By Damandeep Singh Ahluwalia, Climate Change and Sustainability Services Associate Partner, EY India
In India’s big renewables and non-fossil energy thrust, offshore wind farms may play an integral role in achieving the country’s climate commitment and energy security goals. However, the existing infrastructure, cost and policy challenges must be resolved first.
War and attendant shortages have a way of galvanising ideas and resources. With the Russian gas and oil pipelines being turned off, several European countries are seriously considering alternatives including offshore wind to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels after the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Nearer home, should India do the same given its big shoreline of around 7,600 km that has been estimated to have the potential to generate 127GW of offshore wind energy?
The Indian government has committed to combat climate change and global warming by setting a target of 500GW of renewable energy by 2030 at COP26. Of this 500GW, wind power comprises 140GW. However, despite an impressive coastline, India has not made much progress on this front. A Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) assessment shows that offshore wind farms built on India’s coastline could generate a third of its 2021 electricity capacity by 2050. Unfortunately, there are no operational offshore wind farms in the Indian waters yet!