed power tariff to the government at the rate of Rs.4.50 per unit for the next 20 years.

IWTMA is an association of 19 companies of which 12 are original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and the remaining seven are key components suppliers to the wind energy industry.

The industry association highlighted that Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are the key states holding maximum wind energy generation potential in India.

According to IWTMA, Tamil Nadu leads the country with the highest installed capacity of 7,514.76 MW followed by Maharashtra (4,638.35 MW), and Gujarat (3,876.50 MW), along with other states to reach a total installed capacity of 24,759.32 MW.

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IWTMA secretary general D. V. Giri said: “India has a wind energy potential of 302 GW. It is important to achieve the goal set by governmentto generate 175 GW by 2022 through renewable energy sources of which wind energy is set to contribute 60 GW.”

In the next six years, 35 GW of wind energy must be added or by adding 5-6 GW per year, he added.

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