India leads the International Solar Alliance (ISA), as part of the effort to fight climate change. Solar energy, abundant in India and most other parts of the tropics, can help to cut down on fossil fuels, particularly coal and even, petroleum and natural gas.
Solar energy is cheap and has the potential of becoming even cheaper with improved technology, particularly solar cells. It won’t run out– the Sun is expected to continue in its present form for billions of years– and it’s free. But there’s a problem: you can’t get solar energy at night. Which is why you need what scientists call the “energy mix.”
Enter wind energy, which is already on the anvil. In his ‘virtual’ summit with Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredericksen on September 28, 2020, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who brought up the issue of wind energy, and Denmark’s plans to build the world’s first wind energy hub on an artificial island in the North Sea. The hub on the North Sea island and the other on the island of Bornholm in Denmark will have an initial installed capacity of 5,000 megawatt and it will go up to 12,000 MW in the future.
Wind energy hubs off the coast of Tamil Nadu and perhaps, Gujarat, maybe on the agenda when high-level discussions between the two countries happen in the near future. Initially expensive (building an off-shore wind farm could cost Rs 25 crore per gigawatt), but if there are economies of scale and over time, of course, costs drop dramatically.