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India: Realising its potential

Rachel Parkes

The BJP’s general election victory in 2014 triggered hopes that in BJP leader Narendra Modi, India may have the renewables champion to help it realise its vast potential. A year on, Rachel Parkes looks at how India’s renewables market is developing.

The victory of the centre right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India’s general election in April 2014 was controversial in many respects, and unexpected in its decisiveness. But for the renewables industry in the country it represented the possibility of a revival of fortunes after a period of flagging growth. For, with the BJP’s victory came the leadership of Narendra Modi, former chief minister of Gujurat, long-time advocate of low carbon energy and credited with being the political architect of Gujurat’s transformation into a 900MW Indian solar PV powerhouse.

Since 2009, when year-on-year growth in renewables peaked at 31%, growth had waned to 13-14% in 2013-14 on the back of policy uncertainty and subsidy delays. With a new government, and a new prime minister seemingly personally committed to renewable energy, the industry hoped that renewables – and solar in particular – would pick up once more.

Top of the list of industry players enthused by the BJP’s victory was US solar firm SunEdison, which worked with Modi during his stint in Gujurat, developing the 1 MW first canal-top Narmada solar project. Speaking shortly after the election, Pashupathy Gopalan, SunEdison’s head of operations for the region, said he expected the new prime minister to make a “dramatic change” to the solar industry in India, based on his extensive knowledge of the industry and the “pioneering” steps he took as chief minister. Vineet Mittal, vice chairman of Indian power producer Welspun, echoed this sentiment, telling local reporters that they could now expect Gujurat’s success to be replicated nationally.

Indeed, it was under Modi’s stewardship that resource-starved Gujurat was transformed into a thriving economic powerhouse underpinned by technology, including exponential growth in solar PV. In addition to leading India’s solar revolution, the state also became the country’s third largest wind producer, with installed capacity of 3.6 GW in March 2015, up from 1.5 GW three years ago.

Certainly, the new prime minister has not been short on rhetoric, or new initiatives. Since coming to office, the BJP has dramatically increased the country’s capacity targets for solar to 100 GW by 2022, up from 20 GW. Of this, approximately 40 GW will come from rooftop installations, with an additional 60GW from ground-mounted installations, the Ministry for New and Renewable energy (MNRE), confirmed earlier this year. A National Wind Mission, which will set the target for onshore wind at 100 GW by 2022, is reportedly on the cards for later this year.

Proposed changes to the Tariff Policy could also see the Renewables Purchase Obligation (RPS) for solar PV ramped up from 3% to 8% by 2022 for all utilities, as well as a new requirement for all new thermal plant to have a 10% renewables mix either be generated on-site or bought as a credit from another renewables project.

In addition, Modi’s administration has stepped up its campaign to encourage foreign investment in solar in particular, targeting $100 billion investment from abroad over the next seven years, ramping up a previous target of $100 billion for all renewables over five years. The administration has embarked on a comprehensive campaign of international diplomacy, with visits to Japan, Canada, China and the US, with offers to help overseas companies enter the notoriously difficult Indian market. In addition to a $1 billion deal with the US Import-Export Bank to help companies looking to ship equipment from the US, the government also has plans to set up solar bonds, as well as help foreign firms set up rupee bonds.

Significantly, Modi has also steered India towards a more conciliatory tone on climate change. As part of the Copenhagen agreement in 2009, India pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 20% on 2005 levels, but the country’s official position has always been that the burden for emissions reduction should fall on developed nations. However, in a recent visit to the US ahead of this year’s climate talks in Paris, Modi indicated that India may be prepared to commit to further emissions reductions, with renewable energy – and solar energy in particular - at the centre of the country’s strategy.

Climate concerns

However, India’s quest for a renewables revolution should not be mistaken for its prime minister’s personal crusade: there are a number of other factors driving the political momentum. First and foremost the country has grave concerns for energy security. With GDP growth consistently at 5-7%, India’s primary energy demand grew 7% in 2014. The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that power demand, most of which is still met by coal, will continue to rise by 5.2%/year to 2020. However, domestic coal production has not kept up with the increase in demand in the power sector and some regions have been plagued by blackouts, as utilities struggled to contend with erratic supplies and poor quality coal.

