India added 1.1GW of onshore wind projects in 2020 – the lowest new build in a decade. Siemens Gamesa kept its crown as market leader by accounting for nearly half of all capacity commissioned last year, with GE ranking second. Local suppliers lost ground against global turbine makers, as Inox and Suzlon together supplied 23% of new projects.
Atin Jain, associate at BloombergNEF said “Turbine makers faced unfavorable winds in 2020,” he added “All major manufacturers were under stress because of challenging market conditions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said. Siemens Gamesa changed its local leadership and is restructuring its India business, while Suzlon is grappling with financial and operational challenges despite completing its third debt restructuring. Other manufacturers had a difficult year as well.”
“While 2020 was the most challenging year for the Indian wind power sector in the past 15 years, the industry is quickly coming back on track. BloombergNEF expects 3.2 gigawatts of new wind capacity to be added in 2021, three-times the capacity added in 2020, “according to Shantanu Jaiswal, head of India research at BloombergNEF.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in nation-wide lockdowns in 2020 and caused severe disruptions to the supply chain and movement of goods and people, delaying project execution. The government granted developers a five-month extension to commission renewable energy projects that suffered construction delays. Commissioning of about 2 gigawatts of wind farms due to come online last year slipped into 2021.
Four major independent power producers, or IPPs, Renew Power, Sembcorp Green Infra, Alfanar and Adani Green Energy, accounted for 70% of the total installed capacity in 2020. All of their projects were in the western state of Gujarat, and they were winners in the Solar Energy Corp. of India’s (SECI) tranche II and III wind auctions (2017-18).
Foreign turbine makers supplied 76% of all capacity commissioned last year, up 9 percentage points from 2019. Siemens Gamesa consolidated its top spot in the manufacturer ranking, and supplied nearly half of all projects commissioned last year. GE ranked second, accounting for over one-fifth of all installations (Figure 1).
Siemens Gamesa retained its position as the number one turbine supplier in India, with 532 megawatts commissioned last year. While the onshore wind market in India contracted by 53%, the company’s installations fell by 26% from the previous year. Siemens Gamesa grew its market share in 2020 by 18%. Lockdowns and other market challenges notwithstanding, Siemens Gamesa managed to deliver on its pipeline of projects much better than other turbine makers. The firm restructured its business units in India to cut down on the number of business activities in the country and changed its local and global leadership. In July 2020, Siemens Gamesa launched a 3MW+ platform tailored to the Indian market, pinning hopes of maintaining market leadership by offering a lower levelized cost of energy and custom technology.
GE installed the same amount of capacity as in 2019, at 244 megawatts, but a shrinking market boosted the U.S. firm to the second place. GE supplied wind turbines to Powerica for a 51.3-megawatt project won in the GUVNL II auction, and to Renew Power’s 400-megawatt SECI III auction project, both located in Gujarat.
Suzlon commissioned just 130 megawatts last year, and its market share fell to 12% (Figure 2). The firm remains challenged by financial and operational woes, despite completing its third debt restructuring in June. Suzlon supplied turbines to two projects in Gujarat,
Inox Wind’s installations halved year-on-year to just 126MW in 2020. It commissioned 50MW that it won in the first federal SECI auction, as well as another 50MW for Adani Green Energy from the SECI II auction.
India is a market that Vestas hasn’t quite cracked, despite being the leading turbine supplier worldwide for the past five years. The Denmark-based turbine maker ranks fifth, with just 74MW commissioned last year. Like Siemens Gamesa, in October 2020, Vestas launched a new 3MW+ wind turbine for the Indian market. No orders for this new turbine have been announced to date.
Senvion did not commission any capacity in 2020. Senvion filed for insolvency in April 2019, and has since offloaded its European service business and intellectual property, and its India operations. In August 2019, IPPs re-allocated 741MW (78%) of Senvion’s 950MW order book to Inox Wind (288MW) and Siemens Gamesa (453MW).
Gujarat leads new build in India
- IPPs commissioned 883MW in Gujarat, located in the western region of India, or 79% of all new build across the country. Higher wind speeds and land availability have made Gujarat a favored state for most IPPs. The next largest regions for new onshore wind build were Tamil Nadu (128MW), Karnataka (82MW) and Rajasthan (26MW). Despite moderate to high wind speeds, no developers commissioned new projects in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh