Wind Power

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Date Submitted: 09/12/2012 09:34 PM

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What lessons does the wind power market in India hold

for the global market?

India represents huge opportunities for windpower and other renewables,

but not the same opportunities as found in the West. Respect it as a parallel

market, argues Laura Dietz of EcoSpace.

Our ideas about micro and local generation are based on the assumption of a

robust national grid: reliable, maintained,

and designed for minimum transmission

loss. But what if you don’t assume? What’s

left is a fundamentally different landscape

for renewable energy development.

India’s booming wind power development

has the industry’s attention, but not just for

megawatt capacity. The exciting part is local

and microgeneration. The vast majority of

Indian wind generated electricity is sold and

used locally, with only 20% sold back to the

national grid. With Europe looking towards

local and microgeneration as the future of

renewable energy, reducing transmission waste

and reintegrating communities with the sources

of the electricity they use, India appears to

be showing the way. But once you clear away

assumptions, what lessons remain?

Governments tend to focus on the similarities. The new EU – India Wind Energy Network

(EIWEN) is co-funded by the EU with the goal

of “ensuring sustainable and economically competitive development of the wind energy sector

in India and the world”. Through networking

According to Lynne McGregor, of the Carbon Trust Incubator, “with little or no existing infrastructure, customers can choose their technology, including the option to leapfrog transitional steps

and go straight to the most recent applications. This represents quite an opportunity for companies

developing technologies that can be used in decentralised power generation.” But companies can’t

sell to two such distinct groups [on grid/off grid] in exactly the same way.

38 reFOCUS

May/June 2007

and company-level cooperation, it says, each...