'Off-shore wind farming could ease power crisis'

During a talk on offshore wind energy, Ramesh said offshore wind farms - wind turbines set up in the sea - were capable of generating electricity that could bridge the existing power deficit.

Incidentally, Europe, with its near ideal wind conditions and with land areas not available for wind farming has a major interest in offshore wind farms. However, harnessing this source of energy in the country is riddled with its share of problems.

“Indian coastline has shown very modest wind activity. In addition to this, we do not have a proper measuring system in place,” he said. India has 57 offshore wind monitoring stations across its coastline, out of which Rameshwaram and Vivekananda Rock in Kanyakumari show some promise in receiving the required high wind speed.

The Lighthouses and Lightship Act of 1927, Coastal Zone Regulations and the need for more carefully collected data were some of the obstacles for the implementation of offshore wind turbines. At present, wind energy generates about 12,000 MW of power in the country and has been given a target of 20,000 MW this year, said Ramesh.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has decided to set up a wind mast in Dhanushkodi to check the wind speed. However, Ramesh recommended that MNRE should install five to six such masts at various points in the sea, and not on the shorelines.

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