Headline : Climate change may hit India’s wind power
- According to a new study, climate change could significantly affect wind power generation in India.
Effect of Climate Change on Wind Energy in India
- According to a study, wind energy production in India is vulnerable to climate change.
- The wind energy potential in the last 40 years has declined by 13%.
Summer monsoon winds
- 63% of India’s wind energy is fed by south-west monsoon winds of spring and summer.
- The strong south-west winds during and after monsoon is attributed to the formation of low pressure belt in the continental interior.
- Water having high specific heat, heats up slowly resulting in the temperature and pressure differential between land and water.
- This results in air moving from high pressure in Indian Ocean to low pressure continental interior producing high-speed winds.
- As a result, majority of the wind turbines are being built in southern and western India to capture the summer Indian monsoon winds.
Climate change and Wind Energy
- The study has shown that climate change has warmed up Indian Ocean reducing the temperature and thus pressure differential between land and water.
- Thus, increased warming in the Indian Ocean has weakened the summer monsoon winds affecting the wind energy potential of India.
- According to the study, western India, including Rajasthan and Maharashtra has seen the steepest decline.
- Gujarat and Karnataka also witnessed decline in winder energy production.
- On the other hand, eastern India witnessed smaller or no decline.
- For instance, no significant decline was seen in Tamil Nadu located on the east coast.
- Further, the warming of Equatorial Indian Ocean reduced the wind speed resulting in low wind energy.
In brief: Wind Energy in India
- Wind energy is the highest contributor to India’s renewable energy basket accounting for around 57% of the total renewable energy in India.
- India has the 4th highest installed capacity for wind energy after behind USA, China and Germany.
- India’s installed capacity of wind energy is around 35 GW against the total potential of 302 GW.
- In 2015 India set a target for 60 GW of wind power installations by 2022.
- Most of wind energy potential is concentrated in western and southern states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.