NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: INDIA, THE NEXT BIG WIND OPPORTUNITY

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: The Economic Opportunity In The Climate Fight
  • Weekend Video: The Future Of Energy
  • Weekend Video: Advances In BioEnergy
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-CLIMATE CHANGE – IT GETS WORSE
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-WHERE AND HOW WIND IS GROWING IN THE WORLD
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-CHINA TO LEAD SOLAR MARKET GROWTH DESPITE OBSTACLES
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-THE ENORMOUS POTENTIAL OF WORLD GEOTHERMAL
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 28:

  • TTTA Thursday-PRESIDENT TO TAKE ACTION ON CLIMATE
  • TTTA Thursday-BIRDS AND ENERGY, THE BIGGER STORY
  • TTTA Thursday-NEW CA LAW STREAMLINES SOLAR PERMITTING
  • TTTA Thursday-DATA CENTER EFFICIENCIES CAN SAVE U.S. $3.8BIL/YR
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: THE RISKIEST ENERGY IN THE WORLD
  • QUICK NEWS, August 27: VERIZON’S $40MIL SOLAR BUY; WIND PRICES HIT RECORD LOWS; NUKE INSPECTOR SAYS DIABLO CYN IS UNSAFE
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: U.S. WIND RIGHT NOW
  • QUICK NEWS, August 26: CLIMATE MODELS PROVE RIGHT AGAIN; ABOUT INVESTING IN SOLAR; GM VS TESLA IN THE 200 MILE RACE

    THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • THE STUDY: NEW CALMER WINDS AHEAD FOR EUROPE
  • QUICK NEWS, August 25: JULY’S U.S. ENERGY BUILD WAS ALL NEW ENERGY; CLIMATE CHANGE FOR ENERGY INVESTORS; WIND CAN GROW FASTER THAN NUCLEAR
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

    November 26, 2013 (Huffington Post via NewEnergyNews)

    Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

    Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well in sight for our children: 2047. Survivors of Superstorm Sandy are packing up as costs of repair and insurance go out of reach, one threat that climate science has long predicted. Or we could simply talk about the plight of bees and the potential impact on food supplies. Surprising no one who explores the Pacific Ocean, sailor Ivan MacFadyen described long a journey dubbed The Ocean is Broken, in which he saw vast expanses of trash and almost no wildlife save for a whale struggling a with giant tumor on its head, evoking the tons of radioactive water coming daily from Fukushima's lamed nuclear power center. Rampaging fishing methods and ocean acidification are now reported as causing the overpopulation of jellyfish that have jammed the intakes of nuclear plants around the world. Yet the shutting down of nuclear plants is a trifling setback compared with the doom that can result in coming days at Fukushima in the delicate job to extract bent and spent fuel rods from a ruined storage tank, a project dubbed "radioactive pick up sticks."

    With all these horrors to ponder you wouldn't expect to hear that you should also worry about the United States running out of coal. But you would be wrong, says Leslie Glustrom, founder and research director for Clean Energy Action. Her contention is that we've passed the peak in our nation's legendary supply of coal that powers over one-third of our grid capacity. This grim news is faithfully spelled out in three reports, with the complete story told in Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves (pdf). (Disclosure: I serve on CEA's board and have known the author for years.)

    Glustrom's research presents a sea change in how we should understand our energy challenges, or experience grim consequences. It's not only about toxic and heat-trapping emissions anymore; it's also about having enough energy generation to run big cities and regions that now rely on coal. Glustrom worries openly about how commerce will go on in many regions in 2025 if they don't plan their energy futures right.

    2013-11-05-FigureES4_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    Scrutinizing data for prices on delivered coal nationwide, Glustrom's new report establishes that coal's price has risen nearly 8 percent annually for eight years, roughly doubling, due mostly to thinner, deeper coal seams plus costlier diesel transport expenses. Higher coal prices in a time of "cheap" natural gas and affordable renewables means coal companies are lamed by low or no profits, as they hold debt levels that dwarf their market value and carry very high interest rates.

