‘Coastal States must look at offshore wind farms for energy’
India’s coastal States should look at offshore wind farms to generate energy. With a coastline of over 7,500 km, India has a natural advantage to go for offshore wind energy, said Mr Swaminathan Krishnamurthy, Associate Director, Climate Change and Sustainable Services, Ernst & Young India.
In Europe, nearly 3 gigawatt (GW) of power is generated from offshore. Why not in India? In fact, a few months ago one company was willing to put up offshore wind farms in Tamil Nadu to generate nearly 500 MW. However, this did not happen, he said at the India Wind Energy Summit organised by Lnoppen India.
Mr Krishnamuthy said that as on March 31, 2012, the total installed power capacity was 199.63 GW. Of this, the renewable energy’s contribution was only 23 GW or 12.5 per cent of the total power generation, which is very low looking at natural resources available in the country.
Even within the renewable energy, nearly 70 per cent of it is comes from wind energy. “How are we going to meet international requirements that require use more of renewable energy,” he said.
In the wind energy sector, there is a major chunk of old machines, which are of around 250 kW capacity. There is a huge scope to refurbish this to generate more energy. However, this is a major challenge to overcome, he said.
India has the fifth largest installed wind power capacity in the world. It is estimated that 6 GW of additional wind power capacity will be installed in India by this year, taking the total installed capacity beyond 15GW.
The total potential for wind power in India was first estimated by the Centre for Wind Energy Technology at 45 GW, and recently increased to 48.5 GW. With larger turbines, greater land availability and expanded resource exploration, the potential could be as high as 100 GW. This potential for wind energy significantly widens the attractiveness of the Indian wind energy segment.
The growth in wind energy sector is expected to bring forth a whole range of opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs and businesses, and these opportunities are present along the entire wind energy business value chain, said Lnoppen India.