General Electric has set itself a target to double its share in the Indian wind turbine market by 2016. To achieve this target the company will set up a greenfield facility to manufacture components for wind turbines.
The company is planning to invest $200 million in a manufacturing unit to be set up in the western city of Pune. Officials of GE’s renewable energy business were in India recently to hold negotiations with Indian suppliers who would possibly provide various components for a wind power unit.
GE is likely to manufacture electrical components of wind turbines, which it has to import into India right now. For other components like blades, the company will tap local suppliers.
By setting up a local manufacturing base in India, GE would be able to better compete with local manufacturers like Suzlon Energy, which is among the leaders in the Indian market.
Expansion into the Indian wind energy sector makes sense for GE, which may have access to more efficient technology which would be critical for proliferation of wind energy into new areas in the country. It is notable that the tariffs for wind energy projects have been increasing as high-wind-speed sites have been exhausted and project developers are now looking to set up projects at low-wind-speed sites. Such sites require high-efficiency technology.
Also, with the imminent launch of the National Wind Energy Mission the demand for wind turbines could go up significantly. The Indian government has also initiated plans to promote offshore wind energy projects, which could prove to be a goldmine to international wind turbine manufacturers that have experience in offshore wind energy infrastructure development.
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