Climate crises have forced the countries of the world to take an active interest in the renewable energy sector. In the purview of this, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) made a commitment to install 175 gigawatts (GW) renewable energy by 2022, in 2015. However, it set a rather listless target of producing 60GW energy for the wind energy sector.
Of all the electricity generation methods, the wind has the lowest life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions due to its lower carbon footprint. It is one-third compared to solar photovoltaic. In addition to this, wind utilises power evacuation infrastructure almost twice as efficiently as the solar. If India utilises all its wind sources, it has the potential to install 695 GW.
Why is the Wind Sector Struggling?
This potential has been overlooked because of India’s ambition to become a world leader in solar power. The country stands fourth in wind energy installations and has well-developed indigenous manufacturing capabilities. However, policy attention has been more focused on solar photovoltaic. This is in spite of the fact that it has no domestic manufacturing capability.
Rajsekhar Budhavarapu of Indian Wind Power Association said, “India has competency in on-shore wind turbine manufacturing, but the sector has been strangulated,” while speaking to Down to Earth. From nearly 20 manufacturers operating in 2016-17, only a few survive now. Even the home-grown Suzlon Group, accounting for 35 per cent of existing installations, is on the brink of bankruptcy.
Reviving the Wind Energy Sector
The revival of the wind energy sector is of great importance for the domestic market. Especially considering the make in India angle. It could not only help in meeting the renewable energy targets of the country, but also aid in addressing the economic crisis by addressing the current account deficit and generating employment. This could be achieved only if the government makes efforts to re-power old plants, encourage hybrid parks and make investments in offshore wind farms.
In addition to this, the support of private players is also vital to boost the sector with their investments in the offshore wind projects.