To give confidence to the country’s wind industry, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has now announced the medium and long-term target for offshore wind power capacity additions in India, which are 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030.
This announcement comes on heels of high interest shown by stakeholders in the first ever expression of interest (EoI) for an offshore wind project.
In April 2018, the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), an autonomous body formed under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), had invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for the development of 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 envisages to replicate the success of onshore wind power sector in the country. This would help the country towards attaining energy security and achievement of National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) targets.
While the target figures 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 challenging task considering the difficulties in installation of large wind power turbines in open seas. It is important to note here that offshore wind turbines are of much larger dimensions and capacities than onshore turbines.
Offshore wind power would add a new element to the already existing basket of renewable energy mix for the country. MNRE had notified National Offshore Wind Policy in October 2015 to realize the offshore wind power potential of the country.
Preliminary studies have indicated good wind potential for offshore wind power both in southern tip of the Indian peninsula and along the country’s western coast. Two regions where preliminary studies have been conducted are the off coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. For precise wind quality measurements, one LiDAR has been installed near Gujarat coast which is generating data about the quality of offshore wind since November 2017. Encouraged by the quality of offshore wind, a private sector player has also installed LiDAR in Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat for offshore wind resource measurements.
Plans are afoot to install more of such equipment in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Surveys to understand the oceanographic and sea bed condition within identified zones off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have also been planned. Globally, there have been installations approximating 17-18 GW of offshore wind power led by countries such as UK, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, and China. Recent years have witnessed fall in offshore wind tariff in some of these markets.
Image credit: By Ad Meskens [ CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.