See it offshore, reap it rich and green. In an effort to find a practical solution to the shortage of power faced by the state, the Department of Port and Fisheries is looking into the possibilities of tapping tidal and wind energy offshore.
The proposal will be presented at the ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet. Public sector consultancy firm KITCO has conducted a primary study in this regard.
European countries are already making use of offshore wind energy.
“It is a renewable energy source which the state can also utilise. But we have to develop the technology, and the government should encourage those who evince interest in such ventures. Power supply statistics with the KSEB reveal that the demand-supply gap of electricity in the state is over 1 million units per day,” said a senior official of KITCO.
Over half of the power distributed in the state is taken from the central grid. Around 70 per cent of the power generated in the state is from hydro-electric power plants which are subject to the vagaries of monsoon. “Kerala is blessed with a global solar irradiation of 4.9kWh/m2/day, which is a commendable intensity for the installation of solar power plants.
“Furthermore, a wind density of 200-250 Watts/m2 is available in certain pockets along the eastern border of the state, making it a hotbed for the installation of wind turbine generators,” it is stated in the project report.
“Scarcity of land and undulating topography are hurdles which are deterrent to major power projects in this sector. This drives the state to look forward to offshore power generation. A 590-km-long coastline with 40,000 sq km of continental shelf makes the coast of the state an untapped offshore power resource,” it is stated. As per the information available, as of February, 2012, Walney Wind Farm, United Kingdom, is the largest offshore wind farm in the world at 367 MW, followed by Thanet Offshore Wind Project (300 MW), which is also in the UK.
The London Array (630 MW) is the largest project under construction.