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EU to help India venture offshore

Backing for GWEC scheme to develop roadmap for subcontinent to 2032

The European Union is backing a four-year project by the Global Wind Energy Council to draw up a roadmap for offshore wind development in India up to 2032.

The scheme, which is supported by a €4m contribution from the EU’s Indo-European Cooperation on Renewable Energy programme, will focus on the states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

The specific objectives are to create an “enabling environment for offshore wind through resource mapping, policy guidance and capacity building measures, and to assess the inrastructure base and identify improvements required”, said GWEC.

In addition, the project will aim to “build partnerships at a technical, policy and research level both within India and between India and EU companies, research groups and institutions” with a final goal of developing an outlook and development pathway.

GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer said: “We believe that with careful analysis and thorough preparation drawing on our global network, offshore wind can make a significant contribution to ensuring that clean energy plays the dominant role in supplying India’s growing energy needs.”

Most of the world’s 6GW of existing offshore wind capacity is installed in the North, Baltic and Irish Seas. The only other substantial market is currently in China, although there are developments in Japan, Korea and Taiwan as well as early stirrings in the US.

One of the goals of the project will be to ensure that India learns the lessons of the European experience on technology and management “required to bring costs down to competitive levels”.

"The project falls perfectly in line with the vision of the government of India for development of offshore wind power in the country,” said joint secretary of India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy Alok Srivastava. “The project is being launched when the ministry is also working towards the introduction of a national offshore wind energy policy in India.”

European Union ambassador to India João Cravinho added: "We in Europe are committed towards reducing emissions and moving towards sustainable forms of energy, thereby lowering the dependency on fossil fuels and working towards a cleaner climate. This project on wind energy in partnership with our Indian counterparts is driven by the same philosophy.”

Partners in the scheme include the Pune-based World Institute for Sustainable Energy, which will host the project management unit and focus on the state of Gujarat; the Bangalore-based Center for Study of Science, which will focus on Tamil Nadu; consultancy DNV-GL and the Gujarat Power Corporation.

Image: India could benefit from the lessons of the European offshore experience (reNews)

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