    2013-11-05-Table_ES2_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    2013-11-05-Figure_ES2_FULL.jpg

    One leading coal company, Patriot, filed for bankruptcy last year; many others are also struggling under bankruptcy watch and not eager to upgrade equipment for the tougher mining ahead. Add to this the bizarre event this fall of a coal lease failing to sell in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the "Fort Knox" of the nation's coal supply, with some pundits agreeing this portends a tightening of the nation's coal supply, not to mention the array of researchers cited in the report. Indeed, at the mid point of 2013, only 488 millions tons of coal were produced in the U.S.; unless a major catch up happens by year-end, 2013 may be as low in production as 1993.

    Coal may exist in large quantities geologically, but economically, it's getting out of reach, as confirmed by US Geological Survey in studies indicating that less than 20 percent of US coal formations are economically recoverable, as explored in the CEA report. To Glustrom, that number plus others translate to 10 to 20 years more of burning coal in the US. It takes capital, accessible coal with good heat content and favorable market conditions to assure that mining companies will stay in business. She has observed a classic disconnect between camps of professionals in which geologists tend to assume money is "infinite" and financial analysts tend to assume that available coal is "infinite." Both biases are faulty and together they court disaster, and "it is only by combining thoughtful estimates of available coal and available money that our country can come to a realistic estimate of the amount of US coal that can be mined at a profit." This brings us back to her main and rather simple point: "If the companies cannot make a profit by mining coal they won't be mining for long."

    No one is more emphatic than Glustrom herself that she cannot predict the future, but she presents trend lines that are robust and confirmed assertively by the editorial board at West Virginia Gazette:

    Although Clean Energy Action is a "green" nonprofit opposed to fossil fuels, this study contains many hard economic facts. As we've said before, West Virginia's leaders should lower their protests about pollution controls, and instead launch intelligent planning for the profound shift that is occurring in the Mountain State's economy.

    The report "Warning, Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" and its companion reports belong in the hands of energy and climate policy makers, investors, bankers, and rate payer watchdog groups, so that states can plan for, rather than react to, a future with sea change risk factors.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    It bears mentioning that even China is enacting a "peak coal" mentality, with Shanghai declaring that it will completely ban coal burning in 2017 with intent to close down hundreds of coal burning boilers and industrial furnaces, or shifting them to clean energy by 2015. And Citi Research, in "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China," took a look at all forms of energy production in China and figured that demand for coal will flatten or peak by 2020 and those "coal exporting countries that have been counting on strong future coal demand could be most at risk." Include US coal producers in that group of exporters.

    Our world is undergoing many sorts of change and upheaval. We in the industrialized world have spent about a century dismissing ocean trash, overfishing, pesticides, nuclear hazard, and oil and coal burning with a shrug of, "Hey it's fine, nature can manage it." Now we're surrounded by impacts of industrial-grade consumption, including depletion of critical resources and tipping points of many kinds. It is not enough to think of only ourselves and plan for strictly our own survival or convenience. The threat to animals everywhere, indeed to whole systems of the living, is the grief-filled backdrop of our times. It's "all hands on deck" at this point of human voyaging, and in our nation's capital, we certainly don't have that. Towns, states and regions need to plan fiercely and follow through. And a fine example is Boulder Colorado's recent victory to keep on track for clean energy by separating from its electric utility that makes 59 percent of its power from coal.

    Clean Energy Action is disseminating "Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" for free to all manner of relevant professionals who should be concerned about long range trends which now include the supply risks of coal, and is supporting that outreach through a fundraising campaign.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    Author's note: Want to support my work? Please "fan" me at Huffpost Denver, here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-butterfield). Thanks.

