Envisaging India’s National Wind Energy Mission

New Delhi: Over the course of the past year, India’s ambitious solar energy plans have been consistently reaffirmed after the 100 GW capacity expansion plan for a whopping Rs 6 lakh crore. Relatively neglected is India’s wind generation ability and capacity. With an off-shore wind policy on the cards, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is looking to re-launch India’s wind energy prospects.

Wind Energy projects in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu | Photo courtesy: Sindhu Hariharan
Wind Energy projects in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu | Photo courtesy: Sindhu Hariharan

Sources say that the new Off-Shore Wind Policy would seek international competitive bidding for projects. “The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) would call for bids on behalf of MNRE. We expect keen participation from countries around the North Sea. States like Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat would benefit as they have immense offshore wind potential,” an official said.

This Off-Shore Policy is a precursor to a National Wind Mission (NWM) that is envisaged by MNRE. The agenda is to scale up existing wind energy generation in the country. Sources in the know are conservative to quote a number but estimate over 4000 GW of wind energy potential in India.

A 2011 research titled “A GIS-based assessment of potential for wind farms in India” by Jami Hossain, Vinay Sinha and VVN Kishore estimated 502,283 MW Off-shore wind energy generations potential.

Wind energy projects in India | Photo courtesy: Climate Action Programme

As per latest data available with MNRE, India’s current wind energy generation capacity stands at 23,444 MW. Contrastingly, solar power generation stands at 3,743.97 MW of the 35,776.96 MW total Grid-Interactive Power RE generation capacities. Surprisingly, India targets 99,533 MW of solar energy generation and 60,000 MW of wind energy generation by 2022.

The National Wind Mission (NWM) is poised to be on the lines of the National Solar Mission (NSM). Sources say that the policy would enable areas with wind energy potential to be declared as exclusive wind zones. A conservative estimate of over 4,000 GW of wind energy generation capability is based on validation of satellite data. States of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are said to initiate this around 4-5 years back.

A presentation by Centre for Wind Energy Technology (CWET), a nodal authority under MNRE, estimated India’s highest wind potential at 1,549 GW. This was over 31 times the 48,561 MW total installable wind potential assessment of 2004. Interestingly, CWET quoted figures from a September 2011 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Also, the study did not consider estimates of an off shore wind energy potential.

Optimism regarding the scaling up of wind energy capacity also follows the conversion of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The Union Cabinet mutated SECI to Renewable Energy Corporation of India (RECI), a Section 3 company under the Companies Act, 2013 on June 24, 2015. A government press statement highlights that this will allow the company to, “take up development of all segments of renewable energy.” The statement further names, “geo-thermal, off-shore wind, tidal,” and solar energy as the company’s focus areas.

Talks of a NWM were initiated by the UPA-II government when Farooq Abdullah was the Minister for New and Renewable Energy. At a consultation held on February 2014, the ministry highlighted the need to define the scope of a wind energy mission with regard to potential, land availability, grid connectivity, clearance procedures, and zoning. Further, need for a long-term policy framework to incentivize large-scale deployment of wind sector was also highlighted.

Sources in MNRE say that a Wind Mission Document is in the works. The agenda is to scale up existing wind energy establishments with larger structures and increased covered areas. Concept notes on solar and wind hybrid zones are also being examined. Scaling up of Inter-state transmission capacity for RE to facilitate sale of RE generated power will be included in the document. Further, emphasis would be laid on pushing states to exempt taxes on inter-state sale for RE. A conservative estimate of over 4,000 GW of wind energy generation capability is based on validation of satellite data. States of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are said to initiate this around 4 to 5 years back.

Wind turbines in India | Inox Wind
Wind turbines in India | Inox Wind

A January 2014 presentation by Centre for Wind Energy Technology (CWET), a nodal authority under MNRE estimated India’s highest wind potential at 1,549 GW. This was over 31 times the 48,561 MW total installable wind potential assessment of 2004. Interestingly, CWET quoted figures from a September 2011 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Also, the study did not consider estimates of an off shore wind energy potential.

Optimism regarding the scaling up of wind energy capacity also follows the conversion of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The Union Cabinet mutated SECI to Renewable Energy Corporation of India (RECI), a Section 3 company under the Companies Act, 2013 on June 24, 2015. A government press statement highlights that this will allow the company to, “take up development of all segments of renewable energy.” The statement further names, “geo-thermal, off-shore wind, tidal,” and solar energy as the company’s focus areas.

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3 thoughts on “Envisaging India’s National Wind Energy Mission

  1. Nice article Twesh. Please post more on the same topic.

    An observation though, last para is repeated and some more sentences have the same issue. Hope that helps.

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