Oceans cover two-thirds of the Earth. Hence it is of no surprise that mankind looks to utilise this vast area to harness renewable energy. DNV GL has determined that offshore wind integrated into smart grids have a critical role to play in accelerating a cost-effective transition to low-carbon power systems, that the world needs to avoid the huge costs and risks of climate change.

Countries with long coastlines have access to a resource with considerable potential to support decarbonisation and sustainable development. India, for example, has a coastline of over 7200 km. The challenge for India is not so much the engineering required to tap offshore wind, but establishing stable policy to reassure investors and developers. Encouragingly, over the last few years renewable energy has drawn increasing attention from the Government of India. By 2022, the government targets 175 GW of renewable energy, compared to 35.7 GW in March 2015.

Prospects for offshore wind are also picking up with the pathfinding FOWIND project which kicked off in late 2013.

Four major reports have been completed so far; the FOWIND Inception report, the Offshore Wind Policy Review and Market Assessment report and the pre-feasibility reports for the states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The reports are establishing a foundation for future projects by identifying options for enhancing commercial, regulatory, market and resource conditions for project development. Besides zone selection, technical, financial and socio-environmental studies were conducted focusing on the key components that make up an offshore wind project. FOWIND is also drawing on experience from other global markets, and in 2014, the project team and Indian stakeholders met with stakeholders from across the wind-energy sector in Germany.

The project is now entering an intense phase. This year the project is analysing grid integration, port infrastructure and supply chains. The grid study aims to uncover the challenges and options for integration of large-scale offshore wind. Logistics are drawing considerable attention with the goal of avoiding bottlenecks that affect much of the rapidly developing economy.

This year will also see the procurement and installation of LiDAR systems for on-site wind measurement. LiDAR deployment and data acquisition over a minimum of at least one year will provide a starting basis for assessment of wind resource, which will drive to reduce the current high level of uncertainty identified in previous studies. Meanwhile, the Indo-European R&D platform, sponsored by INDIAN AGENCY and the EU AGENCY, will also be initiated to develop long term collaboration between Indian and European institutes.

The FOWIND project is entering a decisive stage preparing the ground for full-scale development. We all look forward to your continued support and advice. We invite you to regularly visit the FOWIND website, www.fowind.in here you can view our latest reports, activity updates, and provide us with your valuable and much appreciated feedback.

Mathias Steck

Regional Manager Asia Pacific,
Energy & Renewables Advisory, at DNV GL

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