Wind power tariffs in India hit new low of Rs3.46 per unit

Wind power tariffs in the country fell to a record low of Rs3.46 per unit in a government-run auction on Friday, weeks after solar power rates to fell below Rs3 per unit in another government-run auction, as the government continued its push for cleaner energy.

India, the world's third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has set a target of raising its renewable energy generation to 175 giga Watt by 2022, around five times the current usage, to fight cliamate change without cutting power supplies to its 1.3 billion people.

With cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 28,279 MW, India has emerged the fourth-largest wind power producer in the world, after China, the USA and Germany.

The aggressive push for renewable power is bringing down tariffs with every government auction of power projects - both in the wind and solar power projects- as companies bid aggressively for new projects.

The rates for renewable power has come to levels low enough to challenge power generated by fossil fuels such as coal over the long term.

In an auction conducted by state-controlled Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for various wind projects totalling 1 gigawatt, five companies separately quoted a tariff of Rs3.46 per unit to win the projects.

"After solar cost reduction below 3 rupees/unit, wind power cost down to 3.46 rupees/unit through transparent auction," India's coal, power and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet on Friday.

Mytrah Energy, part of London-based Mytrah Group, Ostro Kutch Wind, backed by British private equity firm Actis, and Indian company Inox Wind Infrastructure won contracts for 250 megawatts (MW) each.

Green Infra Wind Energy, majority-owned by Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries Ltd, won a contract for 249.90 MW and Adani Green Energy, part of billionaire Gautam Adani's infrastructure group, was awarded a 50 MW project, according to a senior SECI official.

"The auctions have been hard fought and have led to tighter pricing than one would have foreseen even a few months earlier," said Vikram Kailas, chief executive of Mytrah Energy.

With cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 28,279 MW, India has emerged the fourth-largest wind power producer in the world, after China, the USA and Germany.

India achieved the largest-ever wind power capacity addition of 3,423 MW in 2015-16, exceeding the target by 43 per cent. During 2016-17, a total of 1,502 MW capacity has been added till 31 October 2016, making cumulative achievement 28,279 MW.

The country also achieved the biggest ever solar power capacity addition of 3,019 MW in 2015-16, exceeding target by 116 per cent. During 2016-17, a total 1,750 MW capacity has been added till 31 October 2016, making cumulative achievement of 8,728 MW.