India’s Cultivable Land Has Wind Generation Potential of 347 GW: Report

70% of the wind farms in Tamil Nadu are developed on cultivable land

February 27, 2020

/ Wind

The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has stated that the installable wind potential of the country is estimated to be at 695 GW at 120 meters above ground level.

Out of the estimated figure, nearly 347 GW of wind projects can be installed on cultivable lands, followed by wastelands where 340 GW capacity could be possible.

The cultivable land areas in India have the highest potential for installing wind energy projects. In its report, the institute added that there is also a possibility of installing 8 GW in forest lands.

According to the study, high capacity utilization factor (CUF) potential regions are distributed in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu with scattered potential in Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, and Rajasthan.

Areas of medium wind potential are located in states like Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, and the North Eastern States.

However, the report also makes a sensitivity analysis where it states that land availability and the trend of land occupation is site-specific, so predicting the actual land availability may be difficult.

Citing an example of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, the NIWE added that in Tamil Nadu, nearly 70% of the wind farms are developed on lands classified as WA120-CL (cultivable land), whereas in Gujarat, this figure is about 35%. Similarly, nearly 25% of wind farms in Tamil Nadu are developed on wastelands, and 60% in Gujarat.

NIWE State Wise Wind Potential in MW

According to its findings, the trend of future land allocation will depend on supportive land policies of different state governments and competing demand for land from other sectors.

Based on the analysis, the study also shows that wind potential of 132 GW is possible in high potential areas with CUF greater than 32%, and wind potential of about 57 GW is possible in areas with CUF greater than 35%.

It also added that as per the sensitivity analysis with increased land area utilization, the wind potential with over 35% CUF could reach up to 98 GW.

“If the complex regions and snow-covered areas of the Himalayan and North Eastern states are considered as suitable for wind farm development, the installable wind potential of India increases to 931 GW, by about 34%,” the report added.

“Wind or solar ‘potential’ has very little to do with actual installations, which are mostly driven by policies. For example, Tamil Nadu may have high wind power generation potential, but if the utility does not pay the developers, there will be no development,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Wind installations were flat in India with 2.4 GW of wind power capacity added in the calendar year 2019, compared to 2.3 GW 2018. The cumulative wind power installations stood at 37.5 GW at the end of 2019, according to the data from government agencies, compiled by Mercom India Research.

Recently, Mercom reported that the National Institute of Wind Energy invited tenders for sensors and data loggers with accessories to assess wind and solar resources across the country.

The government has set a target of installing 60 GW of wind power capacity by 2022.