Global wind turbine makers are expanding manufacturing capacity in India to boost exports from the South Asian nation even as the country’s domestic industry experiences headwinds.
India is well placed to be a manufacturing center for the wind industry and is coming out as a crucial part of the global supply chain, according to Ben Backwell, the chief executive of industry body Global Wind Energy Council. “Production cost in India is very competitive and engineering is very strong,” he said by phone. “They can beat anybody.”
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S disclosed earlier this month that it will set up a new basket and hub assembly factory in India that will be operational by next year. The company desires to increase “export capabilities from India with the goal of making it a global renewable energy manufacturing hub.”
The announcements come as the South Asian nation’s wind turbine industry is striving for orders after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government shifted to auctions in 2017 as the preferred method to install wind projects. That’s limited orders for domestic manufacturers such as Suzlon Energy Ltd. and Inox Wind Ltd. even as the nation aims to reach 175 gigawatts of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022.
While the transformation to auctions has resulted in lower tariffs, building that new capacity has faced barriers with land acquisition and grid access. India has been installing less than 2 gigawatts of wind projects annually for the last two years rendering most of its 13.5 gigawatts of manufacturing capacity in factories unused.