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India to build 30GW offshore wind power by 2030

India to build 30GW offshore wind power by 2030

For
the production of more clean energy, the Indian government plans to build
30,000 MW (MegaWatt) offshore wind capacity by 2030, a move that might make
India one of the biggest markets in the sector.

The Ministry of New and
Renewable Energy
(MNRE) had invited an Expression of Interest (EoI) for the
first 1 GW (GigaWatt) offshore wind project in India in April 2018 and set a
deadline for the submission of EOIs to 25 May that was later extended to 8 June;
the EoI has picked up domestic and as well as international interest.

In an official
press statement released on 19 June,
the Ministry announced a short-term
offshore wind energy target of 5GW by 2022 and a medium-term target of 30W by
2030.

The
aim of the offshore wind project is to encourage investment in energy
infrastructure in the country, attain energy security, promote research and
development in the offshore wind energy sector and to reduce carbon emissions.

A
number of leading clean energy players including Sembcorp Green Infra,
ReNew Power,
Mytrah Energy
and the PNE
(Pure New Energy) Group
from Germany, among others have been
shortlisted by the Ministry for the technical stage of the tender.

Although
the targets are much lower than India’s on-shore wind target of 60 GW and its
achievement of 34 GW and solar target of 100 GW by 2022, the setting up of the offshore
wind power is likely to come with a number of challenges regarding resource
characterisation, subsea cabling, the installation of turbine foundations and
large wind turbines in open sea, turbine grid connection and operation, the development
of transmission infrastructure and the provision of adequate coastal security
during construction and operation period.

According
to the Global Wind Energy
Council
, in 2017 a record of 4,331 MW of new offshore wind power was
installed across nine markets internationally. This is an increase of 95% from
the 2016 market. Overall, there are now 18,814 MW of installed offshore wind
capacity in 17 markets around the world.

In
the global offshore rankings, the UK is the world’s largest offshore wind
market and accounts for just over 36% of installed capacity, followed by
Germany in second place with 28.5% and China in third with just under 15%.

In
October 2015, the Ministry had notified the National
Offshore Wind Policy
to realise the country’s offshore wind power
potential; the Ministry has identified the coasts of Rameshwaram and
Kanyakumari in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu as potential locations for offshore
projects based on preliminary studies conducted. The surveys indicated good wind
potential for offshore wind power in both the southern tip of the Indian
peninsula and the west coast.

The
press release mentioned that the Ministry set up a LiDAR (light detection and
ranging) in November 2017 that has been gathering offshore wind-relevant data off
the coast of Gujarat. A private organisation has also installed a LiDAR in Gulf
of Kutch in Gujarat to measure offshore wind power.

The
Ministry plans to install more equipment and conduct more surveys to understand
the oceanographic and seabed condition within identified target zones in
Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

The Indian
government will auction 20 GW of onshore wind energy capacity by March 2020
, which will give project
developers two years to commission the projects. The government will also auction 5 GW of offshore wind energy capacity before March
2019, giving developers at least three years to complete the projects.

The Ministry said that setting up these offshore
wind projects will add a new element to the already existing basket of
renewable energy for the country.

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