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National offshore wind energy authority to be formed in India under MNRE

India’s NOWA to run under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and act as nodal agency for first offshore wind projects in BRIC country

Offshore wind farm under construction
The formation of NOWA is set to see offshore wind farms constructed in Indian seas for the first time

A National offshore wind energy authority is to be formed in India which is set to make offshore wind power a reality in the BRIC country. Under the aegis of India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the National Offshore Wind Energy Authority, or NOWA, will be constituted to act as the nodal agency for offshore wind projects in the BRIC country.

The National Offshore Wind Energy Authority will carry out resource assessment and surveys in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of India and simultaneously enter into contract with project developers to build offshore wind power projects in territorial waters of 12 nautical miles.

Renewable Energy Technology first reported on progress on being made to the start of India's offshore wind sector in May 2012, with news that the BRIC country's first offshore wind farm could be approved. However, developments went gone quiet until now.

Committed to offshore wind

The Ministry said the National Offshore Wind Energy Authority will be the single window agency and will coordinate with concerned Ministries/Departments for necessary clearances. However, Shri Ratan P. Watal, MNRE secretary, said NOWA will only act as a facilitator for getting clearance for offshore wind power projects and application for clearance will be dealt in entirety by the concerned Ministry/Department.

Shri Watal added the Government of India is "committed to provide a conducive environment for harnessing offshore wind energy in the country."

A study by Scottish Development International in January 2012 indicated the potential to establish around 1GW capacity of each wind farm along the Indian coastline of Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. India is estimated to have 350GW of offshore wind energy capacity in total.

The ministries/departments which will be involved in the process of granting clearances for offshore wind farm projects in India include the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Home Affairs.