India's onshore wind potential re-assessed: Up to 3000 GW instead of 100 GW

Further countries should re-assess and update their wind potential data

Bonn/New Delhi, (PresseBox) - Scientific and research work carried out by Indian wind industry expert Jami Hossain has inspired scientists at Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) to challenge assessments of the Chennai based government agency, Center for Wind Energy Technology (CWET), on the potential for windfarms in India.

Jami Hossain in his paper, published in the international renewable energy journal Renewable Energy [1], presented his findings on the assessment for potential for windfarms using Geographical Information System Platform (GIS Platform). In this paper, Hossain pointed out that the potential for wind energy utilization with the prevalent technologies is far in excess of the potential claimed to have been assessed by CWET (initially at 49'000 MW and later at 102'000 MW) [2]. Hossain assessed the potential at around 2000 GW, which has now been confirmed by the LBNL study which sees the total onshore wind potential of India between 2000 and 3000 GW.

Based on Hossain's work, scientists at LBNL [3] have re-looked at the potential assessment under a project sponsorship by ClimateWorks Foundation through a contract with the Regulatory Assistance Project. LBNL has come up with a report "Reassessing Wind Potential Estimates for India: Economic and Policy Implications". The report re-validates assessment made by Hossain earlier.

Jami Hossain: "We have tried to further refine and improve these figures based on competing uses of land in the country but with the continued improvement in technology, the onshore potential is indeed very high compared to what was assessed earlier. The gross under estimation by CWET has prevented the policy makers and the planning bodies in the country such as the planning commission and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) in recognizing wind energy as a major and possibly mainstream source of wind energy. With rising oil prices and uncertainties associated as well as major bottlenecks in supply of coal, the findings assume importance from an energy security and global environmental perspective."

Stefan Gsänger, WWEA Secretary General: "These findings have significant policy implications for India as every unit of electricity generated from wind not only saves oil and coal but also prevent emissions of CO2 and other environmentally dangerous gases. Unfortunately India is not the only country where the wind potential has been underestimated by far. Recent studies and national targets e.g. from China, Denmark or Germany - and now from India - have demonstrated that wind could cover the whole electricity demand of these countries. Many more countries should update their wind potential assessment, based on real data, in order not any more to underestimate the potential contribution of wind power to the national energy supply."

Jami Hossain: "I am very happy now that reputed institute like LBNL has relooked at this assessment and has come up with findings that further revalidate my findings. Its an irony that the recent budget announced by Finance Minister had nothing for wind energy while coal seems to have been exempted from import duty."

Jami Hossain is a leading renewable energy expert and has been consistently working towards promotion of wind energy in India since 1985 when he got involved in setting up the first wind power projects in the country. Hossain is currently Chief Mentor and co-founder at Windforce Mangement Serrvices Pvt Limited (www.windforce-management.com) . He is also Treasurer of World Wind Energy Association (www.wwindea.org) and is on the National and Governing Councils of Indian Wind Power Association (IWPA) (www.windpro.org) and Indian Wind Energy Association (InWEA) (www.inwea.org)

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148111001893
[2] http://www.cwet.tn.nic.in/html/departments_ewpp.html
[3] http://newscenterlbl.gov/feature-stories/2012/03/21/wind-energy-in-india/ ; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120321143025.htm http://zeenews.india.com/news/eco-news/potential-for-wind-energy-in-india-30-times-higher-than-thought_765407.html http://www.shaktifoundation.in/cms/uploadedImages/india%20wind%20energy%20potential%20reassessement_092011apfinal.pdf

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