The Indian onshore wind market is “coming back to life” said Siemens Gamesa CEO Markus Tacke after a bumper last quarter for the turbine OEM – but he downplayed the short-term prospects for offshore wind in India.
Siemens Gamesa booked 1.2GW of Indian orders in the July-September quarter, the last of its 2019 financial year in which it pulled in 1.8GW in the country, up from 1.5GW in 2018.
“That indicates that the concerns around grid availability and land availability are being addressed by the government, and the roadblocks that had been potential issues are being removed,” Tacke said in response to a question from Recharge on Tuesday after Siemens Gamesa’s full-year results.
“The market is coming back to life and is contributing to the success of Siemens Gamesa.”
The troubles in Indian wind – also prompted by an abrupt move from subsidies to competition – have been a thorn in the side of Siemens Gamesa ever since it was formed in 2017. Tacke’s first presentation of quarterly results following the merger that created the business was to warn of the chilling effect of a “shut down” in the Indian market, where the former Gamesa was market leader.
The Siemens Gamesa chief's upbeat comments are in contrast with recent dismal analyst assessments of the market, with one claiming foreign players are “losing interest” in the country because of its “policy incoherence” despite its massive renewable energy targets, including 60GW of wind by 2022.
Tacke was far more cautious about the prospects for Indian offshore wind power, where the government has set ambitious goals of 5GW by 2022 and 30GW by 2030 – but has yet to advance beyond the stage of an Expressions of Interest call to potential developers.
Tacke said Siemens Gamesa, the largest supplier of offshore turbines generally, is “actively in contact with several developers” but added: “Offshore I think there is quite some way to go.
“The wind resources in onshore in India are still significantly high. We will focus for the time being onshore in India. Maybe in a couple of years we will revisit what could be the contribution of offshore.”
The Siemens Gamesa boss appeared to expect at least one competitor to drop out of the Indian market, as he excluded troubled local champion Suzlon from the list of four non-Chinese OEMs he expects to figure in the future market.
However Siemens Gamesa will certainly face stiff competition from the likes of Vestas, which has increased its Indian production base even amid the market challenges and said it wants to make India a regional wind hub.