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India explores offshore wind energy potential

According to reports, though India is still to harness the full potential of onshore wind energy, it has begun the initiatives to explore and tap the offshore wind potential as a long coastline and prevailing wind patterns present a bright opportunity.

Scottish Development International (SDI), the international economic development agency of Scotland, under the aegis of Centre for Wind Energy Technology, India’s leading wind energy R&D institute, has just come out with a technical feasibility study on offshore wind energy potential in favourable areas in southern Peninsula and Kutch region in Gujarat.

The details about the study and offshore wind potential will be out after the meeting of the technical committee, headed by Dr S Gomathinayagam, executive director, C-WET, on March 2. “As there was no valid assessment map for offshore wind potential, SCI in collaboration with C-WET has conducted the feasibility study as a first step in exploiting the potential. Offshore wind projects require lot of data on wind conditions. There are about 50 wind-mapping stations along the coastline in the country. As the areas around Dhanushkodi and Kutch region in Gujarat have shown good potential, the technical feasibility study has been conducted based on the higher wind power density in these areas,” said Gomathinayagam, while discussing the upcoming international clean energy conference Renergy 2012, to be held here during March 12-13.

Offshore wind development is a relatively in a nascent stage in India and only Europe has sizeable offshore wind market with a total capacity of 3,000 mw, he said pointing out that cost of offshore wind could be a major hindrance as per mw of offshore wind cost will be 3-5 times of onshore wind power.
“Special construction requirements make offshore wind power 1.5-2.5 times more expensive than onshore,” according to a report on Indian Wind Energy.

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