The Ministry of Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy that India has an offshore wind energy potential of around 70 GW in parts along the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
The ministry’s statement cited studies conducted by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE). It added that the NIWE had published one year’s worth of wind speed data, thanks to the LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system installed and commissioned off the Gujarat coast.
The ministry also said it plans to install two more of these systems off the coast of Gujarat and three more off the coast of Tamil Nadu.
The parliamentary standing committee on energy has told the ministry that it must work towards achieving the target of 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2020 and that it should also try to make the best use of this 70 GW potential in the two states.
The MNRE has added that it plans to develop the first offshore wind energy project in the Gulf of Khambat, off the coast of Gujarat. It is slated to have a capacity of 1 GW. It said that the necessary studies were completed, and clearances have been obtained with just the environmental impact assessment still underway.
The ministry stated that India has a gross wind power potential of nearly 1,000 GW, citing the assessment conducted by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE).
It stated that most of the wind potential exists in the seven states, which include Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. These states have a wind power potential of 302 GW at 100 meters and 695 GW at 120 meters above ground level.
Though the government has announced big plans to utilize the country’s offshore wind potential, there has been no progress in terms of project development so far. To this end, last year, the MNRE issued draft offshore wind energy lease rules which are aimed at spurring activity in offshore wind, which has until now remained dormant. This set of rules was framed to regulate the award of leases that belong to the central government over to the developers to build offshore wind energy projects. The offshore wind projects will be set up along the coastline of India up to 200 nautical miles within the exclusive economic zone.
In June 2018, the MNRE had announced a short term installation target of 5 GW offshore wind capacity by 2022 and a long term installation target of 30 GW offshore wind projects by 2030.
Earlier, the Union Cabinet approved a cooperation agreement between the MNRE and Denmark’s Ministry for Energy, Utilities, and Climate in offshore wind energy. The objective of the agreement was to promote cooperation between the two countries in the field of renewable energy with a special focus on offshore wind.
Image Credit: Ragnar1904 [CC BY-SA 4.0]
Nithin is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.