Meanwhile, in order to maintain economic growth, India’s government is keen to keep up its programme of electrification of the country’s 640,000 villages – of which off-grid renewables will play a major part. India’s 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) to 2017 envisages 3.4 GW of off-grid power, of which the majority will be met by non-bagasse co-generation, and 1 GW by solar PV. Last year, the BJP launched the “Smart Villages” initiative, which seeks to deliver low-carbon electricity, sanitation and internet access to 2,500 villages by 2019.

However, Modi’s enthusiasm for all things solar certainly could see it overtake wind as India’s go-to renewable technology. Over the past year, total cumulative solar PV installations have grown from approximately 2.6 GW in mid 2014 to around 4 GW in June 2015 – a considerable achievement given that India produced no solar power of note until 2010. Installed wind capacity, meanwhile, has grown at a slightly slower rate to 23 GW, from 20 GW. The National Wind Mission, long proposed, is yet to materialise, as the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), launched by the previous administration to promote solar energy, gets already underway.

The IEA, in a report made before the BJP revised its wind and solar targets upwards, projects that installed onshore wind power capacity will grow by 21 GW to 2020, while solar PV will grow by 12.4 GW. Bioenergy, a category that includes solid biomass power, bagasse co-generation and biogas, will grow by 2GW.
However, despite the optimistic growth projections, REN21 notes that solar PV market shrunk in 2014 compared to 2012 and 2013, due to policy uncertainty caused by on-going subsidy delays, and difficulties securing financing.

Indeed, access to finance and the cost of capital is one of the key hurdles facing the renewables industry going forward, despite recent improvements. Interest rates in India are comparatively high, with nominal interest on 10 year government bonds at around 8%. Moreover, the domestic banking sector is still relatively inexperienced in renewables, and subsequently more cautious.

Nevertheless, onshore wind and solar have both benefited from falling unit costs, and as the scale of India’s abundant resources has become increasingly apparent, there can be no doubt that renewable energy has become more attractive as investment opportunity. In addition, the previous administration’s decision to move away from a tax-based subsidy regime (the Accelerated Depreciation regime which allowed large, usually state-owned, companies to claim up to 80% depreciation on renewable energy assets) in favour of a Generation-Based Incentive (GBI), has opened the market up to a larger pool of independent power producers (IPPs).

And, as the levellised cost of energy (LCOE) has come down for both wind and solar, some estimates suggest that the best locations are now competitive with new coal and gas-fired plants without subsidies.

However, the industry in general is still very much dependent on policy support to compete with fossil generation. As such, the abrupt halt to the GBI in 2012 (and its subsequent reinstatement a few months later) caused shockwaves in the marketplace, resulting uncertainty from which the market is yet to recover.

“Generation based incentives play a crucial role in supporting the development of renewables in India,” says Ankita Chauhan, analyst at IHS Energy. “When the government temporarily removed the GBI for wind in 2012, growth slowed considerably. The advance of new technology continues to close the cost gap between renewables and conventional energy sources, but incentives are still needed.”

Bob Smith, Executive Vice President of Mytrah Energy, a UK-based wind developer with 543 MW of onshore wind power currently operating in India, says that raising debt in the local marketplace has been one of the most difficult aspects of the company’s development programme.

“India is not an easy place to do business in any respect,” he tells Renewable Energy Focus. “The people who have been successful have had to go through a lot of different experiences in order to be able to build a sustainable business. One of the biggest ones of those is raising money. You go in with your equity cheque, but you have to raise debt in order to be able to build those projects.
“We’ve built relationships with 25 banks in India. That’s very hard today. Our ability to keep building is largely down to our relationships with those organisations.”

Grid problems, meanwhile, continue to act as a significant barrier to India’s renewables sector. The country’s transmission network is in dire need of upgrading and expansion, especially if it is to connect the areas of best resource with demand centres. This, says Smith, puts a serious constraint on where developers can site projects.

