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Offshore wind farm in India…when?

With the first offshore wind farm in the US getting approved off the coast of Massachusetts after a lot of opposition and legal challenges wonder if offshore wind farms will become a reality in India and if a policy for the same has been devised.

First offshore US wind farm in Massachusetts

01 de mayo de 2010

AWEA applauds Secretary Salazar for approving the Cape Wind project. Such forward-thinking decisions are necessary for the U.S. to realize the many environmental and economic benefits of offshore wind power.

The approval by the Obama administration of the US’s first offshore wind farm “marks the birth of a new phase in offshore wind power. The decision is the first step in the transformation from a European market into a new global market led by European companies,” said Christian Kjaer, chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

…The Cape Wind energy project is to be built in federal waters near the state’s upscale peninsula of Cape Cod. The Siemens wind turbines would be visible from many of the exclusive villas on the popular vacation spot, including the Kennedy family compound.

Some locals have spent nearly 10 years trying to thwart the 1-billion- dollar wind farm, which could produce up to 468 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 200,000 homes in the state, according to the US Interior Department, which approved the project.

“After almost a decade of exhaustive study and analyses, I believe that this undertaking can be developed responsibly and with consideration to the historic and cultural resources in the project area,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

…The project by Cape Wind Associates LLC was scaled back slightly to accommodate local misgivings – the number of wind turbines allowed was reduced from 170 to 130. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in a statement said he could “accept and support” Salazar’s decision, which would bring much-needed jobs to his state.

But the project still faces several legal challenges from local groups. The Federal Aviation Administration also must approve the wind farms to ensure they won’t interfere with commercial airliners.

The administration’s decision marked a rare source of agreement between environmentalists and the business community, who have been tangling for months over broader clean energy reforms that have stalled in the US Congress.

…….In India, offshore wind is also front and centre in the Economic Times, with a report that the nation’s long coastline, low installation costs and readily available raw materials are attracting the interest of major international energy companies looking for expansion opportunities.

The cost of offshore wind farms are typically 2-2.5 times the traditional wind farms and face challenges in terms of technology, implementation as well as environment.

Given all these challenges, it would be interesting to see if MNRE in India has plans to set up at least a few demonstration project and a small target  for offshore wind in the twelfth plan period like that planned for solar in the JNNSM in this plan period given the immense potential that India has given the long coastal line.

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