India is the fifth largest wind energy producer in the world today (Global Wind Energy Council). Wind power, currently the largest renewable energy source, accounts for almost 70 per cent of the total installed capacity in the renewable energy sector, with Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra leading the way. And the outlook continues to look breezy: the Indian government has set an ambitious target of increasing the wind energy capacity to 60GW by 2022—a substantial increase from the current 26GW installed capacity.
Wind energy plays a key role in enabling us to transition to a cleaner, more sustainable world. It has been around for centuries and doesn’t generate greenhouse gas emissions. Our ancestors used the power of the wind to pump water and grind grain. Modern wind turbines are essentially evolved versions of the traditional windmill. These turbines are used to harness the wind’s kinetic energy and convert it into electricity.
Onshore wind farms consist of a group of turbines that are connected to the power grid and deliver the generated electricity to the grid.
Offshore wind farms are built in large bodies of water. The largest offshore wind farm is London Array in England.
Though geothermal energy is largely untapped in India, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has assessed the potential of generating 10,600MW from 340 hot springs spread across seven geothermal areas in 11 states. The chosen locations are Puga (Jammu and Kashmir), Tattapani (Chhattisgarh), Manikaran (Himachal Pradesh), Bakreshwar (West Bengal), Tuwa (Gujarat), Unai and Jalgaon (Maharashtra). This is a big commitment towards integrating this abundantly available clean and renewable energy into the grid by 2022.
Geothermal power refers to energy derived from the earth’s internal heat. This thermal energy is contained in the rocks and fluids under the earth’s surface. High-pressure water is pumped into these underground reservoirs, where it heats up and returns to the surface as hot water and steam, powering turbines to generate electricity. Volcanoes and geysers are natural examples of geothermal energy.