Kerala explores its offshore wind options

Results of study prompts Indian state to examine potential

Facilitating the development of wind farms off India's south west coast is to be considered by the Department of Port and Fisheries of the Indian state of Kerala, following presentation of data about the area's offshore wind resources.

A preliminary report outlining Kerala's offshore wind potential was presented earlier this month by Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (Kitco) Ltd at the Emerging Kerala 2012 conference.

"Scarcity of land and undulating topography are hurdles which are deterrent to major power projects in this sector...A 590-km-long coastline with 40,000 sq km of continental shelf makes the coast of the state an untapped offshore power resource," states Kitco's report.

A sizeable gap between electricity demand and supply in the region could act as a driver for offshore wind development in Kerala. "Power supply statistics with the Kerala State Electricity Board reveal that the demand-supply gap of electricity in the state is over 1 million units per day," a KITCO representative said at the Emerging Kerala event.

Another factor that may encourage Kerala's leaders to take offshore wind seriously is news that its neighbour, Tamil Nadu, is keen to encourage such projects. As recently reported by Windpower Offshore, proposals for four offshore wind farms have been submitted to Tamil Nadu state authorities. However, none of these is likely to proceed until India's central government establishes a policy and incentive programme specifically designed to support offshore wind.

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