Solar And Wind Energy Potential Of India May Face Climate Challenge, Finds IITM Study

Highlights :

  • The report reveals that in the coming 50 years, solar irradiance will decline in all the seasons.
  • Most solar power projects are concentrated in the North-Western states of India and the study says that solar radiation throughout the year in future ought to decrease in this region.

An analysis published in the Current Science journal reveals that India might fall short of its renewable energy target. And yes, its not the 2022 target of 175 GW, which is certain miss at this stage.

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The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune scientists and researchers at Center for Prototype Climate Modeling, New York University, Abu Dhabi studied the wind and solar energy potential of future Indian landmass. They employed six different climate model ensembles and said that seasonal and annual wind speed will decrease in North India but increase in the southern parts.

The report reveals that in the coming 50 years, solar irradiance will decline in all the seasons. The study offers more farmlands and efficient power generators as key solutions to mitigate these climatic variations.

The study reads, “With the estimated decrease in future wind and solar potential, expanded and more efficient networks of wind and solar farms are needed to increase renewable energy production. Therefore, investors in this sector should understand and consider possible changes due to climate change.”

The study adds, “Regional analysis of wind potential indicates that the frequency of high energy-producing wind speeds will decrease, whereas low energy-producing wind speeds are likely to increase in the future. In the solar potential regional analysis, future projections predict a shift in the frequency of solar radiation in the negative direction, implying that solar energy production will decrease in the immediate future. This can be attributed to the increase in total cloud cover.”

Most solar power projects are concentrated in the North-Western states of India and the study says that solar radiation throughout the year in future ought to decrease in this region. It will decrease all over the country generally. The only regions that will witness an increase in solar projections would be Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, or the hilly regions.

The solar loss is predicted to be minimal in Central and South-Central India and solar power projects should be planned accordingly, finds the study.

As far as wind energy scenario is concerned, the researchers say that Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will be good spots for green energy generation in future. Also, the analysis finds that Southern and North-Western regions will witness stronger wind speeds in winter and monsoon months.

The report informs, “As climate change is expected to impact both wind and solar potential in the future, there is a requirement for proper documentation of the results from climate model simulations. This will help the investors in this sector to carefully plan their investments, which are expected to significantly increase in the next 30–40 years in the Indian region.”

India has pledged at CoP26 Glasgow last year to attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 and by 2030, its 50 per cent energy requirement will come from non-fossil fuels.

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