According to reports, the real wind energy potential in India is well over 2 million MW, according to a recent study of the US based Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
After re-assessing the land that can be used for wind power development, so as to take into account previously excluded lands, Lawrence Berkeley has come to the conclusion that the true potential of wind energy in India is between “20 and 30 times higher than the current official estimate of 102 GW.”
It was previously thought that only 2 per cent of lands in windy areas could be used for putting up wind power projects.
Lawrence Berkeley found after the study that a lot more land was available even after excluding lands with low wind speeds, lands with slopes greater than 20 degrees and elevation higher than 1,500 metres.
The study looked at wind speeds at heights of 80 metres, 100 metres and 120 metres.
The study found that 1,629 sq.km of area is available for putting up wind turbines at heights of 80 metres with PLF more than 25 per cent.
“The main importance of this study, why it’s groundbreaking, is that wind is one of the most cost-effective and mature renewable energy sources commercially available in India, with an installed capacity of 15 GW and rising rapidly,” says Berkeley Lab scientist Mr Amol Phadke, who authored the report.
“The cost of wind power is now comparable to that from imported coal and natural gas-based plants, and wind can play a significant role in cost effectively addressing energy security and environmental concerns.”
It is learnt that the study has come to the attention of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.