March 14, 2012
School of Engineering, Coimbatore
India today has the fifth largest installed wind power capacity in the world.
Speakers at the Renewable Energy Conference, Dr. S. Gomathinayagam, Executive Director of Centre for Wind Energy Technologies (C-WET) and Sri D.V. Giri, Chairman of Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, highlighted the role of wind power for India’s energy security.
“India installed wind power capacity is over 15 gigawatts today. China and USA, that are first and second in the world, in terms of installed wind power capacity, have over 52 gigawatts and 42 gigawatts respectively,” stated Dr. S. Gomathinayagam.
“Electricity from wind accounts for 3% – 4% of total electricity generated in the country today, in China the corresponding number is 1.5% – 2% and in USA, it is a little over 2%.”
“To harness wind energy, the kinetic energy of wind is converted to mechanical (rotational) energy and then interfacing with a generator, mechanical energy is converted to electrical energy.”
“To efficiently harness wind power, proper aerodynamic and structural design of blades, rotors, drive train is essential. Knowledge of generator and control systems and power electronics is also required.”
“For developing wind energy, 95% of investment is from the private sector today.”
Further sharing insights with the delegates, Sri. Giri drew from his experience as the CEO of a company involved in the manufacture, marketing and maintenance of wind turbines.
“As far as the wind industry is concerned, we have over 15 manufacturers with 30-40 models, starting from 250 kilowatt turbines to 2100 kilowatt machines.”
“Why did wind industry become popular? The government of India, through section 32 of Income Tax Act declared that anybody who invests in wind energy will be able to enjoy 100% accelerated depreciation.”
“If a profit making company hedges its profits against a wind mill investment, it is able to create a liquidity of 30% and the remaining 70% can be got from banks at commercial rates of interest. In about 7-10 years, the interest and principal amount can be payed off.”
“The private sector invested to make this a popular industry. The industry has created a lot of employment opportunities. The direct and indirect employment, whether skilled or unskilled, in wind power is 15 – 20 persons per megawatt.”
“Coal, oil and gas are depleting and will not last forever. Man has to turn to nature. Renewable energy sources and especially, wind may be the answer.”
In his keynote speech, Dr. R. K. Pachauri also spoke about wind energy. “Wind energy machines are being developed today that would essentially float; these allows us the opportunity to tap winds at sea. Energy could be supplied through undersea cables to the shore. In the future, India will become a leading player in the area of wind energy.”
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