In the early 1980’s, the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (DNES) came into existence with the aim to reduce the dependence of primary energy sources like coal, oil etc in view of the Country’s energy security. The DNES became Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES) in the year 1992 and now from 2006, the Ministry was renamed as Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).
The growth of Renewable Energy in India is enormous and Wind Energy proves to be the most effective solution to the problem of depleting fossil fuels, importing of coal, greenhouse gas emission, environmental pollution etc. Wind energy as a renewable, non-polluting and affordable source directly avoids dependency of fuel and transport, can lead to green and clean electricity.
With an installed capacity of 24088.36 MW (August 2015) of wind energy, Renewable Energy Sources (excluding large Hydro) currently accounts for 13.37 % of India’s overall installed power capacity of 276782.62 MW. Wind Energy holds the major portion of 65.09 %(of 37010.25GW total RE capacity) among renewable and continued as the largest supplier of clean energy.
The Government of India has announced a laudable Renewable Energy target of 175GW by 2022 out of which 60GW will be coming from wind power. The Wind Potential in India was first estimated by National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) at 50m hub-height i.e. 49 GW but according to the survey at 80m hub height, the potential grows as much as 102 GW. Further a new study by NIWE at 100m height has estimated a potential 302GW.
One of the major advantages of wind energy is its inherent strength to support rural employment and uplift of rural economy. Further, unlike all other sources of power, wind energy does not consume any water-which in itself will become a scarce commodity.
Overall the future of Wind Energy in India is bright as energy security and self-sufficiency is identified as the major driver. The biggest advantage with wind energy is that the fuel is free, and also it doesn’t produce CO2 emission. Wind farm can be built reasonably fast, the wind farm land can be used for farming as well thus serving dual purpose, and it is cost-effective as compare to other forms of renewable energy. (Numerical Data Source: CEA, NIWE, MNRE)
The manufacturing industry (IWTMA) is equipped with proven technology from Europe and USA with turbine size ranging from 250 KW to 2.5 MW of various technologies of stall, pitch, direct drive turbines with hub heights up to 120 meters and rotor size above 100 meters. The modern turbines are designed to harness even in low and medium wind regimes. Twenty manufacturers have over 50 models and with a manufacturing capacity of over 9500 MW per annum.
With the time tested legal and fiscal system and India as a growing fast track economy is considered as a favored destination for industrial activity. This is proved by the fact that out of the 24 GW of wind power almost 95% is from private sector.
The entire wind energy industry is governed by solid foundations from the Electricity Act, viable regulatory procedures from CERC and other state regulatory policies.
The paradigm shift from retail market to the IPP market with major investors like Goldman Sachs, Black Stone, IDFC and others is proven demonstration of the interest of the private sector.
Capital cost in India is perhaps one of the lowest in the world and India is emerging as the fastest growing supply chain hub with many industries choosing for in-house manufacture of towers, blades, generators, convertors etc. The commercial arm of MNRE, IREDA and other financial and banking institutions has backed the industry as a stable market where there is assured off take and no marketing challenges. The Government of India has announced a laudable Renewable Energy target of 175GW by 2022 out of which 60GW will be coming from wind power. This will require an addition of more that 5GW per annum. The country would require over 7000 MW per annum of RE to achieve 15% by all renewable by year 2020 under the National Action Plan for Climate Change. The Government commitment to promotional tariff, incentivizing generation, plans to revitalize the REC market through RPO obligation will certainly make this market vibrant and self sustaining.
Rs. 107136 Crores investments promised in energy sector during Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet held at Chennai on 9th and 10th Sept. 2015.
Offshore Wind Policy in India cleared by Parliament.
Ms. Varsha Joshi, IAS of UT Cadre has joined as Joint Secretary, MNRE for Wind Sector succeeding Dr. Alok Srivastava who is transferred to Ministry of Shipping.
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