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Wind Energy in India - Reaching New Heights Every Day
Wind energy is the form of energy extracted from wind and is used in the production of electrical power with wind turbines, mechanical power using windmills, for water pumping wind-pumps and in sails for propelling ships. It’s a renewable and hence a clean source of energy. This is the only source of energy for which man doesn’t require water.
India is the only country to have a dedicated ministry for Renewable Energy. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) headquartered at Lodhi Road, New Delhi is a ministry formed in 1992 by The Government of India. The ministry has a specialized technical institution in Chennai with the name Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET) under its aegis. The ministry has also formed the India National Offshore Wind Energy Authority with an objective to enhance India’s wind power production and consumption.
Till 2006 India had only 6270MW of Wind Power Installed capacity but later made a steady progress and crossed the 20kMW bar taking India to fifth position in the world in installed wind power capacity. The share of Wind energy in total installed capacity of the country is 8.5% but it generates 1.6% of the country’s total power. Wind Energy has the highest contribution of 66.7% in the total Renewable energy (comprising various sources) of India.
Region wise, Tamil Nadu is the major contributor in India’s total Wind power installed capacity i.e. 7253MW followed by Gujarat (2093MW) and Maharashtra (2976MW). Then Rajasthan stands fourth with 2355MW of capacity and rest of the nation contributes only 400MW. The Muppandal wind farm with total capacity of 1500MW, amounting to 20% of the country’s capacity, is the largest wind power farm in India.
Suzlon is the market leader in wind energy segment in India with 43% of market share. It has pioneered the advanced wind turbine technology currently in use in India. It is also a leading manufacturer of wind turbines for the Indian Market. Other contributing companies in this field are Subhash Limited, Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation Limited (MMTCL), Gudimangalam Wind Farm etc.
However, future of wind energy in India is hindered by following factors –
- Initial cost for wind turbines is very high, even more than that of conventional fossil fuel generators per MW installed
- The controversial and tough Land acquisition policies.
- Noise pollution these plants generate
The total power potential of India is around 300-400GW –according to the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory – while potential from Wind energy is about 102GW. In the 12th five year plan, Government of India has set a target of adding over 11GW capacity Wind Energy Plants in the country. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of India has announced a revised estimation of the potential wind power resource from initial estimates of 49,130 MW to 102,788 MW.
Also there are several reports about potential for off-shore wind energy hot spots in India, which include coastal area of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The future of Wind energy seems bright and is definitely going to lead India towards energy sufficiency and security.