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Maharashtra: Climate change may hit state's renewable energy potential

Free Press Journal logo Free Press Journal 16-08-2022
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Climate change is set to impact India’s solar and wind energy potential over the next five decades, according to a recent research by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). As per the results of the research, the state government and the renewable energy industry should take cognisance of this fact and begin to adapt to the changing climate with better technology to maintain the efficiency of renewable energy in Maharashtra and other states.

Maharashtra currently ranks among the top states in terms of installed renewable energy capacity (10.78 gigawatt (GW)) with wind power capacity of 5.01 GW and solar power capacity of 2.75 GW contributing the most. As of June 30, 2022, renewable energy contributes 24.36 per cent to Maharashtra’s power mix.

This has prompted the state to launch an ambitious initiative to build new solar plants throughout districts to produce 12 GW of renewable energy over the course of the next six years with the goal of increasing the amount of available power and lowering power purchase costs in the future. The state also accounts for 15% of the country’s wind energy potential.

One of the researchers, Parthasarathi Mukhopadhyay, said, “Our industry must adapt to the changing climate, and our technologies must keep pace. Such predictions should not be taken as facts, but as possibilities. The efficiency of renewable energy may be impacted by climate change in Maharashtra and the neighbouring areas. The study emphasises the importance of being prepared for scenarios of this kind and addressing it.”

The researchers of the study also said that in the case of wind potential, Maharashtra and surrounding regions show a positive trend in most of the climate models. “The monsoon months are projected to be more windy and cloudy in the coming years. This region also records positive potential in the future but it is not to the same extent as the rest of central India,” added Mukhopadhyay.

Maharashtra has a reasonable wind potential of roughly 45 GW and 100 GW at 100m and 120m, respectively. Maharashtra is one of the seven windy states in India. The main markets for wind-based energy continue to be Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Karnataka. The four states account for roughly 72% of all additions.

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