The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and partners have collaborated on a four-year project to develop a roadmap for offshore wind development in India with a special focus in the states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
The project is likely to build partnerships at all levels within India and between India and the EU to ultimately develop an offshore wind outlook and development pathway for India up to 2032.
The project partners include the World Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE), the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), DNV-GL and Gujarat Power Corporation (GPCL).
Working alongside the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, state governments and other relevant federal offices, the project will explore the challenges and opportunities prevailing in the offshore wind power market.
Backed by a €4m fund under the European Union's Indo-European Cooperation on Renewable Energy programme, the project is aimed at facilitating offshore wind through resource mapping, policy guidance and capacity building measures, and assessing the infrastructure base and identifying potential improvements.
The offshore wind market is in a relatively initial stage of development than the onshore wind market, with most of the total installed capacity of 6GW located in the North Sea, Baltic and Irish Seas, while China is the only other substantial market for offshore wind.
In addition to this, countries including Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the US are making significant development efforts on tapping offshore wind.
Like all new technologies, offshore wind is facing several challenges including high capital costs, and it requires technical and management learning to draw down costs to competitive levels.
The project will learn from the European experience that will help India tap offshore wind effectively when it forays into the sector.
Pune-based WISE will host the project management unit and focus on Gujarat, while Bangalore-based CSTEP will focus on the Tamil Nadu.
DNV-GL, through its Bangalore-based subsidiary, will provide its experience in the offshore sector, and in technology assessment, project design, due diligence and other areas, while GPCL will also support and participate in the project.
Indian Ministry of New & Renewable Energy joint secretary Alok Srivastava said the EU-backed project falls perfectly in line with the vision of the government of India for development of offshore wind power in the country.
"The project is being launched when the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy is also working towards the introduction of National Offshore Wind Energy Policy in India," said Srivastava.