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Tamil Nadu and Gujarat have potential in offshore wind in India-study may take two years to complete

 Wind Power India 2011 claims to be charting a  roadmap for additional 50GW of wind energy in India by 2020.

According to research done by World Institute of Sustainable Energy, they forecast a  5000 MW annual market by 2015 in India where the current annual projection is about 2200MW. This is a big jump in itself from a range bound  installation capacity  between 1470-1750MW  a year over the last five years. In this back drop the projections by World Institute of Sustainable Energy seems rather ambitious and aggressive.

As Panchabuta has earlier opined  the number of easily available  Class II wind sites are rapidly reducing and there has been an instance in Kerala where the  Kerala cabinet had decided to evict Suzlon from the land that was claimed to be illegally acquired by them and restore the land to tribals at Attapady in Palakkad district. Andhra Lake Wind Power Project in Pune district has run into rough weather with the Bombay High Court restraining the promoter, Enercon (India) Pvt Ltd, of the 113.6 MW power project from cutting a single tree until further orders.

In this back drop all these aggressive plans and projections would have to have a big offshore component in their numbers. However as Panchabuta had earlier mentioned, the  initial feasibility study itself expected to take 2-3 years and has talked about the complexity involved in the  approvals for such projects  in India, given that the wind turbines would be located in the sea. 

According to reports, India may take two years to study and gather data on the potential for offshore wind energy, a minister said. Preliminary studies indicate that coastal areas off Tamil Nadu and Gujarat states may have potential, Farooq Abdullah, minister of new and renewable energy, said in a written reply to questions in parliament.

The results from the studies need to be validated by setting up offshore masts to measure one to two years of wind speed data and by analyzing the seabed to see if it can provide an adequate foundation for offshore wind projects, he said.

Given all these challenges, Panchabuta had in November wondered  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. If this can be accomplished in the next plan period it will be a big step in the right direction for the offshore turbine manufacturers and a new market with very high potential.

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