India at energy cross-roads

India is at a point where acute energy scarcity is hampering its industrial growth and so its economic progress. The conventional power generation which is carried out by coal and mineral oil-based power plants contribute heavily to greenhouse gases emission. And setting up of new power plants which would be inevitably dependent on import of highly volatile fossil fuels with their highly volatile prices, is hardly an alternative. Thus, India should essentially tackle the energy crisis through judicious utilization of abundant renewable energy resources, such as biomass energy, solar energy, wind energy and geothermal energy. Apart from augmenting the energy supply, renewable resources will help India in mitigating climate change. And India being a big country with a large consumer population, this would contribute, considerably, in lowering global greenhouse gases emmission.

Among the above mentioned alternative energy resources, Wind power is one of the most efficient. There has been good deal of development in wind turbine technology over the last decade with vertical wind turbine technology emerging at the forefront. Wind turbines have become larger, efficient and availabilities have improved, and wind farm concept has become popular. It could be combined with solar, especially for a total self-sustainability project.

The economics of wind energy is already strong, despite it just about maturing in the alternative energy industry. The downward trend in wind energy costs is predicted to continue. As the world market in wind turbines continues to boom, wind turbine prices will continue to fall. India now ranks as a “wind superpower” having a net potential of about 45000 MW from 13 identified states alone.