Wind is renewable leader in India plan

Installed wind capacity in India has reached 730 MW, nearly 50 percent above the goal of 500 MW in the nation`s Eighth Five-Year Plan, ending in 1997. India established a goal of 2,000 MW of new renewables capacity during the plan period, approximately 10 percent of all projected new generating capacity.

Statistics from the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) show other renewables lagging behind its goals. Small hydro facilities had a goal of 600 MW but only 122 MW were installed while bioenergy had a goal of 500 MW with only 28 MW installed. Solar thermal had a goal of 30 MW and none were installed, and solar photovoltaic had a goal of 25 MW and only 17 MW were installed. Cogeneration had a goal of 300 MW but saw only 10 MW added.

According to IREDA`s B.S.K. Naidu, India is implementing the world`s largest wind resource assessment program, with more than 600 stations in 25 states recording data. Approximately 25 wind turbine manufacturing companies are building or assembling machines in the country, which has an ultimate wind potential estimated at 20,000 MW.

“India is one of the very few developing countries which has embarked upon an environmentally conscious development path and has launched policy initiatives to accelerate renewable energy development for sustainability,Naidu said.

If the plan`s goal of 2,000 MW is successfully completed, Naidu said the nation would move on toward longer range goals of 10,000 MW of renewable capacity by 2010 and 50,000 MW by 2020.