Wind Energy Current Affairs
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.
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.
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
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.
The Union Power Ministry has extended waiver of inter-state power transmission charges and losses for solar and wind power projects commissioned till 31 March 2022 in order to give boost to clean energy sources.
The waiver will be available to solar and wind projects for 25 years from date of commissioning provided developers sign power purchase agreements with entities, including power distribution companies (discoms), for sale of power for compliance of their renewable purchase obligation. Moreover, the waiver will be available to only those projects which are awarded through competitive bidding process as per guidelines issued by central government. These new conditions for wavier of transmission charges and losses irrespective of purchasing entity will be applicable prospectively.
The order assumes significance in view of India’s ambitious target of having 175GW of renewable energy capacities (100GW of solar, 60GW of wind energy, 10GW energy from Biomass and 5 GW from Hydel). At present, India’s installed renewable generation capacity is 62.84 GW excluding large hydro projects above 25 MW. The Union Government also has planned to auction 40GW of solar energy capacities and 20GW of wind projects in 2018-19 and 2019-20 to meet the tall order.
Earlier, the waiver was available to solar and wind power projects commissioned till 31 December 2019, and 31 March 2019, respectively. It was available for a period of 25 years from date commissioning of the project. Moreover, under it incentive was not available to firms other than discom. Thus, other entities procuring clean energy from these projects were at disadvantageous position.