“The gearbox used in these wind turbines will play a part in reducing our carbon footprint, giving us a cleaner environment.” Due to rapid economic development and change in consumer lifestyle, the demand for energy in India has increased. And given the shift from the use of fossil fuels to wind energy, Sathiesh Kumar, team lead in Mechanical Drives, is ensuring that newly advanced methods of harnessing wind energy are in place.
As India experiences an exponential increase in its urban areas, its growth is capped by the ability to generate sufficient power. With the use of fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions are becoming an issue.
India has a huge potential for renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind energy. Apart from the environmental benefits, a key advantage of wind energy is that there is no fuel price risk post installation. Although the setup of wind turbines can take up as much as 77% of the total project cost, there is no further need to worry escalating energy costs in the future.
Rethinking the future of wind energy
India is the fourth largest wind power producer in the world after United States, Germany and China. The Government of India has been actively promoting wind energy to improve the country economically, socially and environmentally.
The demand for energy will increase with the rise in economic development. The need for electricity in the household, agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors will also increase.
It is therefore crucial to focus on developing new technically advanced, state-of-the-art wind turbines that can greatly reduce the cost of wind power.
Moving from fossil fuels to wind
While the typical cost of harnessing wind energy is high, Sathiesh and his team have been working on a solution to achieve it at a lower cost. They’ve been developing improved wind gearboxes for wind turbine generators for Suzlon, one of India’s leading wind turbine manufacturers.
“We supply our newly improved Winergy gearboxes to Suzlon,” says Sathiesh. “Winergy is one organizational part of Siemens and we specialize in producing wind gearboxes. With our latest technology, we’re able to innovate and improve on previous designs, increasing the power capacity of wind turbines. Compared to other major wind gearbox producers in the world, we’re the first to achieve the impressive milestone of 125 GW gearbox supplies.”
“This is really significant as it proves that new gearboxes are able to offer world-class reliability and efficiency, in turn reducing the cost of energy produced by the turbines.”
Nothing comes without challenges. The team faced an extremely tight deadline for the production of the gearboxes. “But our young assembly team, armed with its past experience, was ready to take up the challenge and rolled out the product within the committed timeline,” says Sathiesh.
This project helps to reduce the cost of generating wind power in India, allowing it to become competitive against conventional coal power and reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCoE). The shift in focus will reduce carbon dioxide emission levels and help conserve the environment, in line with the vision of India’s government: to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% by 2030.
As someone living in India, I feel proud to be making a difference to our environment.Sathiesh Kumar, Segment Head, Mechanical Drives
Clean energy for a clean environment
As a result of Sathiesh’s immense hard work, “almost all the customers in the Indian market are now aware of our Winergy gearbox and have great respect for our brand. It has become their preferred choice in the wind industry because of its technology and reliability.”
But beyond the success of this project, it is ultimately the positive impact on society that makes it extra fulfilling for Sathiesh.
“One day I was driving my little boy out of the city and he noticed the wind turbines on the hills. He asked me what those ‘giant table fans’ were, and it was with such pride that I could explain to him that because of these very wind turbines, we can all have energy and power while enjoying unpolluted clean air”, Sathiesh exclaims.
He adds that the locals living in villages nearby were delighted to feel the immediate benefits of those wind turbines. They would see the turbines spin in the day and when they returned home at night, they would have power and light.
He believes that leadership and ownership are key factors in the success of this project, as he continues to lead his team towards greater heights.
“If all of us stay innovative, united in our efforts, we can most certainly create value not only for customers, but for our society as well.”