29 May 2012 by Kavitha Srinivasa
The event becomes interesting when seen in the context of the opportunities that India has to offer. A long coastline and relatively low construction costs could make India a favoured destination for offshore wind power. The country ranked as the third best investment destination in renewable energy sector, next to China and the US, according to a 2011 report 'Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices released by Ernst & Young.
Wind speeds in India range from low to moderate, except for Tamil Nadu and Rann of Kutch (Gujarat). While the geographical landscapes of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat favour wind investments, other parts of the country are catching up by generating electricity through wind turbines. Around 216 sites have been identified for generating commercial wind power. The wind energy sector is expected to add 15,000 MW over the next five years.
Many wind power developers have harnessed its potential in Tamil Nadu. The southern state has conducive natural meteorological and topographical settings for wind energy generation. A tunneling effect transforms Palghat Pass, Shengottah Pass and Aralvoimozhi into windswept regions during the South West Monsoon.
A long stretch of coastline backed by inland windy sites has prompted Gujarat, a state in western India, to create a Gujarat Wind Power Policy in 2007. Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), its nodal agency has included incentives for Wind Turbine Generators for a period of 20 years.
India Wind Energy Outlook 2011, a report presented by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy under the guidance of the Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, reveals that wind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy sector in the country. With a cumulative deployment of over 13,000 MW capacity, it accounts for nearly 70% of the installed capacity in the renewable energy sector in India.
Gusts of wind have swept over many parts of the country. Suzlon, India's leading wind turbine manufacturer has been joined by a spate of companies and they position wind as a clean source of energy, unlike fossil fuel. This is because fossil fuel-based electricity generation is the single largest source of greenhouse gases, contributing nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions. The need to move to a more sustainable form of power generation is essential to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, in line with the target now agreed by the various governments of the world to keep the global mean temperature rise below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
India Wind Energy Outlook 2011 indicates that wind power fits the bill perfectly as one of the few commercially proven green technologies. Wind energy is a viable alternative to fossil fuels, as it does not emit greenhouse gases. Within less than a year of operation, a wind turbine generator can offset all emissions from its construction to run virtually carbon free during its 20-year lifetime. Wind power, through its scalability and speed of deployment, not only helps reduce India's carbon footprint, but also helps towards achieving energy security by reducing its dependence on fossil fuel imports in the long run. The World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE) a not-for-profit institute estimates India's micro-generation potential at about 83 GW.
Looking back, the wind energy sector picked up momentum around two decades ago. Once unleashed, the winds prompted flurry of activity since then. It's a favourable forecast.
Edited: 30 May 2012 at 08:03 AM by Kavitha Srinivasa
Posted By: Kavitha Srinivasa @ 29 May 2012 07:02 PM General
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