Power galore

Power galore the potential to generate electricity from wind is more than twice what was previously estimated. The Union ministry of non-conventional energy sources ( mnes ) reassessed the gross potential of non-conventional energy sources and upgraded the potential of the wind power sector from 20,000 megawatt (mw) to 45,000 mw. The ministry is preparing a master plan for 80 potential sites in 10 states for wind power after revising the mean annual wind power density ( mawpd ) criterion.

The country's domestic wind power turbines and components industry has achieved an annual turnover of Rs 1,500 crore, which is largely due to efforts at indigenisation At present, the total installed wind power capacity of India is a mere 1,080 mw. About five million units have been fed into the electricity grid since the 1970s. Almost 80 per cent of the power thus generated has been utilised by the captive industry, the rest being sold to various electricity boards, grids or to a third party. These figures were provided by B M Garg, director of mnes , at a national workshop on "Wind Power Generation and Power Quality Issues' organised by mnes in collaboration with the Electronics Research and Development Centre in Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala.

The domestic wind power generation sector has been able to get over teething problems like inadequacy of data on winds, weak grids and incompatibility of the largely imported infrastructure. At least 15 Indian companies are involved in the manufacture of wind power turbines and components. Three of these companies specialise in wind turbine blades. Based on the guidelines prepared by the mnes , 14 states have introduced policies that provide for banking facility for up to one year and third party sales of power, among other things.

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