Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Current Affairs

Government invites proposal for India’s first offshore wind project

The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued Expression of Interest (EoI) for first offshore wind energy project of India. The global EoI is for prospective offshore wind energy developers for developing 1000 MW (1 GW) offshore wind energy project in Gulf of Khambat, off the coast of Gujarat.

Key Facts

The proposed area first offshore wind energy project is located 23-40 km seaward side from Pipavav port in Gujarat. The EoI is expected to evince keen interest from leading players (both global and domestic) of offshore wind turbine manufacturers and developers. Domestic industry can also participate along with suitable tie up with global players.

Significance

With announcement of this first offshore wind energy project, MNRE is attempting to develop this sector in India and envisages to replicate success of on-shore wind power sector. This will help India to attain energy security and achieve National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) targets. At global level, it has been observed that, offshore wind energy is better than onshore wind in terms of efficiency. The offshore wind power is also becoming competitive and comparable in terms of tariffs

Background

MNRE is plannning to install at least 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2022. It had notified National Offshore Wind Energy Policy in October 2015 for this sector. Under it, Chennai based NIWE was designated nodal agency to carry out necessary studies and surveys before final bidding of offshore wind project sites. It also acts as single window for facilitating necessary clearances required for development of these projects.

NIWE has identified areas off coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for development of offshore wind power. It had had installed first offshore LiDAR in Gulf of Khambhat for measurement of wind resource and is collecting wind speed data from November 2017. It will install second LiDAR off Tamil Nadu coast by September, 2018.

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Development of Solar Cities scheme: 60 Solar Cities to be developed

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under its “Development of Solar Cities” scheme has sanctioned development of 60 Solar Cities including 13 Pilot and 5 Model Cities up to 12th Five-year Plan period (2012–2017). So far, master plans of 49 Solar Cities have been prepared. Moreover, Stake-holders Committees have been constituted in 21 Cities and Solar City Cells have been created in 37 Solar Cities.

Development of Solar Cities scheme

The Scheme aims at reducing minimum 10% in projected demand of conventional energy at end of five years, through combination of enhancing supply from renewable energy sources in city and energy efficiency measures. Under it, local Governments are motivated for adopting renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures.

Solar City developed under this scheme will have all types of renewable energy based projects like solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, waste to energy etc. It may be installed alongwith possible energy efficiency measures depending on the need and resource availability in the city.

Objectives of Solar City Scheme

  • Enable and empower Urban Local Governments (ULBs) to address energy challenges at City-level.
  • Provide framework and support to prepare Master Plan including assessment of current energy situation, future demand and action plans.
  • Oversee the implementation of sustainable energy options through public-private partnerships (PPPs).
  • Build capacity in ULBs and create awareness among all sections of civil society.
  • Involve various stakeholders in the planning process.

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