Power from renewable sources could emerge as a mainstream source of energy if backed by right policies and initiatives, leaders of the wind energy sector said while announcing details of the forthcoming ‘Wind Power India 2012’ international conference and exhibition.

New estimates

Led by WPI-2012 organising committee chairperson V. Subramanian, who formerly was Secretary to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), they said new estimates, as per recent studies, showed manifold increase in wind power potential in the country over the previous estimate of 45,000 MW.

Nevertheless, there was a lot of ground to be covered as installed wind power capacity in 2011-12 was just a little over 3,200 MW, they added.

Founder-director of the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE) G. M. Pillai said the three-day event from November 28 in Chennai assumed significance as it was time to look at renewable energy as future source of power. The one major advantage of renewable power projects was the speed at which the capacity could be scaled up. Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) Chairman Ramesh Kymal said the organisers had decided to make the event an annual feature in Chennai, the capital of wind energy. The target of installing 8,000 MW of wind energy projects, he said, was achievable with certain policy interventions. To a query, he replied that independent power producers would be immensely benefited if the generation-based incentive scheme was restored. Similarly, the government should provide accelerated depreciation benefit at least to those setting up 5 MW projects.

Promoting eco-friendly wind energy, Mr. Subramanian said, would improve the country’s energy security though wind would still supplement the conventional power.

The conference, he added, would give an opportunity to understand the policies. IWTMA Secretary General D. V. Giri said the MNRE Minister Farooq Abdullah was scheduled to inaugurate the event.

India, key market driver

Global Wind Energy Council Marketing Director Sara Bryce said India, besides China, was expected to be key market driver for wind power in future. On some States promoting solar in a big way, Mr. Pillai said those with wind power potential should seek to balance both, and not discriminate between technologies. Wind, he added, was much cheaper than solar power.