European Union Fanning Offshore Wind Energy in India

Europe planning to help India boost its offshore wind capacity in €4 million project

2 min read
European Union Fanning Offshore Wind Energy in India
Images: iStockphoto

As India tries to power its emerging economy, it will look beyond coal  to offshore wind energy. And, it will be getting some help from the European Union, which will be coming up with a roadmap and help with financing.

The plan, which falls under the umbrella of the Global Wind Energy Council, focuses on the states of Gujarat in the northwest and Tamil Nadu in the southeast. It will be a four-year process, although the results will include projections up to 2032. The wind council says that the specific objectives are to lay the groundwork for offshore development through resource mapping, policy guidance, and capacity building measures. The stakeholders will also evaluate the infrastructure needs and make suggestions as to how to move the energy from offshore to the urban areas where it's needed.


The India-EU effort is called the Offshore Wind Power Development project, which is supported by a € 4 million contribution from the European Union’s Indo-European Cooperation on Renewable Energy program. India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will be overseeing the work. Like Europe, India, would like to become less dependent of fossil fuels and to use more renewable energy, says the European Union’s Ambassador Joao Cravinho.  

Onshore wind energy is firmly planted in global markets. But offshore wind projects are mainly the domain of Europe, which is the host of roughly 6000 megawatts of capacity that have been installed in the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Irish Sea. China, though, has made inroads in the offshore wind area, with Japan, Korea and Taiwan in the early stages of development. India has become the latest such nation to make forays.

The main obstacle is the high associated costs. In some cases, the price of offshore wind power is two-three times as high as onshore wind power, says Navigant Consulting. Industry, though, is working on deploying larger wind turbines to achieve better value.

The European Union has been a role model: Its offshore wind deals account for 10 percent of its annual wind energy installations, says the European Wind Energy Association. The goal, it adds, is to increase those levels from 6000 megawatts today to 40 000 by 2020 and 150 000 megawatts by 2030, or 14 percent of the EU’s electricity demand — considered by some experts to be impractical given the today’s cost.

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Smokey the AI

Smart image analysis algorithms, fed by cameras carried by drones and ground vehicles, can help power companies prevent forest fires

7 min read
Smokey the AI

The 2021 Dixie Fire in northern California is suspected of being caused by Pacific Gas & Electric's equipment. The fire is the second-largest in California history.

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The 2020 fire season in the United States was the worst in at least 70 years, with some 4 million hectares burned on the west coast alone. These West Coast fires killed at least 37 people, destroyed hundreds of structures, caused nearly US $20 billion in damage, and filled the air with smoke that threatened the health of millions of people. And this was on top of a 2018 fire season that burned more than 700,000 hectares of land in California, and a 2019-to-2020 wildfire season in Australia that torched nearly 18 million hectares.

While some of these fires started from human carelessness—or arson—far too many were sparked and spread by the electrical power infrastructure and power lines. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) calculates that nearly 100,000 burned hectares of those 2018 California fires were the fault of the electric power infrastructure, including the devastating Camp Fire, which wiped out most of the town of Paradise. And in July of this year, Pacific Gas & Electric indicated that blown fuses on one of its utility poles may have sparked the Dixie Fire, which burned nearly 400,000 hectares.

Until these recent disasters, most people, even those living in vulnerable areas, didn't give much thought to the fire risk from the electrical infrastructure. Power companies trim trees and inspect lines on a regular—if not particularly frequent—basis.

However, the frequency of these inspections has changed little over the years, even though climate change is causing drier and hotter weather conditions that lead up to more intense wildfires. In addition, many key electrical components are beyond their shelf lives, including insulators, transformers, arrestors, and splices that are more than 40 years old. Many transmission towers, most built for a 40-year lifespan, are entering their final decade.

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