On a wind and a prayer: India’s offshore energy plans hit a viability wall

On a wind and a prayer: India’s offshore energy plans hit a viability wall


Raghav Mahobe

3 reads

Raghav Mahobe

3 reads

India’s belated foray into offshore wind energy generation is in the doldrums as a mooted tender for sites off the coast of Tamil Nadu hasn’t materialised. Meanwhile, the souring of global sentiments around offshore wind energy highlights the feasibility issues India’s plans will face.

August 29, 2023


Key Takeaways

  • India plans to issue tenders to develop 37 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030
  • The first tender for developing 4 GW of offshore wind capacity off Tamil Nadu’s coast has seen multiple delays and is yet to take place
  • The country—already late to the offshore wind energy party—is looking to enter the space against the backdrop of offshore wind energy development falling out of favour globally
  • According to experts, the lack of domestic technology and huge investment costs mean that India is unlikely to meet its offshore energy targets for 2030

In July 2022, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) laid out plans for the country’s belated entry into the world of offshore wind energy. Its strategy paper outlined a plan to install 37 GW of offshore wind energy along India’s coastline by 2030. In November of that year, MNRE even put out a draft tender for the lease of seabed sites for surveys and the eventual development of offshore wind energy projects.

The first tender—for four sites off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu, each large enough to host 1GW of power-generating capacity—was expected to commence as early as the end of March 2023, according to Rakesh Katyal, director of the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE). NIWE is the nodal agency for developing offshore wind energy in India.

Since then, however, the process has stalled as the government and potential bidders have yet to agree on the project’s timeframes and who will be responsible for building the infrastructure necessary to transmit the power generated by these windmills to the Indian mainland. Questions sent to NIWE went unanswered.

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