Things were beginning to gain momentum and renewable energy was becoming mainstream slowly but surely. It seemed that we may win the war someday. But then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world like a bolt from the sky casting a long shadow all over the globe.
The possibility of a sudden threat that can endanger the entire world stopped looking like a conspiracy theory and became alarmingly real. Amid the devastation that this pandemic has caused, it has also brought our actions and choices in the pursuit of progress into sharp focus underscored by the fragility of human life.
The effect has been tremendous, the UN has re-emphasised the need to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to which more than 120 countries have responded positively. As a consequence, there is unprecedented global agreement that Climate Change remains the largest and most critical threat to humanity and that renewable energy is the most powerful tool to help combat it. Climate change has now become a “Climate Emergency”.
Suddenly the future that all of us in the renewable energy sector strived for, a green future, is here. This decade belongs to renewable energy. I am convinced that renewable energy will be key in stimulating global economies post the pandemic and create long term sustainable jobs. This future is what we have been working and fighting for. A future that will give our next generations the world that they deserve.
Global Wind Day
Global Wind Day is a celebration of Wind Energy which is one of the oldest forms of energy from a natural source. Even as far back as 200 BC, simple wind-powered pumps for water were used in China, and windmills were grinding grains in the Middle East. Today, wind energy is one of the most mature renewable energy technologies and forms a critical stabilizing pillar for the entire portfolio of renewable energy sources.
By the end of 2020 global wind energy installations stood at 743GW and are slated to grow to over 1212 GW by 2025. That is a nearly 63% capacity addition in just five years. That is nothing short of a revolution. This would mean that annually, more than 700 million homes will be powered and 3000 million tonnes of CO2 emissions will be reduced by Wind Energy generations alone by 2025.
Wind Energy also has the added benefit of a mature supply chain thereby stimulating domestic markets and creating full-time direct local jobs of over 1.2 million today which are slated to go up to 3.3 million by 2025. Add to this the millions of additional indirect jobs that it creates, micro-economies it stimulates, and energy security it offers to nations.
How can India benefit from this tremendous source of energy?
Wind Energy is critical to India’s Clean Energy Transition. India has a huge potential of over 300GW onshore and 195GW offshore wind energy. We also have a stated national target of achieving over 140GW by 2030 and are already expecting a 24.4GW increase by 2025.
India has the advantage of having an established and easily scalable manufacturing base of over 10GW with 80-90% local content in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat mission of our country. With Plant Load Factors of over 40% and decreasing the cost of energy produced by wind, wind energy remains very competitive and efficient. Along with storage (battery), wind energy is one of the most reliable sources of renewable energy and can meet peak demand.
Wind Energy can help produce highly affordable green hydrogen and green ammonia which are touted as future fuels. Wind Energy along with hybrid and storage systems in sync with other renewable sources will be key in producing enough green electricity to power India’s e-mobility revolution. This will not only accelerate our country’s energy transition but also eliminate the need for large and expensive oil exports.
When you take all these advantages of wind energy and integrate it with solar energy we take the next big step to realise India’s renewable energy potential through wind-solar hybrid projects. These projects will increase efficiency and generation while providing stability and better continuity of power. India has done well to embark on this journey in 2020 and we will see a big push in this direction over the next five years.
This is our revolution to lead
The Renewable Energy revolution in India has begun and it is our revolution to lead. The world is looking at India as it realizes its tremendous wind and solar potential while leveraging its acclaimed manufacturing prowess. The spotlight is on us and so is the opportunity. I believe the best is yet to come. I see a tremendously bright future for renewables and especially wind energy in India, however innovative policy environments and massive resource deployment is the need of the hour.
I am confident that with the support of the visionary Indian Government led by the Honorable Prime Minister, India’s dream of a carbon-neutral economy will soon be a reality and Wind Energy will have a critical role to play in it.
So, as you look out of your window and see gusts of monsoon winds, also feel the tremendous energy within, imagine all the jobs it is powering, houses it’s lighting up, and economies that it is stimulating.
Happy Global Wind Day, India.