India Expanding Wind Power

India Expanding Wind Power
India Expanding Wind Power

India’s federal government signed an agreement with state-run agencies to build the nation’s first offshore wind power project off the coast of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.

The 100-megawatt project will receive financial support from the government, including for studies and environmental evaluations. Power transmission will also be subsidized, the Press Information Bureau said in a statement Wednesday, Bloomberg reported.

Modi plans to increase the use of renewable sources to provide power to all households in the country by 2019, even as demand in Asia’s second-biggest energy consumer continues to grow. The nation’s 7,600 kilometers of coastline offers it the ability to develop the offshore wind industry, according to the government statement.

The government is also preparing a National Offshore Wind Energy Policy and a note has been sent to cabinet ministers for discussion. India already has more than 22,000 megawatts of wind power generation capacity on land, according to the statement.

The agreement for the offshore wind project was signed between the ministry of new and renewable energy and a consortium of NTPC Ltd., Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd., Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, Power Finance Corp., PTC India Ltd. (PTCIN) and Gujarat Power Corp.

Renewable Superpower

India will be a “renewables superpower” according to its new energy minister, but its coal-fired electricity generation will also undergo “very rapid” expansion.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, elected in May, has brought forward a flurry of energy announcements in its first 100 days, with pledges to accelerate solar power particularly prominent. Modi delivered Asia’s biggest solar park and piloted schemes that covered rooftops in cities and irrigation canals in the countryside.

“We will be a renewables superpower – you know Mr Modi’s mantra: ‘speed, skill and scale’,” said the minister of state with independent charge for power, coal and new & renewable energy Piyush Goyal, adding that he expects $100bn (£62bn) to be invested in renewable energy in India in the next five years.

Goyal has killed an earlier proposal to hit cheap Chinese solar panels with an import tariff and revived a tax break for wind power. The previous government set a solar target of 20GW by 2022, but he said this will be smashed: “It will be much, much larger. I think for India to add 10GW a year [of solar] and six, or seven or eight of wind every year is not very difficult to envisage.”

“Coal also would have to expand in a very rapid way,” he said, refusing to predict a decline in coal’s share of the growing energy supply. “I would wish [the proportion of renewable energy] was better but my fear is that, even if I would want to do more, I may not be able to fund. Coal I would be able to fund unlimited.”