The Union Cabinet has approved a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India (MNRE) and Denmark’s Ministry for Energy, Utilities, and Climate in offshore wind energy.
The cabinet has approved a letter of intent (LoI) to establish an Indo-Danish Centre of Excellence for renewable energy in India. The agreement was signed in March 2019 in the national capital, according to the Press Information Bureau.
The objective of the agreement is to promote cooperation between the two countries in the field of renewable energy with a special focus on offshore wind. The areas of cooperation would include technical capacity building for management of offshore wind projects, measures to develop and sustain a highly efficient wind industry, measures to ‘ensure high quality of wind turbines, components, certification requirements, forecasting, and scheduling of offshore wind.
The Indo-Danish Centre of Excellence in Integrated Renewable Power would work on renewable energy resource assessments with a focus on the onshore and offshore wind; hybridization of wind, solar, hydro and storage technologies, integration of renewable energy, testing, R&D, and skill development.
The offshore wind sector has remained dormant in the country with the government still putting policies in place for its development in the coming years.
Offshore wind power can add a new element into India’s renewable energy mix. The MNRE had released National Offshore Wind Policy in October 2015 to realize the offshore wind power potential in the country
Earlier, Mercom had reported about the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) draft offshore wind energy lease rules which are aimed at spurring activity in this untapped sector. This set of rules have been 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 short-term installation target of 5 GW offshore wind capacity by 2022 and long-term installation target of 30 GW offshore wind projects by 2030.
In April 2018, the National Institute of Wind Energy, an autonomous body formed under the MNRE, had invited Expression of Interest to develop country’s first offshore wind energy project, which was further extended in May 2018. With the announcement of this first offshore wind energy project, the government has attempted to develop this sector in India and replicate the success of the onshore wind power sector in the country.
While the installation target may look moderate in comparison to India’s onshore wind target of 60 GW and solar target of 100 GW by 2022, it would still be a challenging task considering offshore wind is still in early stages in India.
Preliminary studies have indicated good wind potential for offshore wind power, both in the southern tip of the Indian peninsula and along the country’s western coast. The preliminary studies were conducted off the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
Globally, there have been installations approximating 17-18 GW of offshore wind power led by countries such as the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, and China.
Soumik is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, Soumik was a correspondent for UNI, New Delhi covering the Northeast region for seven years. He has also worked as an Asia Correspondent for Washington DC-based Hundred Reporters. He has contributed as a freelancer to several national and international digital publications with a focus on data-based investigative stories on environmental corruption, hydro power projects, energy transition and the circular economy. Soumik is an Economics graduate from Scottish Church College, Calcutta University.