“Where the wind is, is not necessarily where there is grid,” he says, adding that the company has planned its 200 MW pipeline around the bottlenecks in the grid, as well as the government’s planned expansion programme.

In addition, the grid is also in need of better management. Large volumes of power are lost in the grid, either through theft, poor billing or low loads, which means that state-owned distribution companies are usually left out of pocket.

This in turn has a knock-on effect on the expansion and upgrade projects for the grid, says Chauhan. “The weak financial condition of state-owned distribution companies, who suffer from high rates of power loss, is [a] major challenge to renewables investment,” she says.
Furthermore, land acquisition remains a significant problem for both project siting and grid expansion. Indeed, the canal-top Narmada solar project was conceived as a way round the lengthy and expensive negotiations that often ensure with landowners over land rights.

“India is a democracy, which comes with constraints as well as benefits,” says Smith. “You can’t just go to a farmer and say I’m going to buy your land and build a cable across it. You have to negotiate with him, and that’s why things take a little bit longer. But things do get done eventually.”

International interest

Ultimately, the success of India’s renewables sector will hinge on the country’s ability to attract international investment. With wind now established, and as the new government steps up efforts to tempt foreign capital into the sector, Smith notes that international finance giants are now taking an renewed interest in India’s renewables space.

“We’ve seen a number of substantial players come into the country,” he says. “Morgan Stanley and Goldmans Sachs are investing quite heavily. There are a number of private investors coming into the IPP market.”

“And now India is moving to a much more aggressive pursuit of the solar market as well as wind, which creates a huge demand for equity and for debt, which the internal Indian market cannot support,” he adds. “We’ve seen a lot of international players taking a more interested view than they have in the past, both on the debt side and on the equity side. The recent publicity around it over the past year or so has greatly accelerated the interest in India.”

Chauhan, however, is more circumspect. “An emerging breed of specialised renewable power plant developers and owners are now scaling up in India, building-up experience, and are attracting capital from private investors and power companies from across Asia, Europe and North America,” she says “But considering the many challenges, most private investors are entering cautiously.”

All eyes will be on India over the next few years as it reaches for its ambitious wind and solar targets in 2022, however the jury is out as to whether these targets will be met on time.

“It looks unlikely India will be able to fully reach its goals by the 2022 target year,” says Chauhan. “[But] the country is nevertheless on track to become one of the major centres of renewable power growth globally over the next several years.”

The country will also need to overcome its “difficult for business” image. However, Mytrah’s Smith is optimistic that the commercial environment will continue to improve. “For us, I think that the environment today is as good as it has ever been for energy development in India,” he says. “India is a tremendously entrepreneurial marketplace and when there is a strong demand for something, someone will find a way to meet it.”


Rachel Parkes is a freelance journalist and copywriter, with expertise in the Energy and Environment fields. She is a long-time contributor to Renewable Energy Focus magazine.



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15 September 2015
No doubt there is vast potential for harnessing Renewables in India. Mere announcement of policies is not enough. We need ground realities. For example even though India occupies 5th position in Wind,offshore wind farms are yet to be started. Though loud talk of solar PV , the installed capacity not even crossed 5000 MW. With millions of hectares of waste land there is wide scope to grow bio energy CAM plants like Agave and Opuntia.

