Offshore Wind Farms in Tamil Nadu

The Video was as part of an in-house package making exercise for the TV course at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. Below is the script of the voice-over provided in the video:

Tamil Nadu grabbed the chance to set up India’s first offshore wind farm. It is to come up in the sea near Rameswaram and Kanyakumari. It can supply about one thirds of Chennai’s power needs. 

Minister for New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said that offshore wind farms along the Tamil Nadu coastline could generate upto 60,000MW. That is nearly three times the total of India’s current wind capacity.

Goyal said the move would help India attain energy security. India currently stands fifth in global power generation.

The Offshore Wind Policy was approved by the Union Cabinet last month. It came as a huge relief to private energy companies.There is now a single agency which will coordinate with the defence and shipping department for clearances.

Offshore wind farms generate nearly double the energy that onshore wind farms do. This is because sea winds are more powerful and consistent. However, construction costs are much higher. Each turbine costs 25 crore – at least four times the cost of a land windmill. Costs are expected to go up as their location makes them much harder to maintain and repair.

However, offshore wind farms can be built over vast areas and generate more energy, making it more cost effective and efficient. Returns as high as 18 per cent have attracted many global players.

Officials say that the European Union has promised to provide four million dollars. The EU will also train Indian companies to set up and maintain these farms.

While the mood is largely optimistic, some fear that this project could fizzle out. Experts panned this move saying India should first achieve the full potential of onshore wind power and that the biggest challenge is financing.

This hasn’t seemed to dampen the eagerness of energy giants like Suzlon. Suzlon is said to be investing 6000 crore in offshore wind farms in Gujarat. Feasibility studies have begun and it will be fully functional in 3-5 years.

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