Clean Power wind farm india

Published on July 27th, 2014 | by Smiti


India Lays Foundation For National Wind Energy Mission

July 27th, 2014 by  

India’s ongoing National Solar Mission has reaped very encouraging results. The country saw about 2,500 MW capacity being added in just four to five years with hundreds of megawatts set to be commissioned over the next few months. Now, the government is set to launch a similar national mission for wind energy.

wind farm india

A wind energy project at Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) India

Wind energy capacity in India constitutes about 67% of total installed renewable energy capacity. A national mission would aim to increase this capacity considerably. Over the last couple of years, the wind energy sector had fallen out of favour with the government. Two critical incentives were withdrawn by the government, leading to a massive decline in annual installed capacity.

While one of the generation-linked incentives was reinstated after one year, a tax-linked incentive was unavailable to the project developers until it was reintroduced by the new government in the recently announced annual budget. The reintroduction of these incentives should be seen as a precursor to the launch of the national wind energy mission.

The mission would aim to tap the vast wind energy resources that remain untapped across parts of the country that are traditionally not seen as conducive to wind energy generation.

In a report released in 2011, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) had predicted that India could achieve an installed wind energy capacity milestone of 24,000 MW by 2020. The current installed capacity is already over 21,000 MW and the 24,000 MW mark could be reached within the next two to three years.

The council had predicted an installed base of 46,000 MW by 2020 under a more favourable policy scenario, which would likely be developed following a launch of the national mission. With the availability of low-cost technology equipment capable of generating electricity in low-wind-density areas, the project developers are looking to expand into new areas in India to set up wind farms. Preferential tariffs available to the project developers in such areas are significantly higher than the tariffs available to wind farms in high-wind-density areas.

To launch a new revolution in the wind energy sector, in addition to financial incentives, the Indian government would also have to work substantially on the demand side. Stricter implementation of the Renewable Purchase Obligation would lead to a significant increase in wind power. Thus, a renewable purchase obligation should be a major part of the national wind energy mission.

Image credit: wind turbines in India via Shutterstock

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About the Author

works as a senior solar engineer at a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.

  • Excellent.

    Here is an action plan to promote Wind Energy in India on a
    massive scale.

    Hitherto Depreciation benefits were given to large industries. A RENEWABLE ENERGY FUND can be created and people( Individual Tax Payers) can be exempted if they invest in this fund under Section 80C. This way there will be wide
    participation of People in Renewable Energy Projects. Another area that needs
    immediate attention is Offshore Wind Farms. I had been suggesting Offshore Wind
    Farms since India has long coast line. Winds in the sea are about 30% more than
    on land and since Power is cube of velocity,offshore wind farms give higher
    yields.Atleast a Pilot Project can be started by MNRE so that Private Industry

    Unemployed Youth can be trained in Agricultural operations and each can be
    assigned WAste lands of 10 acres each and 10 such people can form a
    co-operative. They can grow fast growing,multiple use plants like Agave,Opuntia
    in these waste lands. Bioiofuel /Biogas power plants can be set up at local
    level as decentralised power.

    Apart from Solar Co-operatives,Windfarm Co-operatives are the need of the hour
    in India.

    Energy Cooperatives

    The expansion of renewable energies leads to fundamental changes concerning our energy supply. Wind turbines in the landscape, photovoltaic systems on roofs or farms with biogas plants are visible indications for the development in that
    sector. Heat pumps, wood pellet and woodchip heating plants provide heat and
    relieve whole villages from fossil fuels.

    Renewable energies do not only protect the climate, but also improve the
    security of supply, create new jobs and increase the regional income. The
    decentralized nature of renewable energy gives every citizen the opportunity to
    make an active contribution to the transformation of energy supply, either by
    building their own facilities or by participating in community projects.

    In the last three decades, people came together in numerous citizens’ groups,
    local councils and regional businesses to establish common renewable energy
    projects in their region.

    Energy cooperatives as organisational form are growing a lot in popularity
    because they offer a variety of possibilities for action and design. Currently,
    more than 80,000 citizens in Germany hold shares in new energy cooperatives.
    They can already participate with small amounts. In the last years, more than
    500 newly-founded energy cooperatives invested a total of 800 million euros in
    renewable energy. This is confirmed by a recent study of the DGRV(

    The move away from conventional sources of energy in Germany is driven
    primarily by citizens. An increasing number of people work together by forming
    cooperatives to build wind farms and solar plants.

