CHENNAI: The coastline between Rameswaram and Kanyakumari has higher potential for offshore wind energy when compared to other areas of Tamil Nadu coast, according to a report.
The report, ‘Baseline Assessment of Conditions for Offshore Wind in India’, which is supported by the European Union Delegation to India under the Indo-European Cooperation on Renewable Energy Programme, stated that offshore wind, in comparison to all other sources, holds the potential for alleviating the land acquisition challenge and has the potential to be another option in India’s portfolio of clean, low carbon power generation.
It can also play a role in meeting the demand from load centres closer to the coastline. Coastal Indian cities like Chennai, Greater Mumbai, and Surat as well as other big cities like Vishakhapatnam and Vadodara might hold potential to be served through offshore wind power subject to technical and economic feasibility, the study added.
However, the report added that port infrastructure in TN was not adequate for facilitating offshore wind energy project development activities. Offshore projects require access to well-developed ports. The decision on port infrastructure requirements depends on whether a port is to be used as a manufacturing port or a mobilisation port.
Manufacturing ports will have more requirements, as they involve manufacturing or assembly of wind turbines and foundation components. Assembly is usually more expensive onsite, so most of the parts are pre-assembled on ports and shipped to the site.
The report urged the State to take efforts in cooperation with the Central agencies to provide comprehensive incentive schemes for developing a national manufacturing facility at a suitable location alongside the proposed ports in the State. This could be done in collaboration with private sector or as part of TN’s industrial development plans for the future, it said.
However, even as the report highlighted the potential of south TN coasts, it noted that though most of the studies by various agencies highlight the great potential of offshore wind energy between Rameswaram and Kanyakumari, there is uncertainty over the nature of the data.
The studies are based on satellite data which are available for 10m or 50m above sea level and are then extrapolated to 80m or above heights.