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India set to overtake US in wind installations

Decline in US from tax benefits prompting developers to delay projects may result in Indian wind installations taking lead

Wind turbine in India
India currently has installed 19,662MW of wind power, one fifth of the BRIC country’s estimated potential

Installed wind capacity in India is expected to overtake the US for the first time, according to new figures. Figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), due to be published next week, have revealed India is forecast to put up 2,050MW of wind capacity in 2013, compared with 2,000MW expected from the US.

India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said the BRIC country has already installed 19,662MW of wind power, one fifth of the country's estimated potential. This makes substantial process towards the government's target to meet 15GW of wind power in India by 2017.

The news also follows investments being made into the BRIC country's wind power industry this year. In June, India's leading renewables financer, the IDFC, announced investments of $44m towards wind power projects in the country. Shantanu Jaiswal, a New Delhi-based BNEF expert said the decline of wind installations in the US is down to a tax-benefit window extending to 2015. This has prompted US developers to delay setting up new projects.

He said: "The decline in the US is mainly due to the complacency of the project developers,'' which can claim federal tax benefits through 2015. "There exists a substantial upside potential for Indian wind installations in the coming years," he added.

Jaiswal said major wind projects, such as in China, have been expected to slow down this year. But the US is set to experience the sharpest decline, with annual installations dropping 85 per cent. However, this could change in 2014 when US installations are expected to surge again, he said.

According to Bloomberg, India's 10 largest developers, including Mytrah Energy, Green Infra and Goldman Sachs Group - backed ReNew Wind Power Pvt, have plans to put up 15,000MW of wind capacity in the next 10 years.