Renewable Energy Current Affairs - 2019

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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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Cabinet approves Host country Agreement between India and ISA

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of Host country (Headquarters) Agreement between India and International Solar Alliance (ISA). The agreement was signed between Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and ISA in March, 2018.

Key Facts

The agreement gives ISA juridical personality power to contract, acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties and also to institute and defend legal proceedings. Under it, ISA will enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities that are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes. It will derive its status, privileges and immunities as per Article 10 of Framework Agreement.

Significance

The agreement will institutionalize functional arrangements between India and ISA. It will help in smooth transition of ISA as international inter-governmental organization. It will lead to accelerated solar technology development and deployment in ISA member countries including India.

International Solar Alliance (ISA)

ISA was jointly launched by India and France in November 2015 at Paris on side lines of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference. Its Framework Agreement came into force in December 2017. It celebrated its founding day on 11th March, 2018. It is headquartered at campus of Natioanl Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram, Harayana, making it first international intergovernmental treaty based organization to be headquartered in India.

Objectives of ISA: Undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology; Mobilize more than US $1000 billion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy; Pave way for future technologies adapted to needs of solar rich 121 countries lying fully or partially between Tropic of Cancer and Capricon.

ISA’s 4 ongoing programmes: Scaling Solar Mini Grids; Affordable Finance at Scale; Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use; Scaling Solar Rooftop catering to the needs of solar energy in specific areas.

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