India Issues Draft Offshore Leasing Rules
Indian authorities have issued draft legislation for the auction and development of new offshore wind energy leases within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The draft rules were released by the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and are designed to accelerate the development of new wind power projects. The draft will be open for comments through Feb. 25.
“As per the policy, the offshore wind energy blocks are to be allocated to successful bidders through international competing bidding only, and the lease fees are to be collected by the designated nodal agency i.e. National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), Chennai,” a spokesperson for the MNRE said.
Framed under the Territorial Waters Act, 1976, the new lease rules are designed to regulate the leasing mechanism of wind energy blocks, and are expected to support a wave of new breakbulk activity in the country’s offshore sector.
“The area covered under a lease shall ordinarily be 100 to 500 square kilometers depending on the size of the offshore wind energy farm,” the MNRE states.
The proposed rules will allow for leases, initially valid for five years, to carry out prospecting activities with options to extend to 30 years for the set up and operation of wind farms.
5GW Target for 2030
The new draft rules follow the introduction last year of a new target by the Indian government to install 5 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
The Indian offshore oil and gas sector has been impacted by a lack of investment in recent years, and it hopes the new rules will help kick-start the country’s nascent offshore wind industry.
Plans for India’s first offshore wind park, near Gujarat, were announced last April, with the initial expression of interest tender attracting 35 responses from international companies.
Photo: Offshore wind farm. Credit: Wikimedia