WISE organises India’s premier event of wind power development

In the last few years, many renewable energy (RE) technologies have become commercially viable. The most advanced and potent RE technology for power generation is wind power, with India emerging as the 4th largest producer of grid connected power from wind in the world. Inspite of its powerful presence in the country, in terms of knowing dissemination through seminars and conferences, wind has so far assumed only a small role in larger renewable energy conferences. It was thus that WISE decided to organise a comprehensive national conference cum exhibition, showcasing the growth of the wind industry. This gave rise to ‘Wind India 2006’: India’s first ever event on wind power development in the country.

Around 200 delegates from various parts of the country and abroad took part in the conference cum exhibition held on 22-23 August 2006 at Le Meridien, Pune. The event was inaugurated by Vinay Kore, Hon. Minister for Non-conventional Energy, Government of Maharashtra, who was the Chief Guest at the inaugural. Other dignitaries present were V Subramanian, Secretary, Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Govt. of India, Padmavibhushan Dr. Mohan Dharia, Former Dy. Chairman Planning Commission, Govt. of India, and President, Vanarai, Pune: Tulsi Tanti, CMD, Suzlon Energy Ltd: Chetan Mehra, Co-Chairman of the Organising Committee, Wind India 2006, and MD, Weizmann Ltd: G M Pillai, Director General, WISE; and Rajendra Kharul, Fellow, WISE, and Organising Secretary, Wind India 2006. During his inaugural address, the minister expressed happiness on the status that wind power had achieved nationally and globally. He stressed on the need to fully indigenize wind turbine technology and underlined his government’s commitment to promote renewable in Maharashtra. Mr Kore further requested the Secretary, MNES, GoI, to introduce a scheme for transferable tax incentives at the national level.

The Chairman of the Organising Committee, Padmavibhushan Dr. Mohan Dharia, emphasised the need for provide empowering rural India. This he said, is possibly by embracing renewable energy technologies, since grid power is not always a viable option in remote areas. Mr. V Subramanian, Secretary, MNES, Government of India, underscored the need for developing hybrid systems such as wind and solar or wind and biofuels. He also stressed on the necessity to develop wind turbines to harness low wind regimes.

For the first time ever, Wind India Awards were presented in 11 different categories, in recognition of the meritorious achievements of the various stakeholders, and the commendable services rendered by them towards development of the wind energy sector. The awardees were selected by an eminent jury of academics, wind power professionals and researchers, administrators, etc. The first prize for the Best Manufacturer and Best Company in Corporate Social Responsibility was bagged by Suzlon Energy Ltd while Enercon (India) Ltd took the first Prize for the Best Service Provider among Manufacturers and Best Wind Turbine (500 kW—1 MW). Enercon also bagged the second prize in the Best Manufacturer category. In the Best Service Provider among Manufacturers category, Suzlon Energy Ltd took the second prize. NEG Micon (India) Pvt Ltd bagged the first prize for the Best Wind Turbine (> 1 MW). The first prize for the Best Wind Power Financier went to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA), with an annual disbursement of Rs.135.57 crore in 2005-06 and the second prize in this category was awarded to Corporation Bank who had disbursed an amount of Rs. 132.56 crore in the same year. The first prize in the Best Public Sector Entrant category went to the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd. Two states received the Best Wind Power Developer State award. While Tamil Nadu walked away with the first prize for total installation (858 MW), Maharashtra got the award for the highest percentage increase (119.17%) in the year 2005-06. In order to recognise the efforts of the people working in the field of disseminating information on the wind sector, it was decided to institute awards for matter published on this sector. While the first prize for the Best Research Publication (2004-06) went to Dr. Sathyajit Mathew for his book, ‘Wind Energy: Fundamentals, Resource Analysis and Economics’ while the first prize for the Best Media Report on Wind Power for the year 2005-06 went to Neelmegh Chaturvedi, a senior journalist with the Nai Duniya group of publications. Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

The conference was unique since it witnessed full participation from the wind industry and all associated stakeholders. It also provided a platform for interaction among the industry, policy makers, regulators, financiers, academicians, researchers and the media. More than 40 eminent speakers from the energy sector, both from the national and international arena addressed the conference. They included senior officials from the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Government of India; CMDs, MDs, CEOs, and Directors from the wind power industry; Chairman of Associations; Chairmen and Directors of state electricity regulatory commissions, state electricity boards, state nodal agencies; prominent policy and decision makers; and senior level academicians. The two day event was divided into different sessions which discussed important issues regarding the present and future scenario of the wind power industry, its economics, financing and market development, the O&M and supply chain management issues and the need to develop a sound human resource and R&D base to meet the future requirements of the industry. The panel discussions suggested recommendations to the government to initiate innovative policy measures for encouraging the growth of wind power sector in the country and also suggest ways to mainstream the wind power sector in India.

The ‘Wind India 2006’ exhibition offered a unique opportunity to professionals from the wind sector, the government, financial institutions, the media etc to showcase their profile and range of products. There were in all 20 exhibitors from various parts of the country who set up stalls at the exhibition, which was very well receivedby one and all.

The two-day ‘Wind India 2006’ conference concluded with the Valedictory Session, whose Chief Guest was Dr. Pramod Deo, Chairman, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission. In his valedictory address, Dr Deo stressed upon the contribution that wind power had rendered to the economy of the country, and focused on the need to implementing competitive bidding, and the need for feed-in tariffs. He concluded by congratulating WISE for organising such an significant event for the first time in the country.