India drafts Offshore wind energy policy

India recently unveiled a draft policy, for offshore wind energy development in the nation.

Offshore wind farms are preferred because of the non-availability of land in densely populated coastal areas with high wind potential. The added efficiency of offshore wind power is another advantage over onshore wind turbines. Govt. of India on the basis of preliminary assessments has identified deployment along the coastal belt of Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Gujarat as feasible, with a potential of 1 GW offshore wind capacity installation along the coastline of Rameshwaram and Kanayakumari in TN.  According to an article published  in Hindu, ANERT is preparing to initiate a wind monitoring study to identify potential offshore sites with the assistance of dutch government (a pioneer nation in harnessing wind energy as renewable resource).

Govt. of India in its draft recognizes the growth of offshore wind energy in EU zone and in highlighting the global status of this particular technology, quoted that European Union has an aggressive target to avail 40 GW of offshore wind power by 2020 and 150 GW by 2030.

Maritime zones spotted by the Govt. in which offshore wind farms can be built are Indian territorial waters (within 12nm from coastline) and between 12 nm to 200 nm where India has right to construct structures such as wind farm installations as per international laws.

Govt. of India proposed to establish a designated agency named – National Offshore Wind Energy Authority (NOWA) which will be a single window agency and will co-ordinate with concerned ministries for necessary clearances. Offer of blocks will be made through an open international competition process. For power evacuation, state electricity boards (SEBs) are entrusted to provide necessary onshore infrastructure where as offshore power evacuation upto first onshore substation shall be developed by wind farm developer.

Incentives such as tax holiday for ten years and concession in customs and excise duties for procurement of technology and equipment shall be made available to the manufacturers of offshore wind turbine. Besides this service tax on services conducted by indulging third party shall be exempted.

The draft policy can be accessed here.

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