Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
The Indian wind power programme was initiated in 1983-1984 and a Wind Energy Data Handbook published in 1983 by the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (now the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, MNRE) served as a data source for early government initiatives. In 1985 an extensive Wind Resource Assessment was launched, which also signalled the beginning of concentrated development and harnessing of renewable sources of energy and, more specifically, of wind energy. To date, seven volumes of the Handbook on Wind Energy Resource Survey, containing a huge volume of accumulated wind data, have been published. It is being implemented through the state Nodal Agencies and the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET). C-WET, an autonomous R&D institution, established by the Ministry and based in Chennai, acts as a technical focal point for wind power development in India.
Estimates of the Indian wind resource have put it at about 45 000 MW (assuming 3% land availability for wind farms requiring 12 ha/MW, at sites having a wind power density in excess of 250 W/m2 at 50 m hub height). Potential locations with abundant wind have been identified in the following 10 states: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
In terms of currently installed wind turbine capacity, India ranks fourth in the world behind Germany, Spain and the USA. At end-2005 the figure stood at
4 434 MW. Tamil Nadu possessed over 57% of the commercial plants. By end-September 2006 installed capacity had already grown to 6 018 MW.
Demonstration projects, which began in 1985, are being implemented in areas not already possessing projects but where commercial developments could follow. In early 2006, demonstration capacity totalled 68 MW.
Use is being made of wind-diesel hybrid projects where an area is dependent on diesel fuel. A project with a capacity of 2 x 50 kW has been commissioned in the Sagar Islands in West Bengal. Phase II (8 x 50 kW) is expected to be commissioned shortly.
The strong growth in the Indian wind energy market is expected to continue, and even accelerate, as a result of a range of Government and State-led financial incentives.