Energy

India’s wind, solar resources concentrated in southern, western states: study

Researchers identify environmentally sustainable wind, solar PV and concentrated solar power (CSP) zones across India

 
By Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Wednesday 12 April 2017
About 28 per cent of solar PV zones overlap with wind zones, which means it's an opportunity for developing co-location for both Credit: Quinn Dombrowski / Flicker
About 28 per cent of solar PV zones overlap with wind zones, which means it's an opportunity for developing co-location for both Credit: Quinn Dombrowski / Flicker About 28 per cent of solar PV zones overlap with wind zones, which means it's an opportunity for developing co-location for both Credit: Quinn Dombrowski / Flicker

India has huge capacity to develop renewable energy infrastructure. However, wind and solar resources are spatially heterogeneous across India, finds a study conducted by researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—a member of the national laboratory system supported by the US Department of Energy.

India has set a target of developing 175GW of renewable energy by 2022 and also 40 per cent of total power generation from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. For this to happen, the country needs to overcome economic and siting challenges, along with power system challenges.

What’s the objective of the study?

The study, conducted by the International Energy Studies Group from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, used Multi-criteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy (MapRE) methodological framework. The broader objective was to “spatially identify the amount and quality of wind and utility-scale solar (a solar facility that generates power and feeds the grid supplying a utility with energy) resource potential in India and the possible siting-related constraints and opportunities for development of renewable resources”.

The study, titled ‘India Renewable Energy Zones’, identifies “cost-effective, equitable, and environmentally sustainable wind, solar PV and concentrated solar power (CSP) zones across India”.

Factors considered for selection of sites that can be developed as renewable energy zones

  • Cost of electricity
  • Distance to nearest substation
  • Road connectivity and presence of water body
  • Capacity value
  • Type of land cover
  • Co-location potential

About 84 per cent of wind zones are on agricultural landStates with the highest potential for wind resources

Findings of the study

  • Wind resources are concentrated mainly in the western states (Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan) and southern states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana)
  • Solar PV resources are distributed across several states, but Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have the most resource potential
  • Solar CSP resources are the most limited among the three technologies. CSP potential is highest in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Half of all wind zones (47 per cent) and two-thirds of all solar PV zones (66 per cent) are more than 25 km away from existing substations with transmission voltage of 220 kV and above. This is a potential constraint when it comes to accessing high voltage transmission infrastructure.
  • About 84 per cent of all wind zones are on agricultural land. It provides opportunities for multiple uses of land, but may also impose constraints on land availability.
  • Only 29 per cent of suitable solar PV sites and 15 per cent of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) sites are within 10 km of a surface water body, suggesting water availability as a significant siting constraint for solar plants.

Availability of groundwater resources was not analysed as part of this study.

States with the highest potential for Solar CSP resources

States with the highest potential for Solar PV Resources

 

Scope for developing co-location for wind and solar generation

The research also points out that about a quarter (28 per cent) of all solar PV zones overlap with wind zones, which means it is an opportunity for developing co-location for both. It will also be economical and easy to develop transmission extensions which can be used for both.

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  • As I stress “BIO ENERGY “ is the best option for an Agrarian State like Andhra Pradesh. There is vasy waste land and huge youth power in the state. Why not go for massive cultivation of Care-free Growth,Regenerative CAM Plants like Sisal Agave And Opuntia(Cactus). Biogaspower/biofuel/biochar an be obtained from these plants. What is essential is that being CAM plants they act as CARBON Sink. Accumulation of CO2 and Atmospheric Vapour is the root case for natural calamities like Floods,rise in temperatures and Drought.
    YOUTH ECNOMIC ZOMNES(YEZ):
    Just as wee have SEZ,we can have “Youth Economic Zones”. The vast waste land can be given on lease of about 10 acres each to educated Youth with training in agricultural practices. 10 Such People can form a Co-operative. They can grow fast growing multiple use plants like Sisal Agave,Opuntia,Custard Apple etc. Agro Industries centred around the products from these plants can be set up. Mahatma Gandhi’s Concept of “ Utilisation of local resources and resourcefulness” is the need of the hour. Are not Communes(Kibbutz) in Israel Successful? Now the recession in IT Industry brought out our folly in neglecting Agriculture and related fields. As Mahatma said,” Not Mass Production but Production by the Masses” is very relevant today.
    As One Economist put it,” AGRICULTURE DESPITE THE GLORIOUS OPPORTUNITIES OFFERED TO IT IS SICK BECAUSE IT IS SUBJECT TO COLONIAL ECONOMICS WHICH NO ONE CARES TO STDY AND SUPERSEDE LET AP USHER IN A NEW ERA OF DEVELOPMENT WITH A BLEND OF TRADITIONAL AND MODERN APPROACH. “MODERNISE THE TRADITIONAL – TRADITIONALISE THE MODERN” should be our Motto.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)

    Posted by: Dr.A.Jagadeesh | 2 years ago | Reply