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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:59 AM

…Study Shows Significantly Higher Potential for Wind Energy in India than Previously Estimated

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2012/03/21/wind-energy-in-india/
Berkeley Lab Study Shows Significantly Higher Potential for Wind Energy in India than Previously Estimated

March 21, 2012
Julie Chao (510) 486-6491 JHChao@lbl.gov

A new assessment of wind energy in India by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that the potential for on-shore wind energy deployment is far higher than the official estimates— about 20 times and up to 30 times greater than the current government estimate of 102 gigawatts. This landmark finding may have significant impact on India’s renewable energy strategy as it attempts to cope with a massive and chronic shortage of electricity.

“The main importance of this study, why it’s groundbreaking, is that wind is one of the most cost-effective and mature renewable energy sources commercially available in India, with an installed capacity of 15 GW and rising rapidly,” says Berkeley Lab scientist Amol Phadke, the lead author of the report. “The cost of wind power is now comparable to that from imported coal and natural gas-based plants, and wind can play a significant role in cost effectively addressing energy security and environmental concerns.”

Even if the previously estimated potential of 102 GW is fully developed, wind would provide only about 8 percent of the projected electricity demand in 2022 and 5 percent in 2032. The new Berkeley Lab study has found the total techno-economic wind potential to range from 2,006 GW for 80-meter hub heights (an indication of how high the wind turbine stands above the ground) to 3,121 GW for 120-meter hub heights. Given these new estimates, the availability of wind energy can no longer be considered a constraint for wind to play a major role in India’s electricity future.

Phadke and his team have been discussing their findings informally and formally with several key government agencies in India and have gotten positive responses. “The key agency in charge, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Berkeley Lab to collaborate on several issues related to potential estimates and wind energy integration,” said Jayant Sathaye, who leads the International Energy Studies Group at Berkeley Lab.

http://ies.lbl.gov/node/473

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