Wind Power in India- A Note

Prelude

While I was reading about the selective surface used for absorbing sunlight to its entirety and emits very little of the proportion, I came across a fact about wind energy in India. Did you know that India stands 4th in terms of total installed wind power capacity?

Wind power generation volume in India has significantly enlarged in recent years. As of 28th February 2021, the total installed wind power capacity was 38.789 GW. Geographically speaking, the wind power capacity is mainly spread across the Southern, Western, and Northern regions.

We have divided the note on wind power in India in 3 parts- Past, Present and Future.

Past

The development of wind power in India began in December 1952, when Maneklal Thacker, an eminent power engineer, initiated a project with CSIR to explore possibilities in India.  With the help of the Indian Meteorological Department, the newly formed subcommittee extensively reviewed and surveyed available data on surface winds in India and their velocity duration.

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The potential for wind farms in the country was first assessed in 2011 to be more than 2000 GW by Prof. Jami Hossain of TERI University, New Delhi. This was reassessed by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and as a result, it has announced a revised estimation of the potential wind resource in India from 49,130 MW to 302,000 MW assessed at 100 m hub height.

In 2015, the MNRE set the goal for Wind Power generation volume by the year 2022 at 60,000 MW.

Present

Wind power accounts for nearly 10% of India’s total installed power generation capacity. It generated approximately 62 TWh in the fiscal year 2018-19 (4% total electricity generation).

India has 17 offshore wind farm projects of which none is currently operating, none where construction has progressed enough to install turbines. As of today, the number of wind energy installations across the nation is growing continuously. The adjoining table gives us the information about state-wise installed wind capacity as of Oct-19. Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Maharashtra lead the way towards the green energy push.

StateTotal Capacity (MW)
Tamil Nadu9231.77
Gujarat7203.77
Maharashtra4794.13
Karnataka4753.4
Rajasthan4299.73
Andhra Pradesh4077.37
Madhya Pradesh2519.89
Telangana128.1
Kerala62.5
Others4.3
Total37090.03
Table 1- State-wise installed wind capacity

Tamil Nadu’s wind capacity is around 25% of India’s total followed by Maharashtra (19.5%) and Gujarat (13%). The leader of Tamil Nadu is a result of the early realization of the importance and need for renewable energy by the state government.

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Future

Despite a much earlier head-start, the wind sector has been surpassed by solar in the recent past. While the sluggish pace of wind capacity addition has impacted the indigenous supply chain.

The wind projects are lagging behind the proposed or planned pathway. The availability of cost-competitive land especially in the states with top wind potential and the high cost of land was the reason why wind lagged behind on price with solar energy. “This combined with longer payment realization cycles owing to poor health of most state distribution companies further amplifies the financial distress for the developers,” said Somesh Kumar, partner, and leader, power and utilities, EY India. The installed capacity of India’s wind energy sector has been more than 37 gigawatts (GW) and has over 300 GW of estimated wind energy potential. The government has set an ambitious target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030, of which 60 GW by 2022 and 140 GW by 2030 would come from wind energy.

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