Wind Energy In India To Be Doubled to over 20,000 MW by 2022

"Currently wind power generation in the country stands at about 10,500 MW. We will double this capacity by 2022 and try to triple it," Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah told reporters on the sidelines of an Assocham event. Meanwhile, the government has set a target of adding 1,300 MW of solar power by the end of the current XIth Five Year Plan (2007-12).

"We have to add 1,300 MW solar (power) in the next three years…time is less we have to do it fast," Abdullah said. The government recently said it has approved setting up of 20,000 MW grid solar power and 2,000 MW off-grid solar power by 2022 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

The mission aims to develop solar technologies for making solar power competitive to conventional grid power and install 20 million square metre solar thermal collective area by 2022.

The Indian government is planning to double wind power- generation capacity to over 20,000 MW by 2022 or triple it from the present 10,500 MW to promote the use of renewable resources. The current installed power capacity from renewable sources of energy is around 13,300 MW.

Wind power can meet over 24 percent of India’s energy needs by 2030, says a study carried out by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA).

“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).

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.