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Examine the potential of wind energy in India and explain the reasons for their limited spatial spread. (150 words) [2022]

Introduction

India has a vast potential for wind energy, with an installed capacity of 42.633 GW as of March 2023, making it the fourth-largest in the world. Despite this potential, the spatial spread of wind energy in India is limited due to various factors. This analysis will examine the potential of wind energy in India and the reasons for its limited spatial spread.

Body

Wind energy potential: India’s wind power capacity is mainly spread across the southern, western, and northwestern states. The country’s long coastline of 7,517 km makes it attractive for the development of marine energy projects, including offshore wind farms.

Limited spatial spread: The limited spatial spread of wind energy in India can be attributed to several factors:

  • Low surface power density: Wind farms typically need to be spread over more land than other power stations due to their low surface power density.
  • Environmental impact: Wind farms can have a significant visual impact and impact on the landscape, leading to opposition from local residents.
  • Energy sprawl: The network of turbines, access roads, transmission lines, and substations can result in “energy sprawl,” although land between the turbines and roads can still be used for other purposes.
  • Offshore wind challenges: Offshore wind power development faces challenges such as marine spatial planning, which can be highly political and influenced by various agendas and actors.
  • Resource availability: The availability of scarce materials needed for the manufacture of wind turbines can also be a limiting factor.
  • Examples: The Jaisalmer Wind Park in Rajasthan, with an installed capacity of 1,064 MW, is India’s second-largest and the fourth-largest operational onshore wind farm globally.

Way forward

To overcome the limited spatial spread of wind energy in India, it is essential to address the challenges mentioned above. This can be achieved by:

  • Developing innovative wind turbine designs that require less land and have a lower visual impact.
  • Encouraging community involvement and addressing local concerns in the planning and development of wind farms.
  • Investing in research and development of offshore wind technologies, including floating wind turbines for deeper waters.
  • Ensuring sustainable resource management and exploring alternative materials for wind turbine manufacturing.
    By addressing these challenges, India can harness its vast wind energy potential and contribute significantly to its renewable energy targets.

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