The Global Wind Energy Council wants to partner with India for offshore wind development and has identified two states —Gujarat and Tamil Nadu — for special focus.

The Council, a global trade body comprising over 1,500 members from 70 countries, is providing a grant of Euro 4 million from European Union’s Indo-European Cooperation on Renewable Energy Programme.

The Council today announced a 4-year project supported by the grant to “look at the challenges and opportunities presented by offshore wind'', says a press release from the Council.

Globally, although onshore wind is now a mature, competitive and mainstream energy generation source, offshore wind is still in a relatively early stage of development. Most of the 6GW of capacity installed is in the North Sea, Baltic and Irish Seas. The only other substantial market is in China, although there is some movement in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

“The project is being launched when the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy is also working towards the introduction of National Offshore Wind Energy Policy in India," Alok Srivastava, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, has said in the release.

As with all new technologies, the capital costs are high, and there is still a great deal of technical and management learning required to bring the costs down to competitive levels. One of the goals of the project will be to learn as much as possible from the European experience to ensure that when India ventures offshore, it does so in the most effective way possible.

The partners bring a wealth of experience to the project: The World Institute for Sustainable Energy, based in Pune, will host the project management unit, and focus on Gujarat; The Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, based in Bangalore will focus on the State of Tamil Nadu; DNV-GL, the world’s largest renewable energy consultancy, will, through its Bangalore-based subsidiary, provide its long expertise in the offshore industry, the release says.

ramesh.m@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 27, 2014)
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