India has the potential to install a total of 65.2 gigawatts of wind power by 2020, states a study called Wind Energy Outlook 2011. The study was a collaboration between The World Institute of Sustainable Energy, a policy think tank and wind energy associations the Global Wind Energy Council and Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association.
Wind Energy Outlook 2011 examines the potential of wind power in India up to the year 2030.
The study projects that India will have an increase of 79 percent in total wind power installations by 2020 from the 13.1 GW of 2010, with a cumulative growth of around 13 GW yearly. By 2030, estimated installed capacity could reach as much as 160.7 GW.
Good for the economy and the environment
Based on the study, scaling up wind power would have both economic and environmental benefits for India.
If the country reaches 65.2 GW of wind power by 2020, the study estimates that they could attract around $10.4 billion of annual investment to the sector. This annual investment would create 170,000 jobs and would also save 174 tons of carbon dioxide every year.
However, in order to take advantage of the wind power sources of India, its government needs to address several challenges and barriers that are holding back development.
These include the need for a clear renewable energy framework at a national level, incentives for repowering, and rapid upscaling of grid infrastructure to transport increasing amounts of wind power to specific demand centers.
The report also delved into the potential of the as yet under developed offshore wind sector. According to the study, India’s wind energy potential could actually reach 100 GW and more if offshore wind power development and repowering were fully exploited.
Looking to the future
“The Indian government has been committed to exploiting the country’s vast renewable energy resources for the last three decades,” said D.V. Giri, chairman of I.W.T.M.A.
“The time has come to elevate this political will to concrete action, both to reap the domestic benefits from renewable energy development, and to build on India’s growing leadership internationally in resolving both the energy and climate challenges,” he added.
Steve Sawyer, G.W.E.C.’s secretary general, explained that old-fashioned power generation cannot be the answer, citing that polluting technologies of the past is not a viable solution.
With regards to the recent nuclear incident in Japan, Mr. Sawyer said that only by renewable energy can the world fill the gap that will be left by nuclear power in a sustainable fashion.
The first Wind Energy Outlook was published back in 2009 through the collaboration of G.W.E.C. and I.W.T.M.A. The 2009 report projected that wind energy will be supplying 24 percent of the country’s energy needs by 2030, saving 5.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide by that year.