TN in Centre's radar for offshore wind energy

By NT Bureau Published on Jun 20, 2018 01:37 PM IST

New Delhi: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced medium- and long-term offshore wind energy target of 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030, to provide confidence to the industry.

The MNRE recently invited expressions of interest (EoI) for the first 1 GW offshore wind project in India, which has evoked keen response from the industry, both global and Indian, the Ministry said in a statement.

In order to give confidence to the wind industry, the Ministry has declared medium- and long-term targets for off-shore wind power capacity additions, which are 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030, the statement said.

While this may look moderate in comparison to India's onshore wind target of 60 GW and its achievement of 34 GW, and solar target of 100 GW by 2022, this would still be challenging considering the difficulties in installing large wind power turbines in open seas, it added.

It may be mentioned that offshore wind turbines are of much larger dimensions and capacities than onshore turbines. The offshore wind power will add a new element to the already existing basket of renewable energy for the country.

The MNRE had notified National Off-Shore Wind Policy in October 2015 to realise the offshore wind power potential in the country. Preliminary studies have indicated good wind potential for offshore wind power both in the southern tip of the Indian peninsula and west coast.

Two regions where preliminary studies have been conducted are off coast of Gujarat and that of Tamilnadu. For precise wind quality measurements one LiDAR has been installed near Gujarat coast, which is generating data about quality of off-shore 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 instal more of such equipment in Tamilnadu and Gujarat. Surveys to understand the oceanographic and sea bed condition within identified zones off the coast of Gujarat and Tamilnadu have been planned.

Globally, there has been installation of about 17 to 18 GW of offshore wind power led by countries such as the UK, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and China. Recent years have witnessed fall in offshore wind tariff in some of these markets, the statement said.

It is said after missing its targets for two consecutive years, the Centre's poor performance will also hit the job-creation potential of the scheme which was estimated to be over 3 lakh.

POWER PACKED

Wind power accounts for nearly 10 per cent of India's total installed power generation capacity and generated 52.67 TWh in the fiscal year 2017-18, which is nearly 3 per cent of total electricity generation. The capacity utilisation factor was nearly 16 per cent in the fiscal year 2017-18 (19.62 per cent in 2016-17 and 14 per cent in 2015-16). Seventy per cent of wind generation is during the five months duration from May to September coinciding with southwest monsoon duration.

AT THE BOTTOM

India stands at the bottom of the global environment performance index (EPI) rankings. In 2016, the country had ranked 141 out of 180 countries. In 2018, according to the data released by the State of India’s Environment (SoE), it has slipped to 177th position.