Indian energy set for winds of change

Early tests of wind power promising as govt aims to expand green energy mix

 
Maintenance engineers work on top of a power-generating wind turbine at Suzlon wind farm in Surajbari village, about 275km west of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, in this file picture taken on Dec 14, 2009. --PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI - Towering over the waves of the Bay of Bengal, their blades whipping through the wind, hundreds of turbines dot the scenic vista along India's southern coast, the country's wind-power capital.

The turbines - each almost the height of a 20-storey building - produce enough electricity to meet the needs of about half a million homes each year, highlighting the potential of a freely available resource in the energy-hungry country.

Here, along a 120km stretch in the state of Tamil Nadu, the windmills generate more than 3,000MW of power, almost 1,000MW more than what a nearby nuclear power plant will produce when ready.

Helped by years of tax incentives for renewable energy, India is now the world's fourth-largest wind-power market, although the bulk of the country's energy still comes from coal and oil.

Background story

MANY ADVANTAGES

There is no reason we should not see a revival in growth in wind with proper planning even without incentives. Wind's advantages are too many to ignore it as a source of energy.

- Dr Prodipto Ghosh of The Energy and Resources Institute

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