The government and industry need to jointly explore new sites with wind energy potential to scale down the use of fossil fuels, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said on Thursday.
Launching the Indian Wind Atlas developed by the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (CWET) and Riso DTU Denmark, Mr. Abdullah said the atlas was not an end in itself and there were likely to be several areas with wind potential that had to be tapped. “The industry and the government have to join hands in this mission,” he said.
The Minister stressed the need to eliminate use of fossil fuels by turning to solar, water, wind and other renewable energy sources.
Noting that the Eleventh Plan targets for wind energy had been rolled back to 9,000 MW (from 10,500 MW) due to the global slowdown, Mr. Abdullah expressed confidence of meeting the revised targets. The industry demand for retaining the generation-based incentive and the depreciation benefit had been retained for the remaining Plan period, he said.
Mr. Abdullah also wanted scientists to work towards developing wind forecasting models as was currently available for the weather. He pointed out that most countries such as the US and the UK had developed reliable wind forecasting models.
Deepak Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said 6,500 MW of the net production of 24,000 MW of power in the first few months of Eleventh Plan had been generated from wind and other renewable resources. The ratio of 25 per cent of the total energy production capacity had to be maintained by renewable resources, he said.
G. B. Pant, chairman, technical committee, Indian Wind Atlas, said the document was not just an atlas but the basic raw material for the entire wind industry. The wind atlas would be an important guide for making investments on wind energy infrastructure, he said.
Madhusudan Khemka, wind energy industrialist, said the wind atlas would help reduce failure rates in tapping sites with wind energy potential. Currently, an estimated 70 per cent of masts had to be abandoned due to the non-feasibility of sites, he said.
Mr. Khemka expressed hope that over the next 15 months, the wind energy sector, which was about 10,000 MW in scale, would be able to add at least 50,000 MW to the production grid.
S. Gomathinayagam, C-WET executive director, said the atlas had mapped 620 stations for measured data involving 12 regions spread across 600 sq km. It also has simulated models for about one lakh stations.