The journey of ‘Wind India’—India’s coveted conference and exhibition on wind power initiated by WISE—began in 2006. Following its resounding success, WISE decided to hold the event on a biennial basis, with the second event held in November 2008. With India being touted today as THE current global wind investment destination, and WISE forecasting a 5,000 MW annual market by 2015, it was but appropriate to bring the global fraternity into the realm of the huge Indian wind market. It was thus that WISE joined hands with two international stalwarts from the global wind arena, namely the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), and the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA), and organised WIND POWER INDIA 2011 from 7–9 April 2011 at the Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai. WIND POWER INDIA 2011 (WPI 2011) is the international counterpart of WIND INDIA. The event which received an overwhelming response from the global wind sector, witnessed the presence of 1000+ delegates, around 115 exhibitors and nearly 100+ renowned speakers from the national and international wind industry.

The Inaugural Session of the conference was a special ‘event’ in itself. It witnessed the presence of a huge and highly renowned group of dignitaries from across the globe. They included, Dr Klaus Rave, Chairperson, GWEC; Steve Sawyer, Secretary General, GWEC and Conference Chairperson; Hans Jorgen Koch, Deputy State Secretary, Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy, Denmark; V Subramanian, Chairperson, Organizing Committee, WPI 2011, and former Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE); G M Pillai, Organiser, WPI 2011, and Founder Director General, World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE), Pune; D V Giri, Member, Advisory Panel, WPI 2011, and Chairperson, IWTMA; Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai; R Christodas Gandhi, CMD, TEDA; Dilip Nigam, Director—Wind policy, MNRE; Tulsi Tanti, CMD, Suzlon Energy Ltd; Ramesh Kymal, CMD, Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt. Ltd; Paulo Fernando Soares, CEO, Kenersys Group, Germany; Rajiv Wahi, Executive Chairperson, Vestas Wind Technology India Pvt. Ltd; and Bernhard Telgman, CEO, APAC, Siemens Wind Power.

To celebrate the event, a special commemorative envelope on Wind Power India 2011 was released at the hands of the Post Master General of Tamil Nadu and Mike Nithavrianakis. Besides, some major publications were also released. These included the Indian Wind Energy Outlook 2011 report—a joint publication of GWEC, WISE and IWTMA—at the hands of Dr Klaus Rave, and special conference issue of WISE’s magazine Green Energy by Hans Jorgen Koch.

The highlight of the Inaugural Session was the distribution of the prestigious WIND INDIA AWARDS (instituted by WISE in 2006) at the hands of Dr Klaus Rave, V Subramanian, Steve Sawyer, and Hans Jorgen Koch. The awards are a recognition of the contributions made by the Indian wind industry and associated stakeholders in shaping a ‘green’ India. For 2011, six new categories of awards were added to the existing 11 categories. Some of the major awardees for the financial year 2008–09 and 2009–10 were: Suzlon Energy Ltd (first prize for Best Capacity Addition by Manufacturer and second prize for Best Service Provider among Manufacturers); Enercon (India) Ltd (first prize for Best Service Provider among Manufacturers and second prize for Best Capacity Addition by Manufacturer); and Windcare India Pvt Ltd (first prize for Best O&M Independent Service Provider and Best Innovation in O&M by an Independent Service Provider). ReGen Powertech bagged the first prize for Best New Entrant in Manufacturing while the Best Wind Power Project Financier went to YES Bank (first prize) and Punjab National Bank (second prize). The Best Wind Power Developer State (total installation) went to the state of Tamil Nadu and Best Wind Power Developer State (% increase) was given to Rajasthan. For the first time, special awards were instituted in the small-wind-solar and hybrid sector. While the Best Small-Wind-Solar Hybrid System Manufacturer award was bagged by Unitron Energy Systems Pvt Ltd, the award for the Best state in Small-Wind-Solar Hybrid System Implementation went to Maharashtra.

While the first day of the conference was dedicated to a special CEO’s Forum on wind power development in south and south-east Asia, and the role of wind power in achieving 15% RE by 2020, the second and third days focused on two tracks: Policy, Regulation and Market Development; and Technology, Project Development and Operation. WPI 2011 also organised a special side event: a ‘One-day conference on Small Wind Power and Hybrid Systems’, on 8 April 2011. The main objective of the side event was to demystify the small wind sector and increase transparency, infuse investor confidence, and overall, change the dynamism of the ‘small’ wind market into a ‘big’ investment opportunity. For the first time in India, the manufacturers of small wind and hybrid systems came together and formally launched ‘InSWA’, the Indian Small Wind Association, to support the development of the small wind sector in India.
Wind Power India 2011 also featured five Knowledge Fora—a series of official side events comprising customised business meets and workshops offering unique networking opportunities. The topics for the fora included: Structuring optimization: wind turbine tower and hub; Gearing up: mechanical drive train; Generating savings: wind turbine electricals, electronics and services; Wind power forecasting in India; and Design, testing and certification of wind turbines.

The Wind Power India 2011 exhibition was a tremendous success with around 115 exhibitors participating from all over the world. The major participating countries included Denmark, Spain, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Germany, China, USA, UK, France and Sri Lanka. More than 3000 people visited the exhibition.