    Cooperatives have experienced a revival in Germany. In 2006, eight new energy
    cooperatives were founded. In 2011 alone, this number was 167. And the German
    Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation expects the figure to be even higher
    for 2012.

    This kind of growth is vital if Germany wants to phase out its nuclear energy
    dependency by 2022. By promoting energy policy at the local level, communities
    all over Germany are profiting from renewable energy sources and the power of

    A typical example of this growth is seen in the Horb Ecumenical Energy
    Cooperative in Stuttgart, which has implemented several solar power plants.
    Bernard Bok was a driving force in this task: before his retirement he was on
    the board of the local cooperative Volksbank, so he was interested in helping
    the cooperative.

    For him there was no question, the development of renewable energy needed the
    strong legs of a cooperative to stand on. “We are in a country of
    cooperatives,” said Bok.

    Nowhere in Germany are cooperatives represented more strongly than in southern German. Small-scale farming was expected to expand so local farmers organized themselves into agricultural cooperatives.

    Citizen participation instead of anonymous investors

    In the mid 19th century, cooperative were born out of necessity. But today,
    people come together for different reasons: the desire for self-government and
    citizen participation is growing stronger. People are looking for an
    alternative to unknown investors and prefer to follow their own agenda istead
    of being dependent on others.

    Thus, in times of global economic turmoil, local communities and civil
    societies are a deliberate counterpoint to the international financial markets.
    Often traditional cooperative banks, such as the Volks- and Raiffeisenbank,
    participate in the funding and financing of local cooperatives.

    Large projects are possible

    The range of energy cooperatives is large, and it is not limited to just solar
    or wind power. For example, a cooperative in the community of St. Peter in the
    Black Forest last year built a plant for local thermal power.

    A modern wood heating plant provides heat for the town of 150 houses, which
    have made oil heaters obsolete. About 8,500 meters of piping were laid in the
    village for the cooperative.

    To complete the project, different stakeholders came together from over the
    region each bringing their own specific professional knowledge. Markus Bohnert,
    a board member of the citizens cooperative, has worked as a forester. Other
    supporters had backgrounds in heating construction, building design or

    The idea for this cooperative started in 2007. A subsequent survey of all
    citizens of St. Peter showed that people were very receptive. Above all, the
    major local consumers wanted to be a part of the project including municipal
    buildings, church facilities, as well as many hotels and restaurants it the
    town center. As a result, “People’s Energy of St. Peter” was

    The number of people required to found a cooperative has dropped from seven to
    three people. Similarly, the required number of board members was reduced for
    small cooperatives.

    With these changes, cooperatives have been gaining speed: According to the
    umbrella organization for cooperatives in Baden-Württemberg, southern Germany,
    one in three citizens are a member of a cooperative( Source: Energy
    Cooperatives are booming in Germany,DW).

    I have been advocating starting Wind Farm co-operatives in India on the lines
    of those in Germany,Denmark etc. for over a decade. Windfarm Co-operatives are
    already there in some countries.


    The Hepburn Wind Project is a wind farm at Leonards Hill near Daylesford,
    Victoria, north-west of Melbourne, Victoria. It comprises two 2MW wind turbines
    which produce enough power for 2,300 households.

    This is the first Australian community-owned wind farm. The initiative has
    emerged because the community felt that the state and federal governments were
    not doing enough to address climate change.


    Community wind power is in its infancy in Canada but there are reasons for
    optimism. One such reason is the launch of a new Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program
    in the Province of Ontario . A number of community wind projects are in
    development in Ontario but the first project that is likely to obtain a FIT
    contract and connect to the grid is the Pukwis Community Wind Park. Pukwis will
    be unique in that it is a joint Aboriginal/Community wind project that will be
    majority-owned by the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, with a local
    renewable energy co-operative (the Pukwis Energy Co-operative) owning the
    remainder of the project.


    In Denmark, families were offered a tax exemption for generating their own
    electricity within their own or an adjoining commune. By 2001 over 100,000
    families belonged to wind turbine cooperatives, which had installed 86% of all
    the wind turbines in Denmark, a world leader in wind power. Wind power has
    gained very high social acceptance in Denmark, with the development of
    community wind farms playing a major role.

