Suzlon's Tanti Sees India Wind Capacity Limited at 30 Gigawatts in Decade

India’s goal to install more wind energy capacity will fall a third short of the target to a maximum of 30 gigawatts because the transmission grid is inadequate, the chairman of the country’s largest wind-turbine maker said.

“I don’t believe India can deliver more than 30 gigawatts over the next 10 years because of execution constraints and green infrastructure barriers,” Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL)’s Tulsi Tanti said, referring to limited transmission lines and distribution networks to carry the power away from wind farms.

Suzlon has built 6,000 distribution substations and 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) of cables to service its own wind parks to address the problem, Tanti said today at a conference in the southern city of Chennai.

Tanti’s projection would take India’s installed wind capacity to 43 gigawatts by 2021 from 13 gigawatts today, far short of the country’s potential estimated by the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council.

India could install 65.2 gigawatts of wind energy by 2020, which would attract annual investment of about $10.4 billion, the council said in a report issued today.

India’s wind power potential is higher than previously estimated and could reach as much as 160.7 gigawatts by 2030 if it were to develop offshore projects and revamp older farms with more efficient turbines in a process called “repowering,” the report said. Constraints include the poor electricity grid, the need for clearer policies and incentives for repowering, it said.

India surpassed the government’s target for wind installations by 15 percent in the financial year ended March 31 with 2.3 gigawatts of new capacity, D.V. Giri, chairman of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, said today.

The electricity grid threatens to begin stifling that expansion as early as this year, T. Shivaraman, vice chairman of Orient Green Power Co., said in an interview in Chennai today. Tamil Nadu, which has the most wind capacity in India, may be the first to run out of transmission capacity to service upcoming wind farms, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at npearson7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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