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MNRE unveils draft offshore wind policy

According to reports, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has come out with draft policy for offshore wind energy sector in the country. There is potential to develop 1,000 mw of offshore wind capacity along Tamil Nadu’s south coast, while other states such as Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa also have prospects for offshore projects. But significant challenges lie ahead in making offshore wind possible.

The government will establish a nodal agency called National Offshore Wind Energy Authority (Nowa), under the ageis of MNRE for offshore wind projects, for carrying out resource assessment and surveys as well as entering into contract with the developers for establishment of offshore wind projects in the territorial water (12 nautical miles). Ministry of shipping, state maritime boards and state electricity boards will also be involved to facilitate project works.

The objective is to enable optimum exploitation of offshore wind energy in the best interest of the nation, the document said adding “to promote deployment offshore wind farms in the first instance up to 12 nautical miles from coast, to achieve energy security and to reduce carbon emissions, among others.”

There are two main maritime areas where offshore wind farms can be built. One, Indian territorial waters, which generally extend up to 12 nautical miles (nm) from the coast and second, beyond the 12 nm limit and up to 200 nm, where, under international law, India has right construct structures such as wind farm installations.

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