Here is a Blue Print for Renewables Expansion in India:
Here are some policies to promote wind energy in India:
Encourage Wind Farm Co-operatives like the ones in Denmark and other European countries.
Community wind projects are locally owned by farmers, investors, businesses, schools, utilities, or other public or private entities who utilize wind energy to support and reduce energy costs to the local community. The key feature is that local community members have a significant, direct financial stake in the project beyond land lease payments and tax revenue. Projects may be used for on-site power or to generate wholesale power for sale, usually on a commercial-scale greater than 100 kW.
The Hepburn Wind Project is a wind farm at Leonards Hill near Daylesford, Victoria, north-west of Melbourne, Victoria. It comprises two 2MW wind turbines which produce enough power for 2,300 households.
This is the first Australian community-owned wind farm. The initiative has emerged because the community felt that the state and federal governments were not doing enough to address climate change.
Community wind power is in its infancy in Canada but there are reasons for optimism. One such reason is the launch of a new Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program in the Province of Ontario . A number of community wind projects are in development in Ontario but the first project that is likely to obtain a FIT contract and connect to the grid is thePukwis Community Wind Park. Pukwis will be unique in that it is a joint Aboriginal/Community wind project that will be majority-owned by the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, with a local renewable energy co-operative (the Pukwis Energy Co-operative) owning the remainder of the project.
In Denmark, families were offered a tax exemption for generating their own electricity within their own or an adjoining commune. By 2001 over 100,000 families belonged to wind turbine cooperatives, which had installed 86% of all the wind turbines in Denmark, a world leader in wind power. Wind power has gained very high social acceptance in Denmark, with the development of community wind farms playing a major role.[
In 1997, Samsø won a government competition to become a model renewable energy community. An offshore wind farm comprising 10 turbines (making a total of 21 altogether including land-based windmills), was completed, funded by the islanders. 100% of its electricity comes from wind power and 75% of its heat comes from solar power and biomass energy. An Energy Academy has opened in Ballen, with a visitor education center.
In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people have invested in citizens' wind farms across the country and thousands of small and medium sized enterprises are running successful businesses in a new sector that in 2008 employed 90,000 people and generated 8 percent of Germany's electricity. Wind power has gained very high social acceptance in Germany, with the development of community wind farms playing a major role.
In the German district of North Frisia there are more than 60 wind farms with a capacity of about 700 MW, and 90 percent are community-owned. North Frisia is seen to be a model location for community wind, leading the way for other regions, especially in southern Germany.
Starting in 2006, a village panchayat (local self-governing body) in Tamil Nadu state has become completely self-sufficient in energy by using renewable sources like wind, solar and biogas.
The Odanthurai village panchayat near Coimbatore city comprises 11 villages and has a population of about 8,000. By 2009, it had set up its own 350kW windfarm to meet its energy needs. The windmill was set up at Malwadi near Udumalpet and generates about 8 lakh units annually. The power requirement for Odanthurai stands at about 4.5 lakh units, and the local panchayat body is now selling the surplus power to the state grid. This gives the panchayat an annual income of 19 lakh rupees.
The village cooperative is also using other sources of renewable energy. It has 65 solar streetlights in two hamlets and a nine-KW (kilowatt) biomass gasifier to pump drinking water from the river to the overhead tanks. Doing so, Odanthurai became the first local body in India to utilize the remunerative enterprises scheme of the state government.
The Netherlands
Sixty-three farmers in De Zuidlob, the southern part of the municipality of Zeewolde, have entered into a cooperative agreement that aims to develop a wind farm of at least 108 MW. The project will include the installation of three phases of 12 wind turbines with capacities of 3 to 4.5 MW each. The aim is to put the wind farm into service in 2012
The Netherlands has an active community of wind cooperatives. They build and operate wind parks in all regions of the Netherlands. This started in the 1980s with the first Lagerweij turbines. Back then, these turbines could be financed by the members of the cooperatives. Today, the cooperatives build larger wind parks, but not as large as commercial parties do. Some still operate self-sufficiently, others partner with larger commercial wind park developers.
