Wind Power : Wind Steals the Show
Intro: India is struggling with high energy demands. Harnessing clean and renewable energy sources can help meet burgeoning energy needs in a sustainable way. Among all the renewable energy sources, wind power dominates and can be an important driver of change in future.
India’s rapidly growing economy and expanding population make it hungry for electric power. In spite of significant capacity additions over the last 20 years, power supply struggles to keep up with demand. Electricity shortages are common, and a significant part of our population still has no access to electricity at all.
The Indian government recognizes that wind energy can be a significant clean energy resource. Supported by initial government policies, India is already the fifth-largest wind energy producer. Yet, much more can be achieved. India’s wind energy production can grow at least four to five times its current level wind energy potential. To achieve the higher potential, the government announced plans in 2014 to launch a National Wind Energy Mission.
India’s wind energy installations by July 2014 were 21,693 MW out of the total renewables capacity of 32,424 MW (excluding large hydro). Wind provided almost 67 per cent of the total installed capacity of grid-connected renewable in the country. In 2011 the state run National Institute for Wind Energy reassessed India’s wind power potential as 102,778 MW at 80 metres, up from the earlier estimate of approximate 49,130 MW at 50 metres at 2 per cent land availability.
Annual wind installations fell from over 3 GW in 2011 to 2.3 GW in 2012 to 1.7 GW in 2013. 2013 was one of the toughest years for the Indian wind industry since the economic recession of 2008. The industry has faced various challenges including the withdrawal of accelerated depreciation benefits, challenges in transmission, scheduling and forecasting, lack of an integrated energy plan among others which precipitated a significant drop in capacity additions. Though wind power accounted for over half of the registered generation capacity under the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) registry, making RECs a widely accepted instrument and a revenue stream for the project financing community remains a challenge in India, especially with the limited validity of five years of the REC certificates.
Designing strong policies and programs that attract investment is essential to scale wind power to reach 100 GW and to breathe new life into India’s wind energy market. Further, with expansion in installed capacity, the wind industry can emerge as an important driver of jobs for the Indian workforce.
Tidal energy is a renewable energy powered by the natural rise and fall of ocean tides and currents. Some of these technologies include turbines and paddles.
The development of wind power in India began in the 1990s, and has progressed steadily in the last few years. The short gestation periods for installing wind turbines, and the increasing reliability and performance of wind energy machines have made wind power a favoured choice for capacity addition in India.
By the mid 1990s, the subcontinent was installing more wind generating capacity than North America, Denmark, Britain, and the Netherlands. The ten machines near Okha in the province of Gujarat were some of the first wind turbines installed in India.
Advantages of Wind Power:
- One of the most environment friendly, clean and safe energy resources.
- Lowest gestation period as compared to conventional energy.
- Equipment erection and commissioning involve only a few months.
- No fuel consumption, hence low operating costs.
- Maintenance costs are low.
- The capital cost is comparable with conventional power plants. For a wind farm, the capital cost ranges between 4.5 crores to 5.5 crores, depending on the site and the wind electric generator (WEG) selected for installation. n
The essential requirements for a Wind farm
- High wind resource at particular site.
- Adequate land availability
- Suitable terrain and good soil condition
- Maintenance access to site
- Suitable power grid nearby
- Techno-economic selection of specific turbines
- Scientifically prepared layout
(July 19, 2015 Page : 22-23)