Huge potential for renewables in South Asia – GE

Multinational conglomerate General Electric Co. has urged the Centre to launch a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for wind energy, as it looks to bet big on India’s wind energy space.

Offshore wind energy firms have aspirations to grow operations in India and the government could offer a PLI scheme along the lines of what it offers for high-efficiency solar modules, Mahesh Palashikar, president, GE South Asia, said in an interview.

The Centre is planning to invite bids for 2 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind energy projects.

“Not only wind turbine, but the overall industry, because there’s a lot of solar, but not much wind, which is where we offer tremendous value. Offshore wind industry as an area is something we really have been constantly discussing,” Palashikar said in a reply to a question on the need for a PLI scheme for wind turbines.

To boost domestic manufacturing of solar modules and reduce India’s dependence on Chinese imports, the government launched a PLI scheme for solar photovoltaic cells and modules worth 24,000 crore.

GE has been a major player in India’s wind energy space as well as in hydropower. Since launching its first wind energy project in 1995, it has installed 3 GW of onshore wind capacity. Following the acquisition of Denmark’s LM Wind Power in 2017, the Boston-headquartered company has also added wind turbine blade manufacturing capabilities to its portfolio in India.

Mint reported that companies are introducing new turbine manufacturing technology for low and ultra-low wind conditions, after India’s wind power generation was affected due to low wind speeds.

On the prospects of foraying into the solar energy segment, Palashikar said the company has a strong portfolio of wind, hydro power and hybrid technology, and will back its core areas of strength. “We feel the government policies are very proactive, very pragmatic and forward looking. We definitely are providing insights to help and accelerate the transition.”

The cost of power from various renewable sources would become cheaper with evolving technologies, and an increase in adoption, he added.

GE operates three key verticals in India, including energy, aviation and healthcare. On the company’s performance, he said given the impact on small businesses, supply chain and demand due to covid-19, the company was hit amid the pandemic. However, with the receding cases, opening of the economy, and resumption of international travel, its businesses are set to pick up.

“I think the 2020 period was very difficult. I will be candid. Our customers delayed their project decisions, their investment decisions and that obviously had an impact on us, but 2021 saw huge successes.”

Palashikar was optimistic on GE’s aviation business in India. GE Aviation is a major player globally in terms of jet and turboprop engines, components, integrated digital, avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems for commercial, military, and general aircraft. More than 600 engines developed by GE technology are in service with Indian carriers, with order of another 1,500. (Mint)



by Daily News Sri Lanka

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