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Relaxed norms on wind power density by MNRE to help growth in India

According to reports, the central government’s decision to lift a restriction on wind power density is expected to boost capacity addition and help reach NAPCC (national action plan for climate change) targets.

The Union ministry of new and renewable energy has removed the minimum requirement of a wind density of 200 watts per sq m at a hub height of 50 metres for wind power project development, taking into account advancement in turbine technology.

“The existing guidelines were formulated over 15 years ago when the understanding of the wind sector was fairly limited. But the industry as a whole has gained considerable experience over these years. Together with advances in technology, these developments have made the eligibility criteria all but redundant. It is now fairly common to find hub heights of more than 80 metres and introduction of turbines specially designed for low wind sites has made greater efficiency possible than stipulated in the guidelines,” Chintan Shah, head of strategic business development at Suzlon, one of the world’s leading turbine makers, told Financial Chronicle.

“The removal of eligibility criteria also unlocks additional sites for market expansion; sites that could not meet earlier criteria can now be tapped. These measures are an important step towards removing constraints for development wind power projects in India and to help achieve NAPCC targets,” he said.

“The removal of density height means development of wind power at more sites that were not available earlier due to restrictions. With better technology and larger diameter rotors, we can generate power at sites where density is less than 200 watts per sq m. Thus, there will be availability of more sites to generate wind power,” said V Raghu, director of Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association.

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