Because of the very unproductive state policies for financing wind parks in the Netherlands, the cooperatives have developed a new financing model, where members of a cooperative do not have to pay taxes for the electricity they generate with their community wind park. In this construction the Zelfleveringsmodel the cooperative operates the wind park, and a traditional energy company only acts as a service provider, for billing and energy balance on the public grid. This is the new role for energy companies in the future, where production is largely decentralized.
United Kingdom
As of 2012, there are 43 communities who are in the process of or already producing renewable energy through co-operative structures in the UK. They are set up and run by everyday people, mostly local residents, who are investing their time and money and together installing large wind turbines, solar panels, or hydro-electric power for their local communities.
Baywind Energy Co-operative was the first co-operative to own wind turbines in the United Kingdom. Baywind was modeled on the similar wind turbine cooperatives and other renewable energy co-operatives that are common in Scandinavia, and was founded as an industrial and provident society in 1996. It grew to exceed 1,300 members, each with one vote.
A proportion of the profits is invested in local community environmental initiatives through the Baywind Energy Conservation Trust. As of 2006, Baywind owns a 2.5 megawatt five-turbine wind farm at Harlock Hill near Ulverston, Cumbria (operational since 29 January 1997), and one of the 600 kilowatt turbines at the Haverigg II wind farm near Millom, Cumbria.
Community-owned schemes in Scotland include one on the Isle of Gigha. The Heritage Trust set up Gigha Renewable Energy to buy and operate three Vestas V27 wind turbines, known locally as The Dancing Ladies or Creideas, Dòchas is Carthannas (Gaelic for Faith, Hope and Charity). They were commissioned on 21 January 2005 and are capable of generating up to 675 kW of power. Revenue is produced by selling the electricity to the grid via an intermediary called Green Energy UK. Gigha residents control the whole project and profits are reinvested in the community.
Another community-owned wind farm, Westmill Wind Farm Cooperative, opened in May 2008 in the Oxfordshire village of Watchfield. It consists of five 1.3 megawatt turbines, and is described by its promoters as the UK's largest community-owned wind farm. It was structured as a cooperative, whose shares and loan stock were sold to the local community. Other businesses, such as Midcounties Co-operative, also invested, and the Co-operative Bank provided a loan.
Community Energy Scotland is an independent Scottish charity established in 2008 that provides advice and financial support for renewable energy projects developed by community groups in Scotland. The stated aim of Community Energy Scotland is 'to build confidence, resilience and wealth at community level in Scotland through sustainable energy development'.
Findhorn Ecovillage has four Vestas wind turbines which can generate up to 750 kW. These make the community net exporters of renewable-generated electricity. Most of the generation is used on-site with any surplus exported to the National Grid.
Boyndie Wind Farm Co-operative is part of the Energy4All group, which promotes community ownership. A number of other schemes supported by Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company are in the pipeline.
Unity Wind Ltd is an industrial and provident society that intends to install two 2MW wind turbines at North Walsham in North Norfolk. Its key aim is community wind turbines installed and run by community investment and for financial benefit to the community.
United States
In 2009, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory published a report that identified three different types of community wind projects in the United States.. The first model describes a project owned by a municipal utility, such as the Hull Wind Project in Massachusetts. The second model is a wind project that is jointly owned by local community members, such as the MinWind Projects near Luverne, Minnesota. The third type is a flip-style ownership. This model allows local investors to partner with a corporation in order to take advantage of Production Tax Credit federal incentives. Flip projects have been built in Minnesota and Texas.
So are Solar Co-operatives.
India has a long coastline. There is much progress in offshore wind farms in Europe especially in UK and US, China,Taiwan have ambitious plans. The advantage of offshore Wind farms( about 10 km away from the coast) is wind on the sea is higher as roughness factor of water and ice is zero. Since there will be no obstacles for free flow of wind compared onshore wind speeds will be about 30% higher offshore. In the power equation Power is having cubic relation with velocity of wind. Other factors remaining constant wind energy offshore will be about 30% more nearby onshore. Moreover because of higher velocities large wind turbines can be deployed. Capacities of even 8 MW wind turbines are established.
