New Delhi: India’s G20 Presidency is an opportunity for offshore wind countries, businesses, and financial institutions to work together and build on mutual strengths to support national, regional, and global offshore wind and clean energy transition ambitions, said Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, Secretary for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Attributing offshore wind as a solution to air pollution and climate change mitigation, Bhalla emphasised on how the flourishment of the offshore wind value chain will create jobs. He outlined India’s strides in harnessing offshore wind given its role in balancing the grid.
As part of the third Energy Transition Working Group (ETWG) meeting under India’s G20 Presidency, the MNRE, in collaboration with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), convened a high-level event “Harnessing Offshore Wind for Accelerating Energy Transition: The Way Forward” on May 16 in Mumbai. The event saw a gathering of government representatives, financial institutions and senior domestic and international industry representatives. The event emerged as a platform for the exchange of urgent priorities for bolstering offshore wind deployment in India and globally and saw experts discussing permits and clearances, supply chain resilience, low-cost financing, capacity building and business volumes to boost market attractiveness.
Power Secretary and ETWG Chair Alok Kumar emphasized the ever-growing role of offshore wind in India’s power mix. He said that India’s offshore potential is almost comparable to hydro and nuclear capacities that India may add in the future. In addition, he suggested how having an offshore wind horizon, beyond 2030, emerges as an opportunity for the country and a mission mode approach may give even further force to the country’s aspirations that may lead to the development of a robust value chain and attract more enthusiastic participation of the industry.
Dinesh Dayanand Jagdale, Joint Secretary, MNRE, outlined the country’s progress on various facets of offshore wind, including proposed business models, upcoming plans of rolling out tender, international collaborations, and extensive engagements between the government and the industry to facilitate a robust enabling environment.
Sumant Sinha, Chairperson of GWEC India, stressed on the need for collaboration between government and industry and partnership between Indian and international offshore wind companies, as well as power generators and original equipment manufacturers, and the role of multilateral development banks. He also pressed for long-term PPAs and necessary infrastructure. He also stressed on supply chain resilience, availability of customised equipment, ships, cables, and trained people, among others.
There were two high-level panel discussions moderated by Rebecca Williams, Global Head of Offshore Wind, GWEC and Chintan Shah, former Director (Technical) of IREDA, respectively. The session titled “Role of Global Offshore Wind Sector in Reaching Net Zero Targets” focussed on deliberations around global offshore wind experience, international best practices, supply chain priorities, and expectations of the industry from the emerging Indian offshore wind market.
The panel discussion on “Financing and Capacity Building for Offshore” presented a comprehensive view of available instruments to feed the need for the development of an offshore wind ecosystem. Senior representatives of ADB, World Bank, Corio Generation, Aon, NTPC REL Limited, NIWE, ReNew, IREDA, Center of Excellence on Offshore Wind and Renewable Energy, IEA, O2 Power and SGRE among others spoke in these panels.