India’s Wind Energy Potential 30 Times Greater Than Believed, Study Says

A new report says that the wind energy potential in India may be 30 times greater than previous government estimates, a finding that the authors say could provide a critical solution for a country facing chronic electricity shortages. In an analysis of land actually suitable to wind power development, researchers from the U.S. Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found a potential for 2,006 megawatts of energy with the deployment of 80-meter (262 feet) turbines and 3,121 gigawatts using 120-meter (393 feet) turbines. The Indian government had previously estimated that the nation’s on-land wind energy potential was 102 gigawatts. Improved turbine efficiency and the inclusion of a wider area of land suitable for wind energy development contributed to the significantly higher estimates. “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 gigawatts and rising rapidly,” said Amol Phadke, lead author of the report.