Cabinet approves off-shore wind power generation policy

New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) The central government on Wednesday approved a policy framework for promotion of off-shore wind power generation.

“A pioneering step has been taken today with regard to off-shore wind energy generation. The policy framework is for mapping and locating potential sites for offshore wind energy,” said union Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal after the union cabinet gave its approval in a meeting here.

“As and when the scale of operations increase, the competitiveness of offshore wind energy will also improve,” he added.

The minister told reporters that the government would attract private players by auctioning sites for erecting power generation units.

“The government will take sub-approvals from defence, space and shipping ministry before going in for auction. Thus with auction more private players will be attracted and thereby reduce the cost,” Goyal said.

The ministry of new and renewable energy will be the nodal ministry for use of offshore areas of the country. The National Institute of Wind Energy will be the nodal agency for allocation of offshore Wind Energy blocks.

“Approval paves the way for offshore wind power projects up to seaward distance of 200 nautical miles,” the government said.

Currently, a 50 megawatt (MW) power generation unit is being setup in the country on experimental basis.

Estimates with the ministry show a potential of 106,000 MW of power generation from off-shore wind installations just from the coastal regions of Gujarat.

For Tamil Nadu, the estimates for power generation potential from off-shore wind energy stands at 6,000 MW.

However, there is no estimate on the potential for off-shore wind power generation for the country with a coastline of around 7,517 km.

The off-shore wind energy farms are generally located with oil rigs or other installations. The off-shore energy farms are capable of generating 50 percent more energy per turbine than land based ones due to the consistent wind speeds.

Currently, only shallow waters in the western European area has seen any major development of such technology.

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