It is unfortunate even though India occupies 5th position in the world on wind, is yet to start offshore wind farms.
Hitherto incentives like Depreciation are given to big industries who set up Renewable Energy Projects. A Renewable Energy Fund can be created by Central Government and contributions under Section 80C by individual tax payers can be exempted. This way there will be he money for Renewable Energy Projects recurring annually besides mass involvement in Renewable Energy.
As of 31 March 2015 the installed capacity of wind power in India was 23,444 MW :
Tamil Nadu (7,253 MW),
Gujarat (3,093 MW),
Maharashtra (2,976 MW),
Karnataka (2,113 MW),
Rajasthan(2,355 MW),
Andhra Pradesh (916 MW),
Madhya Pradesh (386 MW),
Kerala (35.1 MW)
Solar Energy Grid Connected
Rajasthan 1,147.01
Gujarat 1,000.05
Madhya Pradesh 563.58
Maharashtra 363.07
Andhra Pradesh 186.00
Tamilnadu 148.00
Karnataka 78.22
Uttar Pradesh 71.26
Telangana 63.00
If we look at the solar and Wind power in Andhra Pradesh it is negligible. The State Nodal Agency NREDCAP needs to be strengthened. Moreover there are lack of trained personnel in Renewable Energy. With expansion of Renewables,there is the need to start short term training programs in Renewables with expertise from home and abroad for Graduates in Engineering, Diploma Holders and ITI Certificate holders.
Roof Top solar makes sense in Andhra Pradesh in view of multi storied Apartments in most towns and Cities. But to get maximum benefit it is better to go for small wind generators as well as Wind – Solar Hybrid Systems. These hybrid systems will be more reliable that solar alone.
Energy Conservation
Though Solar Energy has to be promoted on a big scale,it is nowhere compared to Wind Energy both in India(Particularly Andhra Pradesh) and abroad. The Efficiency of Wind Turbines is quite high compared to Solar PV. For a country with vast waste land,biofuel/biogaspower/biochar has great potential from regenerative,care-free growth CAM plants like Agave and Opuntia.
I have had been suggesting this since years.
Without anybody’s insistence in our fields we replaced 5 electric motors with efficient ones and we could see the enormous energy saving.
Energy Conservation in Electric Pump sets for Agriculture:
Energy conservation yields quick results than energy generation. In India Agricultural pump sets consume power next only to Industry. There are about 26 Million Agricultural Electric Motors in the country( about13 Lakhs in Andhra Pradesh). Many of them are quite old and inefficient. For Agricultural pump sets the power tariff is nominal or nil in some states. A scheme can be chalked out By both Central and State Governments to replace the old and inefficient agricultural pump sets with efficient ones by giving a subsidy. Electricity is a high grade energy which finds use in Industry, lighting etc. As such it must be judiciously used especially in the agricultural sector. Next to Industry Agriculture consumes about 27% of power. By replacing the inefficient pump sets, one can save 30% of power.
Energy Conservation
I have had been advocating energy conservation since long. Apart from Energy generation from Renewables, Energy Saving is the need of the hour in India. A Novel Scheme to replace Old and inefficient agricultural pump sets: Out of the 26 Million Agricultural pump sets in the country many are old and inefficient. The power tariff for farmers is minimal. Electricity is a high grade energy which is needed in industries, domestic purposes, computers etc. A scheme can be chalked out to replace the inefficient motors by efficient ones. The cost of a 5 HP Electric motor because is aboutRs 30,000.A subsidy of Rs 25,000 can be provided to replace
these inefficient motors. This yields quick results and “Energy conservation is better than energy generation”. Each Kwh saved is each Kwh generated (1 US$= Rs 60). There must be some contribution from the beneficiary otherwise he won’t take care of
the system.
1. Promote Offshore Wind Farms.
2. Promote small wind generators as decentralised systems
3. Roof Top PV Solar
4. Creating Renewable Energy Fund. Investment by Income Tax Payers to be exempted under Section 80C(For Central Government).
5. Wind Farm Co-operatives on the lines of those in Germany,Denmark etc.
6. Solar Co-operatives on the lines of those in US.
7. Energy Conservation by replacing most of the inefficient 2.6 Crore irrigation electric pump sets(About 30% power can be saved). Agriculture consumes much power next only to Industry
8. Reading lights with reliable and quality dual powered(Solar/Electricity/USB) to save enormous energy.
9. Biofuel/Biogas for power generation and cooking from Agave/opuntia care-free growth,regenerative and CAM plants. In China Biogas for cooking is supplied trough pipes.
