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Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET) to ascertain the feasibility of setting up offshore wind farms in India

According to this article in the Indian Express, Deepak Gupta, secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy, told FE that a study is being undertaken with the help of Chennai-based Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET) to ascertain the feasibility of setting up wind farms in India’s offshore areas.

The article, further quotes Charu Datta Palekar, principal consultant, energy advisory services, PWC, as saying “Unit size is high for offshore wind projects. Offshore wind is the next big thing for India’s renewable energy. However, we need to map our wind intensity scientifically”.

The secretary MNRE, has indicated that the study might take about 2-3 years to complete.

It is interesting to note that, a few months ago, Panchabuta had pondered about this topic (Offshore wind farm in India…when?), when the US under the Obama Administration had announced the approval for the first offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts after a lot of opposition and legal challenges.

The Cape Wind energy project is to be built in federal waters near the state’s upscale peninsula of Cape Cod and the 1-billion- dollar wind farm, which could produce up to 468 megawatts of electricity, was approved after almost a decade of exhaustive study and analyses.

In  this context, one has to wonder how the approvals for such a project would be in India and given that the wind turbines would be located in the sea.

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. However, with the intial feasibility study itself expected to take 2-3 years this seems reasonably unlikely at this time.

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