India’s growing economy – and with it its increasing emissions of carbon dioxide – are often cited as one of the reasons why countries such as America refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol.
The argument went like this: Why should America hurt its economy by reducing emissions, when China and India were free to grow their’s and were not covered by Kyoto. Well the recent Stern review blew holes in this argument by conclusively showing that it is much more cost effective and better for an economy to act now rather than wait. The longer you wait the more expensive it will be to act.
Now there is another sign that things are changing. India is increasingly investing in wind energy and the country is now Asia’s biggest wind power market. India produces 6,053 megawatts of wind power, a tiny chunk of the estimated 130,000 megawatts of electricity it needs, but its installed wind power grew by 47 percent in the last fiscal year, according to the Indian Wind Energy Association. This could grow rapidly: As much as 16 percent of India’s electricity needs could be supplied by wind power within the next 25 years, the country’s president has argued.
“I find that in the moderate scenario 16 percent of (India’s) total energy requirement can be contributed by wind energy by 2030”, President Abdul Kalam said at the start of an annual wind conference being held in New Delhi. “The present potential of wind energy in India has been worked out to be 45,000 megawatts.” India is now the fourth largest user of wind power in the world, after Germany, Spain and the United States.