Action hots up on offshore wind blocks

Ministry unveils draft regulation for private participation in exploration

Updated - October 23, 2017 07:55 am IST

Published - October 23, 2017 07:54 am IST - Chennai

The firms seeking to carry out surveys can be denied permission on national security grounds.

The firms seeking to carry out surveys can be denied permission on national security grounds.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has unveiled draft guidelines on private participation in studies for exploring and identifying offshore wind power blocks.

In October 2015, the Centre had introduced an offshore wind power policy aimed at tapping India’s 7,500-km coastline for wind power.

As per initial estimates, Tamil Nadu has a potential to generate about 60 GW of offshore wind energy and Gujarat has potential for 106 GW.

In Tamil Nadu, Rameswaram and Kanniyakumari regions have been identified to study the potential of offshore wind energy and the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has been doing the wind resource assessment in these areas. As per the draft rules of the MNRE, private entities will not have any rights to the wind blocks identified as part of their surveys and studies.

However, it said private firms would have rights over the data collected and can sell it to any third party subject to government’s approval.

The draft rules suggest that firms carrying out surveys of wind blocks will need to seek permission from a slew of Union Ministries like Defence, Home, External Affairs, Environment and other agencies.

Firms can be denied permission on grounds of national security without stating specific details or reasons, it added.

The guidelines want agencies carrying the surveys to give an undertaking that they will not indulge in any other activity with potential to damage environment and compromise security of the country within the allocated area.

Firms will have to record wind data for a minimum period of one continuous year uninterrupted and all data collected will be treated as part of government’s data bank which can be used for development of the offshore energy block, said the rules.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will finalise the guidelines after receiving comments from stakeholders.

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