India To Install 21GW Of Onshore Wind Capacity Next 5 Years: GWEC

Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) recently released a detailed report on the status of onshore wind energy globally. GWEC’s Global Wind Workforce Outlook report sheds light on India’s status in onshore global wind energy. It said that India stands fourth in the world market in this technology. 

The report says that with more than 44 GW of onshore wind installed capacity as of August 2023, India plays a crucial role in determining the pace of the energy transition in Asia. The report applauds India for achieving its 40% non-fossil fuels target well before the 2030 deadline. 

GWEC’s document also shared an update on India’s current commissioning, which reached 1.84 GW of new wind power capacity in 2022.GWEC Workforce Outlook Report Further, it says India continues to recover installation rates and resolve challenges around project cancellations caused by high inflation.

As per the research document, post-COVID led to gaps in grid availability and timeline extensions in commissioning dates. GWEC forecasts that the country’s onshore wind market will continue to recover and install 21 GW of onshore wind capacity in the next five years.

Harnessing maximum wind potential

The report mentions that India serves round-the-clock (RTC), peak power demand and, ensures grid stability and accelerates wind growth. India’s onshore wind market recently shifted from an e-reverse auction mechanism to new enablers. Among these are first, a target for 10 GW annual onshore wind auctions from 2023-2027 through a single-stage, two-envelope bid system—second, wind-specific Renewables Purchase Obligation (RPO) implementation from 2023 to 2030.

Third, a waiver of Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) charges up to June 2025 for onshore wind and up to 2032 for offshore wind (with graded charges between 2033 to 2037). Fourth, transmission planning to integrate 58 GW wind capacity by 2030 (includes 10 GW offshore in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat) as well as other state and central policy incentives for commercial, industrial and green open access wind power procurement. The government has also announced an auction trajectory for 37 GW offshore wind capacity from 2023-2030. 

After several stakeholder consultations on the draft offshore wind seabed tender for Tamil Nadu, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy published (in August 2023) the Strategy for Establishment of Offshore Wind Energy Projects (Revision 1, depicting a 37GW auction trajectory under three Models A, B, and C). 

Workforce training needs 

People trained by the GWO (Global Wind Organisation) have grown steadily from 2,000 in 2018 to 8,200 in 2022. As the wind market recovered from the 1.1GW dip in 2020, India’s C&I and O&M workforce is estimated to have grown from 23,500 in 2020 to 26,200 in 2020.

It is expected to expand to 28,400 in 2027, fuelled by increasing capacity additions. With the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm expected to be commissioned in 2028, offshore wind will start contributing to wind power growth in India at the end of the outlook period. This will have a marginal but positive impact on workforce volumes (700 people) by the end of 2027.

To help train quality wind workforce, training providers, such as the nodal agency, the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), operates the Vayumitra Skill Development Program in nine windy Indian states with onshore installations.

Currently, the availability of skilled offshore wind workforce is at a nascent stage.