RESEARCHERS FROM the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, have found three locations along the Indian coastline where the wind potential is expected to increase as a result of climate change. This potential, the study revealed, can be used to generate electricity.
Researchers stated that the annual average wind potential at three sites — Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram and Jakhau — is expected to rise by 25 per cent over the next 27 years. The three areas, where the annual average wind potential is higher than 200 watt per square metre, were identified by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). “This means that global warming has thrown open a potential source for renewable energy,” said Subimal Ghosh, co-author of the study and professor at the Civil Engineering Department of the IIT-B.
Increasing temperatures on the sea are expected to increase the wind speed, which will be in the range required to generate electricity. The rise in wind potential could be tapped to produce offshore wind energy by setting up wind farms on the seabed. “Turbines can only operate at a certain wind speed. We have found that such speeds have already been attained and will increase. We will now analyse many more possible scenarios of global warming and look for other similar spots along the coastline that hold potential,” said M C Deo, co-author and professor at IIT-B.
Deo added that the team will now lay down guidelines for prospective planners from the wind energy industry who might be interested in setting up offshore wind farms.
He said the study predicted the impact of climate change on different sites. “While some show an increase in the power potential, some may experience a dip… The analysis presented in the study shows that the power potential may increase at the three identified Indian offshore locations. The wind industry, thus, need not have any concern regarding the impact of climate change and should go ahead and install their plants aggressively,” said Deo.
“The impact of climate change on coast and ocean has attracted attention of researchers from all over the world who have been trying to develop reliable atmospheric models. This study was aimed at bridging this gap,” he added.