On-shore wind energy consumption in India has been found as far higher than the previously estimated 102 gigawatts. The results of a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory may be seen as revolutionary as wind is the most cost-effective and renewable energy source commercially available in countries likeIndia. Further, the findings reveal that it is about 20 to 30 times greater than the previous estimates.
The previous estimate is based on the assumption that in India only two percent of the windy land is available for wind power development.
But this time around, the Berkeley study conducted a systematic estimation of the availability of land. The team used GIS (geographic information system) data on geography and land. Thus they were able to find much more availability of land, which can be used for power generation.
Lands with low quality wind, slopes greater than 20 degrees, elevation greater than 1,500 meters and certain other areas like forests, bodies of water and cities were avoided in this study.
It was also revealed in this study that for generating high quality wind energy a total area of 1,629 sq km of land was required. This is only 0.05 percentage of the total land area inIndia.
This amount need not be considered large as only 3 percent of a wind farm is utilized for installation of wind turbines, which is approximately 80 meters in length, while the remaining area can be used for other purposes.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Berkeley Lab to work together on several issues to make the potential estimates and wind energy integration.
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