After reassessing the wind energy potential of China and the United States, and finding substantial increases over previous estimates, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory decided to conduct a similar study on India’s wind potential.
According to the study, the potential for onshore wind energy deployment in India is exponentially higher than previously thought. Official estimates are at around 102 gigawatts (GW), but the new study claims it's actually 30 times greater.
The reason for the lower estimates is due to a flaw in the previous methodology.
You see, the wind potential estimate of 102 GW was based solely on the assumption that 2% of the available windy land could be developed. The Berkeley team thought that was off and took publicly available GIS (geographic information system) data on the topography and compared it with the data on land use. The outcome: much higher estimates.
If the previously estimate of 102 GW were to be put in play, wind would only provide about 8% of the projected energy demand in 2022 in India. On the other hand, the Berkeley Lab study has found the total wind potential to range anywhere from 2,006 GW for 80-meter hub heights to 3,121 for 120-meter hub heights.
“The main importance of this study, why it’s groundbreaking, is that wind is one of the most cost-effective and mature renewable energy resources commercially available in India, with an installed capacity of 15 GW and rising rapidly,” lead author of the report Amol Phadke said.