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Synopsis: To harness the capacity of India’s offshore wind potential, we need to identify the areas where we can develop offshore wind project and accelerate the project.
India has planned to provide 24×7 electricity to every home. As per the forecast of International Energy Agency, the country’s energy demand will increase by 6-7% annually over the next decade. Hence, it is imperative to decarbonise the energy sector.
This transition to clean energy can be facilitated by offshore wind energy.
As per India’s nationally determined contributions, India plans to generate 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 — including five GW of offshore wind energy by 2022 and plans to scale it further to 30 GW by 2030.
What is India’s offshore wind energy potential?
As per World Bank report, India’s Exclusive Economic Zone has 195 gigawatt (GW) of technological offshore wind potential (112 GW fixed and 83 GW floating).
There is 36 GW and 35 GW offshore wind potential off the Gujrat and Tamil Nadu coast, respectively.
What is the status of offshore wind projects in India?
Gujarat invited an expression of interest (EOI) for India’s first offshore wind project of 1 GW in 2018, which attracted nearly 35 major companies. It did not move forward.
In 2019, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) applied for €800 million in viability gap funding to help support the construction of India’s first 1 GW offshore wind project in Gujarat. To date, India has not begun any offshore wind projects.
|Must Read: Offshore wind energy in India – Explained|
How to accelerate offshore wind project development?
Pass the final tender for the one GW project at Pipavav in the Gulf of Khambhat, Gujarat, which is in the pipeline.
Conduct an offshore wind measurement campaign for a minimum of 10 GW of accurate on-site measurements.
Install five LiDARs (Light Detection and Ranging) by 2021 to gather precise bankable data that will be critical to developing offshore wind projects of up to 7.4 GW indicative installable capacity.
As India already has cheaper onshore wind and solar power, the MNRE is seeking feasible cost interventions from stakeholders for offshore wind.
What are the key steps/measures to enhance offshore wind capacity?
Offshore wind market potential in India is enormous, but it requires an increased government-industry coordination and techno-economic studies to be realized in this decade. Some key steps that can be taken are:
i). Customize the technology and business models for the offshore wind sites off Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
ii). Frame a visionary policy towards long term cost reduction and energy.
iii). Use LiDAR data to identify bankable offshore wind zones collected through offshore wind measurement campaign.
iv). Demonstrate offshore wind capacity factors, technology optimization and initial costs.
v). Promote engagement among decision makers at the federal, state and local levels.
vi). Promote collective understanding of offshore wind’s socioeconomic benefit.
Source: This post is based on the article “No offshore wind project has commenced in India: Are we on track for 30 GW by 2030?” published in Down to Earth on 11th September 2021.