The wind energy industry has today matured; and we have been fortunate enough to experience its various highs and lows over past 15 years.
Wind energy in India has now become cost competitive, with the new-build, coal-based systems. This means that new wind energy systems are no longer considered significantly more expensive their conventional energy counterparts. This parity was made possible through a growing focus on the country's coal reserves. As coal becomes scarcer, India has begun to turn to others forms of energy to meet its needs.
With the introduction of the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Mechanism, wind energy has managed to grow over the past year with the help of a feed-in tariff that provides a financial incentive to promote the adoption of this form of clean power. The feed-in tariff for wind energy in particular, is approximately 15% lower than the tariff provided to coal; but this has not slowed the growth of in many parts of the country.
It gives us immense pleasure that the wind energy sector has been recognized as a significant contributor to the power sector of the country, in the 2013 Budget announced by the Honorable Union Finance Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram.
The re-introduction of Generation Based Incentive (GBI) is a timely intervention for the wind industry, which was stifled for over a year. The Finance Minister's announcement - providing low interest rate loans for funding wind energy projects - is indeed a welcome measure. Fund allocation for this will be made available from National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), through Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA).
The wind energy industry is indeed relieved over the extension of tax exemption of clause 80-IA, for one more year. The Union Budget 2013-14 is however silent on the reintroduction of Accelerated Depreciation (AD), which is a tax deferral.
We are confident that AD will be introduced in future, for the benefit of the small and medium industries in the wind energy segment.
Ajay Mehra is the Founder-Director of WWIL, and has been driving the company since its inception. His focus areas continue to be:
Capital Investment decisions, Financial Control over distribution of major company resources, Regulatory Affairs Management, Key Vendor Management and Public Relations.