Post-2012 Climate: Policy change could unleash potential

Wind power can provide 24% of India's power needs and save 5.5 billion tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030, while attracting INR 475 billion ($10.28 billion) in investment a year and creating 213,000 green collar jobs, says the Indian Wind Energy Outlook (WEO) 2009 report, recently published as part of the Wind Power Works campaign by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA).

"India is already an established force in the global wind energy market, and yet it has the potential to achieve so much more," says GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer. "In our rapidly growing economy, the security of energy supply is key and wind energy potential must not be wasted," agrees DV Giri, IWTMA's chairman.

So far, ten Indian states have implemented supporting policies for wind energy, while the country's ministry of new and renewable energy is considering plans to introduce a generation-based incentive that is expected to attract more foreign investment and independent power producers (Windpower Monthly, March 2009). The country's installed wind capacity currently stands at 10.75 GW (Windpower Monthly, October 2009). Under the Indian WEO's advanced scenario, which assumes all policy options in favour of renewables are adopted, cumulative wind capacity will rise to nearly 134.8 GW by 2020 and to over 241.3 GW by 2030, requiring annual additions of 9.5 GW. Even under the report's moderate scenario, wind capacity will reach 63.2 GW in 2020 and 142.2 GW in 2030.

"Deploying wind energy at a large scale would help us to realise significant economic and environmental benefits," says Giri. "We now urge the government to fast-track proposals to introduce a national renewable energy policy to help the industry to make this happen for India."

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