India Initiates Auctions for 4 GW Offshore Wind Power

Government Announces Bidding Process, Paving the Way for Substantial Renewable Energy Growth

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India has commenced the inaugural phase of auctions for the ambitious development of four gigawatts of offshore wind capacity. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) officially announced the invitation for bids on Friday, delineating the allocation of four one-gigawatt blocks on an open-access basis. Positioned along the coast of Tamil Nadu, these designated sites are strategically chosen for their wind energy potential.

The bidding process, orchestrated through the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a government-controlled energy entity under the MNRE, is scheduled to conclude on May 2. Successful bidders for each block will be entrusted with the direct sale of electricity to both consumers and industrial clientele.

This recent bid announcement builds upon a prior public notice issued by the MNRE in September, outlining the government’s intention to earmark seven distinct areas off the Tamil Nadu coastline. Spanning an expansive area of 550 square miles, these proposed zones collectively have the capacity to generate seven gigawatts of wind power. With four blocks currently in the spotlight, the remaining three are slated for auction in 2025.

India, buoyed by significant offshore wind potential, is estimated by the World Bank to possess 112 gigawatts of bottom-fixed and 83 gigawatts of floating offshore wind capacity. Particularly, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat emerge as the most suitable locations for harnessing this renewable energy source. In alignment with these aspirations, the Indian government has outlined plans to auction an impressive 37 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030. This strategic move comes as India, historically reliant on coal for power generation, has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by the year 2070.

Simultaneously, in her budget speech on Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman disclosed a crucial development – the government’s commitment to provide Viability Gap Funding (subsidization) for the initial phase of one gigawatt in offshore wind energy development. While specific details on the funding mechanism were not disclosed, industry analysts perceive this announcement as a pivotal assurance to stimulate the burgeoning offshore wind market in India.

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