RWE and Tata Power to take on offshore wind projects in India

This image shows onshore wind turbines in Gujarat, India.

Shiv Mer | source | Getty Images

German energy giant RWE and India’s Tata Power on Monday announced a collaboration that will focus on developing offshore wind projects in India.

The firms said a memorandum of understanding regarding the plans was signed by RWE Renewables GmbH and Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited.

“India has excellent wind resources that can help meet the country’s growing energy needs,” said Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Renewables, offshore wind power.

“If clear rules and an efficient tender scheme are in place, we expect India’s offshore wind power to get a real boost,” he said.

According to India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sources, the country is home to approximately 7,600 kilometers of coastline. While India has a well-developed onshore wind power sector, there are no operational offshore wind farms in its waters. The authorities have said they need 30 gigawatt offshore wind turbines by 2030.

“The Government of India is in the process of conducting detailed technical studies and developing a regulatory framework to organize the first offshore wind auctions on the coast of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat,” said RWE and Tata Power.

The firms added that they will conduct a technical and commercial evaluation of the site to “help create a market for offshore wind power.”

They will also review India’s supply chain for offshore wind power and critical infrastructure, including ports and grid connections.

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India’s MNRE says it wants to reach 500 GW of “non-fossil fuel” installed capacity by 2030. Despite this lofty goal, the country is still dependent on fossil fuels. As of December 31, fossil fuels accounted for 59.8% of India’s total installed generating capacity, according to the Department of Energy.

At last year’s COP26 climate change summit, India and China, some of the world’s largest coal producers, pushed for a last-minute change in the wording of fossil fuels in the Glasgow Climate Pact from “phasing out” coal to “phase down.” After initial objections the opposing countries eventually conceded.

In his speech at the World Summit on Sustainable Development hosted by the Energy and Resources Institute last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he strongly believes that “environmental sustainability can only be achieved through climate justice.”

“The energy needs of the Indian population are expected to nearly double in the next twenty years,” Modi said. “Rejection of this energy would mean a denial of life itself for millions of people. Successful action to combat climate change also needs adequate funding.”

He added: “For this, developed countries must meet their commitments to finance and technology transfer.”

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