Indian wind energy could cover 24% of the country?s power needs by 2030

The Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah released a book titled “Indian Wind Energy Outlook 2009" on the 9th September 2009 in New Delhi. This report is published jointly by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA).

The study examines the potential of wind power in India up to the year 2030 and found that the technology, re-powering, untapped off-shore potential and furthering wind resource assessment could play a key part in the nation’s effort to provide energy to its ever growing demand in an economy which will boom and at the same time combat climate change.

“India is already an established force in the global wind energy markets, and yet, it has the potential to achieve so much more,” said GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer. “Wind energy can be deployed at a very large scale in a very short period of time. With the right support, it can make a major difference in improving India’s energy independence by providing it with vast amounts of clean, indigenous energy.”

The report explains how wind energy can provide up to 24% of the India’s power needs by 2030 while attracting 475 bn Rs in investment every year and creating 213,000 ‘green collar’ jobs in manufacturing, project development, installation, operation, maintenance, consulting etc. At the same time, it would save a total of 5.5 bn tons of CO2 in that timeframe.

The ‘Indian Wind Energy Outlook’ explores three different scenarios for wind power – a Reference scenario based on figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA); a Moderate version which assumes that current policy measures and targets for renewable energy are met; and an Advanced Scenario which assumes that all policy options in favour of renewables have been adopted. These are then set against two demand projections for electricity demand.

Mr. D V Giri, Chairman, IWTMA, said, “In our rapidly growing economy, the security of energy supply is key and wind energy potential must not be wasted. Deploying wind energy at a large scale would help us to realize significant economic and environmental benefits. We now urge the government to fast track proposals to introduce a National renewable energy policy to help the industry to make this happen for India. He also added, “IWTMA plays a significant role as turnkey solution providers with ‘state of the art’ technology to its customers.”

Mr. Arthouros Zervos, Chairman, GWEC, said, “This report demonstrates that wind technology is not a dream for the future – it is working now, and ready for tackling India’s energy challenges.” He also added, “The political choices of the coming years will determine the world’s and India’s, environmental and economic situation for many decades to come. The wind industry stands ready to do its part in what the UN Secretary General has described as ‘the defining struggle of the 21st century’. With sufficient political will and the right frameworks, it could do even more”.

To date, 10 Indian states have implemented supporting policies for wind energy. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is currently considering plans to introduce Generation Based Incentive (GBI) which is expected to attract Foreign Director Investment (FDIs) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The report is part of a wind industry campaign entitled ‘Wind Power Works’, which is coordinated by GWEC and supported by IWMTA. Its aim is to increase government awareness and positive action on wind energy in the run up to the COP 15 climate talks in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Indian power sector

India’s rapidly growing economy and population leads to relentlessly increasing electricity demand. As a result, the country’s installed power generation capacity has increased from just 1.4 GW in 1947 to over 150 GW in 2009.

The current generation mix in India is dominated by coal (78.5 GW), large hydropower (36.9 GW) and gas (16.4 GW). Renewable sources rank fourth with an installed capacity of around 13.2 GW.

Despite the massive capacity additions, the Indian government is struggling to keep up with growing demand. The IEA predicts that by 2020, 327 GW of power generation capacity will be needed, which would imply an addition of 16 GW per year. This urgent need is reflected in the target the Indian government has set in its 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012), which envisages an addition of 78.7 GW in this period, 50.5 GW of which is coal).

Renewable Energy in India

In the early 1980s, the Indian government established the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) to encourage diversification of the country’s energy supply, and satisfy the increasing energy demand of a rapidly growing economy. In 2006, this ministry was renamed the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Renewable energy is growing rapidly in India. With an installed capacity of 13.2 GW, renewable energy sources (excluding large hydro) currently account for 9% of India’s overall power generation capacity. By 2012, the Indian government is planning to add an extra 14 GW of renewable sources.

In its 10th Five Year Plan, the Indian government had set itself a target of adding 3.5 GW of renewable energy sources to the generation mix. In reality, however, nearly double that figure was achieved. In this period, more than 5.4 GW of wind energy was added to the generation mix, as well as 1.3 GW from other RE sources. The target set for the period from 2008-2012 was increased to 14 GW, 10.5 GW of which to be new wind generation capacity.

The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE ) estimates that there is a potential of around 90,000 MW for power generation from different renewable energy sources in the country, including 48,561 MW of wind power, 14,294 MW of small hydro power and 26,367 MW of biomass. In addition, the potential for solar energy is estimated for most parts of the country at around 20 MW per square kilometer of open, shadow free area covered with solar collectors, which would add up to a minimum of 657 GW of installed capacity.

Wind potential

The total potential for wind power in India was first estimated by the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET) at around 45 GW, and was recently increased to 48.5 GW. This figure was also adopted by the government as the official estimate.

The C-WET study was based on a comprehensive wind mapping exercise initiated by MNRE, which established a country-wide network of 1050 wind monitoring and wind mapping stations in 25 Indian States. This effort made it possible to assess the national wind potential and identify suitable areas for harnessing wind power for commercial use, and 216 suitable sites have been identified.

However, the wind measurements were carried out at lower hub heights and did not take into account technological innovation and improvements and repowering of old turbines to replace them with bigger ones. At heights of 55-65 meters, the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) estimates that the potential for wind development in India is around 65-70 GW. The World Institute for Sustainable Energy, India (WISE) considers that with larger turbines, greater land availability and expanded resource

Steady market growth for wind

Wind energy is continuing to grow steadily in India. Wind power capacity of 4,889 MW was added in the last three years, taking the total installed capacity to 10.2 GW on 31 March 2009, up from 7.8 GW at the end of 2007.

Wind power in India has been concentrated in a few regions, especially the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which maintains its position as the state with the most wind power, with 4.1 GW installed at the end of 2008, representing 44% of India’s total wind capacity.

This is beginning to change as other states, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh start to catch up, partly driven by new policy measures. As a result, wind farms can be seen under construction all across the country, from the coastal plains to the hilly hinterland and sandy deserts. The Indian government envisages the addition of 2 GW/annum in the next five years.


The Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) is the only industrial body representing the country’s wind turbine manufacturers, providing a single contact point for policy makers at national and state level, regulators and utilities. IWTMA’s main objective is to promote wind energy in India, facilitate the extension of knowledge in the field and interact with national and global energy bodies.

IWTMA is a founding member of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) alongside other national and regional associations including the European Wind Energy Association and the American Wind Energy Association. IWTMA is represented on all Committees, Councils and Advisory groups constituted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), CWET and others, including financial institutions like IREDA.

About GWEC

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is the credible and representative forum for the entire wind energy sector at the international level.

With a combined membership of over 1,500 organisations involved in hardware manufacture, project development, power generation, finance and consultancy, as well as researchers, academics and associations, GWEC’s member associations represent the entire wind energy community in more than 70 countries.

GWEC’s mission is to ensure that wind power establishes itself as one of the world’s leading energy sources, providing substantial environmental and economic benefits. Our main objective of is to promote the development and growth of wind energy around the world through policy development, business leadership, global outreach and information and education.