Cabinet approves national offshore wind energy policy

The union cabinet has given its approval to the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy, which would pave way for offshore wind energy development, including setting up of offshore wind power projects and research and development activities, in waters, in or adjacent to the country, up to the seaward distance of 200 nautical miles (EEZ of the country) from the base line.

The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) will be the nodal ministry for use of offshore areas within the EEZ of the country and the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has been authorised as the nodal agency for development of offshore wind energy in the country. The agency will carry out allocation of offshore wind energy blocks, besides coordinating with related ministries and agencies.

Preliminary assessments along the 7,600 km long Indian coastline have indicated prospects of development of offshore wind power. With the introduction of the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy, the government is attempting to replicate the success of the onshore wind power development in the offshore wind power development.

The policy will provide a level playing field to all investors/beneficiaries, domestic and international. All the processes would be carried out in a transparent manner by NIWE.

The development would help the country move forward towards attaining energy security and achievement of the NAPCC targets.

The scheme would be applicable throughout the country depending upon offshore wind potential availability.

India has achieved significant success in the onshore wind power development, with over 23 GW of wind energy capacity already installed and generating power.

Worldwide, wind energy is accepted as one of the most developed, cost-effective and proven renewable energy technologies to meet increasing electricity demands in a sustainable manner. While onshore wind energy technologies have reached a stage of large scale deployment and have become competitive with fossil fuel based electricity generation, with supportive policy regimes across the world, exploitation of offshore wind energy is yet to reach a comparable scale.