India may join offshore wind alliance

Context: India is “very actively” considering joining the Global Offshore Wind Alliance in an attempt to improve its energy transition standing, said Gauri Singh, deputy director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which played a key role in forming the alliance.

What is global offshore wind alliance (GOWA)?

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  • The alliance was initiated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Denmark and the Global Wind Energy Council.
  • It will bring together governments, the private sector, international organisations and other stakeholders to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind power.
  • It has the aim of reaching global offshore wind capacity of at least 380 GW by 2030.
  • Countries joining GOWA have agreed to work together to drive national, regional, and global ambitions and remove barriers to the deployment of offshore wind in new and existing markets. 
  • Offshore wind can be deployed at large scale, in short timeframes and at competitive cost.

What is Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)?

  • The Global Wind Energy Council is the international trade association for the wind power industry.
  • GWEC is a member-based organisation that represents the entire wind energy sector. 
  • The members of GWEC represent over 1,500 companies, organisations and institutions in more than 80 countries, including manufacturers, developers, component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies.

GWEC India – a single advocacy and research body representing the entire value chain of India’s wind industry, from IPPs to OEMs to end-users to service-providers – will work closely with central and state governments to improve the enabling environment for sector growth, creating the conditions for inward investment in the tens of billions of dollars.

What is offshore wind energy?

Offshore wind power or offshore wind energy is the energy taken from the force of the winds out at sea, transformed into electricity and supplied into the electricity network onshore.
It is the clean and renewable energy that is produced on the high seas, where it reaches a higher and more constant speed than on land due to the absence of barriers. In order to make the most of this resource, mega-structures are installed that are seated on the seabed and equipped with the latest technical innovations.

1. Renewable, unlimited and non-polluting.

2. Reduces pressure on land resource.

3. Barrier free regions thus higher wind speed and efficiency

4. Visual and acoustic impact is small5. No issues of land acquisition.
6. The ease of maritime transport, which has few limitations with regard to cargo and dimensions in comparison with land transportation, has made it possible for offshore wind turbines to reach much larger unit capacities and sizes than onshore wind turbines.

India and offshore wind energy:

India is blessed with a coastline of about 7600 km surrounded by water on three sides and has good prospects of harnessing offshore wind energy. Considering this, the Government had notified the “National offshore wind energy policy” as per the Gazette Notification dated 6th October 2015. As per the policy, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will act as the nodal Ministry for development of Offshore Wind Energy in India and work in close coordination with other government entities for Development and Use of Maritime Space within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the country and shall be responsible for overall monitoring of offshore wind energy development in the country. National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), Chennai will be the nodal agency to carryout resource assessment; surveys and studies in EEZ demarcate blocks and facilitate developers for setting up offshore wind energy farms.

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