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    Anne's previous NewEnergyNews columns:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • Thursday, March 29, 2012

    TODAY’S STUDY: INDIA, THE NEXT BIG WIND OPPORTUNITY

    Reassessing Wind Potential Estimates for India: Economic and Policy Implications
    Amol Phadke, Ranjit Bharvirkar, Jagmeet Khangura March 2012 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    Abstract

    We assess the techno-economic on-shore wind potential in India at three hub-heights – 80m, 100m, and 120m. Assuming a turbine density of 9 MW/km2, the total wind potential in India with a minimum capacity factor of 20 percent ranges from 2,006 GW at 80m hub-height to 3,121 GW at 120m hub-height. This techno-economic potential excludes the potential on lands that are difficult to use for wind power development such as low quality wind areas (wind power density < 200 W/m2), areas with slopes greater than 20 degrees, areas with elevation greater than 1,500m, forests, snow-covered areas, water bodies, urban areas, and protected areas. These estimates are approximately 20 times the current official estimate of wind energy potential in India (estimated at 80m hub height). The total land footprint of developing 543 GW of this wind potential (with capacity factor > 25% at 80m) is likely to be approximately, 1,629 km2 or 0.05% of the total land area in India since, typically, only 3% of the land required for wind power development is its footprint on the ground and the rest of the land can be used for other purposes.

    click to enlarge

    Executive Summary

    Motivation

    Wind potential estimates in India need to be reassessed for three reasons. First, two recent studies – one conducted by experts from Harvard University and the Technical Research Center of Finland (published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and the other by experts from The Energy Resources Institute (India) – estimate on-shore wind potential in India to be >1,000 GW (estimated at hub-heights >= 80m).1 In sharp contrast, the official wind energy potential estimate (by the Center for Wind Energy Technologies (CWET), India) used by the Indian government in its policy-making process is only 103 GW (estimated at a hub height of 80m).2 Second, recent reassessments conducted in various countries such as the U.S. and China have found much higher wind energy potential due to better technology in the form of higher efficiency, hub heights, and sizes of wind turbines. The official wind potential estimates (expressed in capacity terms) used by China have recently increased by 800% and those of the U.S. by 50% (see Figure ES 1). Wind potential estimates for the US expressed in terms of energy have increased almost 400%. Third, systematic analysis based on Geographic Information System (GIS) data provides an accurate way to identify land with wind power development potential. The potential estimate by CWET presented in the 2010 Indian Wind Atlas, arbitrarily, assumes that just two percent of the windy land is available for wind energy development. All three reasons taken together suggest that a transparent and systematic reassessment of the wind resource in India could also reveal a substantially higher potential than previously estimated and could potentially have major implications of Indian power sector policy.

    click to enlarge

    Methodology

    In this study, wind energy potential for turbines at 80m, 100m, and 120m hub-heights was estimated at varying levels of capacity utilization factors. The hub-height of the most commonly sold wind turbines today is 80m.3 In general, the trend is toward steadily increasing hub-heights, with most major wind turbine manufacturers now offering turbines with hub-heights >100m and some as high as 150m.

    Annual average wind power density (WPD) and wind speed data at an elevation of 80m, 100m, and 120m for each 5 km by 5 km cell in India was procured from 3Tier.4 Publicly available GIS data on topography and land use and cover (LULC) was used to exclude areas where development of wind facilities would be technically and economically unviable. The excluded sites included low quality wind areas (WPD < 200 W/m2), areas with slopes greater than 20 degrees, elevation greater than 1,500m, forests, snow-covered areas, water bodies, urban areas, and protected areas.

    As observed in locations around the world, land can be used simultaneously for wind energy production and for agriculture (for example, farming, cattle-raising, etc.). Hence, wind energy potential estimates are transparently presented by LULC type without applying any subjective criteria for development.

    click to enlarge

    Key Findings

    Assuming a turbine density of 9 MW/km2, Figure ES 2 shows the techno-economically viable on-shore wind potential at three different hub-heights. The total wind potential in India with a minimum capacity factor of 20 percent ranges from 2,006 GW at 80m hub-height to 3,121 GW at 120m hub-height.

    More than 95 percent of the wind energy potential is concentrated in just five states in southern and western India – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. The state with the overall largest resource is Karnataka while the state with largest best-quality resource is Tamil Nadu. From a cost-effective perspective, the full development of best-quality wind resources in Tamil Nadu – which already leads all states in installed wind capacity – would yield a capacity of 65 GW at 80m hub-height and a minimum capacity factor of 32%. This is more than four times the total installed wind capacity in India.