    In 1997, Samsø won a government competition to become a model renewable energy
    community. An offshore wind farm comprising 10 turbines (making a total of 21
    altogether including land-based windmills), was completed, funded by the islanders.
    Now 100% of its electricity comes from wind power and 75% of its heat comes
    from solar power and biomass energy. An Energy Academy has opened in Ballen,
    with a visitor education center.

    The Netherlands

    Sixty-three farmers in De Zuidlob, the southern part of the municipality of
    Zeewolde, have entered into a cooperative agreement that aims to develop a wind
    farm of at least 108MW. The project will include the installation of three
    phases of 12 wind turbines with capacities of 3 to 4.5 MW each. Theaim is to
    put the wind farm into service in 2012.The Netherlands has anactive community
    of wind cooperatives. They build and operate wind parks in all regions of the
    Netherlands. This started in the 1980s with the first Lagerweij turbines. Back
    then, these turbines could be financed by the members of the cooperatives.
    Today, the cooperatives build larger wind parks, but not as large as commercial
    parties do. Some still operate self-sufficiently, others partner with larger
    commercial wind park developers.

    United Kingdom

    As of 2012, there are 43 communities who are in the process of or already
    producing renewable energy through co-operative structures in the UK. They are
    setup and run by everyday people, mostly local residents,who are investing
    their time and money and together installing large wind turbines, solar panels,
    or hydro-electric power for their local communities.

    United States

    Most of the wind farms in the United States are commercially owned. As of 2011,
    Iowa has just on ecommunity owned wind farm, that is Hardin
    HilltopnearJefferson, Iowa.National Windis a large-scale community wind project
    developer, with thirteen families of projects in development or operation.
    These projects have an aggregate capacity of over 4,000 MW. The vision of the company
    is to revitalize rural economies by promoting investment in domestic renewable
    energy resources. National Wind creates shared ownership with communities and
    allows them participation in decisions which are made.

    Hitherto Depreciation benefits were given to large industries. A WIND FUND can
    be created and people( Individual Tax Payers) can be exempted if they invest in
    this Wind fund under Section 80C. This way there will be wide participation of
    People in Wind Farms.

    Another area that is advancing in Europe and Germany is Offshore Wind Farms:

    The use of the offshore wind energy in German waters predominantly takes place
    outside the 12 sea mile zone in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). With this,
    the majority of the planned projects and those still in operation is located in
    the high seas of the German North and Baltic Sea. At the end of August 2013,
    520 MW of offshore wind capacity was being connected to the grid in Germany. By
    2030, a capacity of 25,000 MW is to be connected to the grid according to the
    plans of the Federal Government.

    Currently, offshore wind farms (OWP) with a total capacity of about 1,600 MW
    are being constructed; wind farms with a capacity of 9,000 to around 10,500 MW
    received an authorization. Moreover, further 94 projects with about 6,600 Off
    WEA and a total capacity of up to about 30,000 MW are in the process of
    authorization so that all in all, about 40,000 MW are in the planning stage (as
    at September 2012). The maps of the German North and Baltic Sea provide an
    overview of both the location and the status of the projects(Source:OFFSHORE –

    Another area that needs immediate attention is Offshore
    Wind Farms. I had been suggesting Offshore Wind Farms since India has long
    coast line. Winds in the sea are about 30% more than on land and since Power is
    cube of velocity, offshore wind farms give higher yields. Atleast a Pilot Project
    can be started by MNRE so that Private Industry follows.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

    Renewable Energy Expert


    • Colin

      Thanks Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India.

      Now that was a post!!!

  • Matthew

    I’m really glad this Christian country (USA) has given so much prosperity to the Indians at our expense. Their families and economy should grow while we struggle.

    • Colin

      That was as offensive as it was stupid, Matthew.

      If that’s your real name.

    • JamesWimberley

      I second Colin. For your information, India has at least one major wind turbine manufacturer (Suzlon) active in the export market. The idea that only Americans generate technology is ludicrous.

      Indian wind farms were built with domestic capital. The country is not particularly welcoming to foreign investment. If you look at its insulation from the last two international financial crises, this reluctance to go into debt to foreign lenders has its merits.

      American foreign aid to India is $91 million in 2014 (link): to a first approximation, and compared to the size of both economies and their trade flows, zero.

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