India planning offshore wind energy agency
India is planning to establish an agency to oversee the development of offshore wind farms. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, quoting minister Farooq Abdullah, cabinet approval is being sought soon to set up the agency.
India is already Asia’s second biggest wind-turbine market after China in terms of annual installations. The country has built 20-GW of projects onshore, drawing about USD16.5 billion a year in investment according to Bloomberg.
The country is believed to have significant offshore wind power potential, with the southern state of Tamil Nadu alone estimated to have 127-GW of potential at 80 meters. The coasts of Gujarat and Maharashtra are also believed to hold good wind prospects
The ministry issued a draft offshore wind policy in May, which proposed incentives such as a 10-year tax holiday and concessions on duties for equipment purchases.
Abdullah has also urged the Finance Ministry to restore a tax break for wind farms in its interim budget next month, according to the statement. The measure expired in March 2012, contributing to a 47 percent slump in installations the following financial year.