    It is unlikely that all of the wind potential identified will be developed. The land requirement for developing 543 GW (with WPD > 250 W/m2 and CF > 25%) will be about 60,362 km2 (based on a turbine density of 9 MW/km2), about 2% of the total land area of India. Out of this land requirement, only a small percentage (typically about 3%) is disturbed permanently, primarily due to towers and roads, and the rest of the land can be used for other purposes. For example, based on the study of 93 wind farms totaling 13,897 MW in the US, Denholm, P. et al. (2009) found that the permanently impacted land due to wind power development is about 0.3 Hectare/MW. Hence, the actual land footprint of developing 543 GW of wind power is likely to be approximately 1,629 km2, about 40 km by 40 km area, or 0.05% of the total land area of India.

    click to enlarge

    Using the norms specified by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), Figure ES 3 shows the estimated wind potential at various levels of levelized tariffs. Based on CERC norms, approximately 200 GW of wind potential is available at a levelized tariff of Rs. 4.5/kWh or less and about 100 GW is available at Rs 4.0/kWh or less at all three hub-heights.

    It is necessary to note that the estimates presented here regarding yields and the extent of land most suitable for wind power development in India are not detailed enough to determine sites for an actual wind generation facility or predict its exact output. These estimates are, however, appropriate for use in high-level policy-making; estimates based on methodologies similar to the one used here serve as the basis for policy development and long-term power sector planning purposes in the U.S., China, and the European Union.

    click to enlarge

    Implications and Future Work

    Our findings suggest that the availability of a developable wind resource is not a constraint for wind to play a major role in India’s electricity future. This is in sharp contrast with the earlier official estimate of the potential, which, if fully exploited would have provided only about eight percent of electricity demand (in energy terms) in 2022. The technical feasibility of integrating large quantities of wind energy needs to be assessed systematically. However, experience from operation of existing power systems in such places as Denmark and Germany and several studies, have indicated the techno-economic feasibility of such integration (Milligan et al., 2009 and Wiser et al., 2011). Given effective planning, policies, and programs, wind energy can be a core component of India’s affordable, reliable, and clean energy portfolio.

    click to enlarge

    Conclusions and Future Directions

    The official wind energy potential estimate as described in the latest (i.e. 2012) Wind Energy Atlas of India is about 103 GW. However, two recent studies – Xi Lu (2009 and Hossain et al. (2011) – indicate that the wind energy potential for India is at least one order of magnitude greater than the official estimate. Recent re-assessments of wind energy potential in the U.S. and China that have accounted for the improved capability of the latest wind technology have led to substantial upward revision of the wind potential in each country. Lastly, the Wind Energy Atlas of India made ad-hoc assumptions about the land available for wind power development instead of systematically identifying various land uses and their suitability for wind power development. In order to address the concerns and discrepancies described above, this study – using best practice methods and vetted data – developed the potential wind energy available in India. Results include the following:

    - The techno-economic on-shore wind potential ranges from 2,006 GW at 80m hub-height to 3,121 GW at 120m hub-height with a minimum capacity factor of 20 percent.

    - The potential at high-quality wind energy sites alone (80m hub-height with a minimum capacity factor of 25 percent) is 543 GW, more than five times larger than the current official estimate

    click to enlarge

    More than 95 percent of the nation's wind energy potential is concentrated in five states in southern and western India – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. The state with the overall largest resource is Karnataka while the state with largest best quality resource is Tamil Nadu.

    Under the CERC norms, approximately 500 GW of wind potential is available at a levelized cost of Rs. 5/kWh or less – at 80m hub-height. At least 100 GW of wind energy potential can be developed today at less than Rs. 4/kWh at 80m hub-height.

    Considering the findings of the large wind potential, it is possible to imagine scenarios where wind energy can play a substantial role in India’s energy mix and contribute significantly to reduction in power shortages in the short term and energy security and environmental sustainability in the long term. These promising results provide sufficient support for conducting further analysis (on topics such as wind integration, transmission planning, regional coordination, cost effective development, and land policies) and dialogue that would ensure that this large, cheap, and clean resource available in India is developed as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.

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