In the vast vacant land in India Agave and Opuntia can be grown and power generation established as decentralised locally.
10. Simple Box Type Solar Cooker with frying facility( 3D approach,Design,Demonstrate and Disseminate)
11.Cost effective vertical and cylindrical,mobile solar water heater design.
12. Low head Micro hydro device to generate power from the head of falling water from the delivery pipe of Electric/diesel pump
13. KW size Biogas power/cooking plant for villages.
14. Simple solar drier
15. Growing CAM Plants in Waste and Vacant lands which act as Carbon Sink.
One of the greatest advantages that offshore wind farms have over those on land is the frequency of strong winds over the ocean. Studies have shown that winds offshore blow nearly 40 percent more often than on land. Consequently, offshore wind farms can outpace those on land in terms of capacity and possibly offset the higher construction costs.
See more at:…/offshore-onshore-debate-wind-energy/…
Offshore wind is a relatively new technology, so costs will reduce and the technology will advance, helping offshore wind to be more efficient and cost competitive in the near term. But this exciting technology is already being incorporated into governments energy planning around the world.
In the power equation velocity of wind is having cubic relationship while other factos like area of the rotor,desnsity of air and Efficiency are klenier. This necessitates choosing windy site to harness wind energy in windy areas. Also often people base wind power based on annual average wind speed. This wont give the true picture. One has to do frequency analysis. For example there is a site X with annual mean wind velocity 10 m/s , the power becomes 1000. On the other hand if there is a site where wind blows for 6 months 15 m/s(In India mostly South west mansoon May September) and 5m/s for the rest of the year the power will be 3490(15 x 15 x 15 + 5 x 5 x5 ). In this context it will be better to choose a windy site even thouh the initial investment may be high .
As of July 2013, the 175-turbine London Array in the United Kingdom is the largest offshore wind farm in the world with a capacity of 630MW, followed by Greater Gabbard (504MW) and Walney (367 MW), also in the United Kingdom.
There are many large offshore wind farms under construction including Anholt Offshore Wind Farm (400 MW), BARD Offshore 1 (400 MW), Lincs Wind Farm (270 MW) and Sheringham Shoal (317 MW).
Offshore wind farms worth some 8.5 billion ($11.4 billion) were under construction in European waters in 2011. Once completed, they will represent an additional installed capacity of 2844 MW.
State Capacity of Wind Power as on 31.03.2014(MW)
Tamil Nadu
Andhra Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Others 4.30
Total 21264 MW
Though India occupies 5th position in Wind in the world,no offshore wind farms. Infact way back in 1994 itself I suggested Offshore Wind Farms(Refer my Letter to the Editor,THE HINDU).
US,China,Republic of Korea,Taiwan and France have ambitious plants to set up offshore wind farms.
Following are the official figures sourced from union governments latest documents:
The total length of coastline along each of the coastal State/UT in the country is as follows:
Sl. No. State / UT Length of
coastline (in km)
(i) Gujarat 1214.7
(ii) Maharashtra 652.6
(iii) Goa, Daman and Diu 160.5
(iv) Karnataka 280.0
(v) Kerala 569.7
(vi) Tamil Nadu 906.9
(vii) Pudducherry 30.6
(viii) Andhra Pradesh 973.7
(ix) Odisha 476.4
(x) West Bengal 157.5
(xi) Lakshadweep Islands 132.0
(xii) Andaman & Nicobar Islands 1962.0
Total Coastline 7516.6
Once Wind energy was expensive but with advances and mass production the cost per MW has come down so is the case for Solar PV. The same trend is seen in offshore wind also.
The experience in Wind is the Wind energy production in most of the sites in Andhra Pradesh is not even half of the production in the best sites in Tamil Nadu like Muppandal. During 90s to avail the liberal incentives offered by the Government like 100% accelerated depreciation,wind turbines were installed without much study of the wind potential in the area.Hundreds of Wind turbines were installed based on Wind data from couple of windmasts. That is why this wide variation in the oputput in different states and even among wind turbines at a single place. In other countries when ever large windfarms are planned,thorough wind analysis at the sight at hubheight is undertaken and as such the projected and actual output of the wind turbines installed almost matches. In the case of offshore Wind farms another advantage is large size wind turbines can be installed(even 8 to 10 MW). As such power is available in plenty at a single place.
In conclusion India cannot remain always imitator in Renewable Energy but should emerge as innovator too.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
Renewable Energy Expert

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