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India’s Renewable Energy ministry forms Offshore wind energy panel

According to reports, in a bid to give a big thrust to wind power, the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has constituted an Offshore Wing Energy Steering Committee (OWESC) under the chairmanship of Secretary, MNRE to steer the offshore wind power development in India in a directed and focused manner especially in Tamil Nadu, Maharahstra and Gujarat.

This committee will work out a roadmap for offshore wind power development in the country. It has been pointed out in various studies carried out by C-WET and others which suggested offshore wind power potential in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

A Technical Committee has already been constituted to analyse the available data with various agencies for preliminary assessment of potential including identification of pockets for offshore wind power development.

The Offshore Wing Energy Steering Committee will focus on issues like allotment of offshore wind sites which requires multilayer clearances, coordination with various government departments/agencies such as Environment, Shipping, Defence, Maritime and Civil Aviation. The Committee will include various stakeholders including government department/agencies.

According to the terms and reference of OWESC, it will provide policy guidance for tapping offshore wind energy potential on sustained basis; approve plans and proposals relating to offshore wind energy development in the country; develop policy framework/guidelines for offshore wind resource assessment through public/private entities and guidelines for awarding the sites to private sector for establishing offshore wind power projects.

It would also work to create an institutional mechanism for inter-agency coordination for integration of offshore wind power with established uses of the sea; evaluation of the potential partners (private/public sector) for setting up of pilot offshore wind power projects of 100 m size in a period of 2-3 years and evaluation of PPP mode for offshore wind energy development.

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