WISE in association with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC); Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP); Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL); DNV GL, and IL & FS Energy Development Company Limited is implementing a European Union (EU) funded project for the development of offshore wind power in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The project titled ‘Facilitating Offshore Wind in India (FOWIND)’ seeks to establish structural collaboration and knowledge sharing between EU and India on offshore wind technology, policy, regulation, and human resource development, and serve as a platform to stimulate offshore wind research activities in the country. The project is supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India.

In a bid to initiate capacity building, augment awareness and promote information dissemination of the project, two workshops—one each in Ahmedabad and New Delhi—were organised for stakeholders from the government, including policy makers and regulators, and those from the wind power industry, power utilities, project developers and the financing community. The aim of the workshops was to introduce different aspects of offshore wind power development to the stakeholders and to seek to identify the development constraints and challenges in the states.

The inaugural session of the Ahmedabad workshop held on 9 Septermber 2014 at Gateway Ummed Hotel was chaired by Arjan Mast, Programme Manager, TKI Offshore Wind, The Netherlands. He underlined the need for developing offshore wind in India, and urged Indian companies and institutes to participate aggressively by sharing knowledge and experience to set up offshore wind farms. Speakers at the sessions included Shruti Shukla, Sr. Policy Advisor, GWEC; Paul Reynolds, Head, Strategy and Policy, Offshore Wind, DNV GL Energy, UK; Rajendra Kharul, Head & Director, Centre for Wind Power, WISE; and Samrat Sengupta, Project Manager, FOWIND. The sessions dealt with topics such as global review of offshore wind technology, pre-project development activities for offshore wind, and the challenges for developing offshore wind power in Gujarat. The panel discussion on key challenges/barriers for offshore wind development was chaired by Paul Reynolds and panelists included Milind Godbole, Sr. Trade & Investment Adviser, UK Trade & Investment, British Trade Office of British Dy. High Commission, India; Sudip Roy, Business Line Manager, Marine & Oceanographic Surveys, Fugro Survey (India) Pvt. Ltd., Navi Mumbai; Arjan Mast, and Rajendra Kharul.

The second workshop was held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 12 September 2014. J P Singh, Director, Offshore Wind, MNRE, delivered the inaugural address by presenting a brief background of wind energy and the potential for offshore wind in India. He also gave details about the Offshore Wind Energy Steering Committee (OWESC), draft national offshore wind energy policy, demonstration project for offshore wind farm, proposed incentive mechanism and the role of the National Institute of Wind Energy in facilitating offshore wind energy in India. Smita Singh, Programme Manager, EU Delegation to India, presented EU’s perspective on offshore wind in India, while Rajendra Kharul expressed his views on development challenges for offshore wind in India and emphasised the need to upgrade infrastructure components like ports and vessels to deploy large offshore wind turbines. The panel discussion on offshore wind development was chaired by Nandan Mahimkar, Vice President, ABB India Ltd, and other members included Andreas Thermann, Deputy Director, KfW Office, Paul Reynolds, Arjan Mast, and Rajendra Kharul.