India’s wind capacity addition in 2020 will be lower than in the last few years: BloombergNEF

BENGALURU: India is expected to install between 1,306-1,506MW of wind capacity in calendar year 2020, which, because of the Covid-19 outbreak this year, will be substantially lower than in the last few years, according to a forecast by BloombergNEF.

The country installed 2,370MW in 2019 and 2,290MW in 2018.

In its recent report on the global wind market, BloombergNEF gave three different estimates of likely wind capacity addition, depending on whether the outbreak turns out to be a “single-wave pandemic,” a “multiple wave pandemic” or an “enduring pandemic”.

If Covid-19 remains confined to a single-wave pandemic, the country is expected to install 1,506MW in 2020. “Our single-wave scenario for India assumes that the worst phase of the pandemic will be over by end-June 2020 and the industry will be able to ramp up its capabilities by mid-July,” said Atin Jain, Associate.

India is chasing a wind capacity target of 60,000 MW by end 2022, and was expected to step up its installation over previous years this year had the situation remained normal. But if it returns to normal following a single wave pandemic, BloombergNEF expects 3,799 MW to be installed in 2021.

If, however, Covid-19 turns out to be a “multiple wave pandemic”, installation in 2020 will be even lower at 1,306 MW, according to the report.

“We expect some form of supply chain restrictions to remain in place until 2021,” Jain said. “We also expect projects due online in 2022 and 2023 to face longer permitting delays. In this scenario we assume India’s overall power demand will remain low for a long period of time due to reduced economic activity.” This in turn will lead to lower demand for wind power from distribution companies.

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Under this “multiple wave-pandemic” scenario, installations in 2021 are expected to be 3,164MW.

The worst case scenario is the one of an “enduring pandemic”. The report expects installations to remain at 1,306 MW in 2020 even if the pandemic turns out to be enduring – the same as in the case of a “multiple wave pandemic”. However, 2021 installations will be worse affected in this case, going down to 2,649 MW.

“In our enduring pandemic scenario, the effects are exaggerated — reduced supply chain capabilities, permitting delays, auction pipeline cuts and project cancellations,” Jain said.

Wind installations have been very slow the last couple of months due to the pandemic. Almost no capacity was added in April while only 12MW was installed in May. Labour shortage, difficulty in movement of goods, and delays in site inspections stymied progress, experts told ET.



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