Gujarat government on 25-07-2013 approved Wind Energy Policy to expedite and encourage development of wind power generation activities in the state, said a top minister. The 25-year policy will exempt the power producers from electricity duty and allow captive use, seeks to utilize 1,600 km of state coastline and waste patches of barren land for the generation of wind power. The state plans to have its 10% of its total installed capacity from renewable sources.
"The new policy is expected be an added fillip to the activities concerning wind energy installations in the state," said Saurabh Patel, Minister of Energy and Petrochemicals. The existing Wind Energy Policy has came to an end in March 2013. The installed capacity of wind power in the state rose from 150 MW in 2001 to 3,147 MW in 2013. The installed capacity in the country stands at 19,000 MW.
As per the new Wind Energy Policy the developers of such wind power plants will be able to sell the electricity to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL), the state owned electricity company, or can sell it to any other company holding the license for electricity distribution. Wind energy generators will be able to sell it to the buyers at Rs 4.15 per unit, higher than Rs 3.56 per unit in the outgoing.
The new rates will be in effect for next 25 years for all those developers who are selling electricity to GUVNL or others. Wind energy developers will be allowed to use the electricity in their own factories if located in Gujarat subject to wheeling and transmission charges. However, developers will have to pay additional 5 paise per unit for self-consumption at more than one location then they will have to pay additional 5 paise per unit.
In case of self-consumption, the surplus power will be considered to be sold at Rs 3.52 per unit to the distribution company. Power producer not willing for captive consumption and not willing to sell at discounted will have to pay wheeling and transmission charges, not using the banking facilities, and will be allowed to sell it to third party within 15 minutes period block after the offsetting process.
Policy has provisions for allotment of state's vast barren land tracts for the wind energy installations. The thrust on renewable energy is also a part of efforts at global level to minimize global warming and its impact. Patel said Gujarat is leading the path with almost 10% of total energy produced come from unconventional sources. It will also be helpful at a time when the capital investment in the power sector has stagnated, rise in mining cost and rise in the cost of the fuel for power generation.