Punjab taps wind power potential
Punjab's wind energy scenario is likely to vivify with Suzlon
Energy planning to set up wind farms aggregating 100 mw in the state. Through
its subsidiary, Suzlon Gujarat Wind Park Ltd, the wind power major has planned
to set up two wind farms of 50 mw each in Hoshiarpur and Mukatsar districts. The
company recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Punjab Energy
Development Agency, the nodal agency for renewable energy projects in the state.
Suzlon's plan will be a major boost to wind energy projects in Punjab given that
the agrarian state does not feature among India's leading destinations for wind
power projects. "Punjab currently has no installed capacity from wind power
plants," a senior official of the ministry of new and renewable energy
confirmed. Even in terms of gross wind potential, the state does not have a very
high ranking, he added. In terms of new and renewable energy sources, the state
has immense potential from biomass-based power plants.
Over the next nine months, Suzlon will undertake wind assessment studies for the
proposed wind farms. The total investment is likely to be Rs 500-600 crore,
going by industry standards.
In early 2007, Enercon (India), the Indian arm of German wind energy player
Enercon, had also entered into an agreement with PEDA to set up wind power
capacity. Pre-feasibility studies for a wind power project in Hoshiarpur
district are under way, it is learnt.
India is estimated to have a gross wind power potential of 45,000 mw and a
technical potential of 12,875 mw. As against this, the installed capacity as of
end-September 2007 stood at 7,660 mw implying unrealised potential of 40 per
cent. Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra account for nearly 70 per cent of total
installed wind power capacity, with Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan being
other important states.
— Venugopal Pillai
[December 24-30, 2007]