Govt classifies ocean power as renewable energy

Govt classifies ocean power as renewable energy

Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh. PTI file photo

Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh on Thursday approved a proposal to declare ocean energy as renewable energy.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has clarified to all stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy, such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion, shall be considered as renewable energy and shall be eligible for meeting non-solar renewable purchase obligations (RPO), a statement by the MNRE said.

This step has been taken by the MNRE after some renewable energy developers sought clarification in this regard, according to the statement.

Under the RPO, distribution companies (DISCOMs) are required to have a certain proportion of clean energy supplies. The proportion is fixed by state power regulators. The DISCOM can also buy renewable energy certificates in lieu of mandated clean energy supplies, from the developers or renewable power generators.

Oceans cover 70 per cent of the earth's surface and represent an enormous amount of energy in the form of the wave, tidal, marine current and thermal gradient.

A variety of different technologies are currently under development throughout the world to harness this energy in all its forms.

Deployment is currently limited but the sector has the potential to grow, fuelling economic growth, reducing carbon footprint and creating jobs not only along the coasts but also inland along its supply chains.

As India steps up its effort to contemplate its renewable energy and climate change objectives after 2022, it is opportune to explore all possible avenues to stimulate innovation, create economic growth and new jobs as well as to reduce our carbon footprint, the statement said.

India has a long coastline with the estuaries and gulfs. The MNRE looks over the horizon at the development of new technology and considers various options available to support its deployment.

Most types of technologies are currently at pre-research and development (R&D) or demonstration stage or the initial stage of commercialisation. Basic R&D is being looked after by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai). The MNRE intends to support demonstration projects of proven technologies and as approved by an expert committee constituted by the MNRE.

The total identified potential of tidal energy is about 12,455 megawatt (MW), with potential locations identified at Khambat and Kutch regions, and large backwaters, where barrage technology could be used.

The total theoretical potential of wave energy in India along the country's coast is estimated to be about 40,000 MW – these are preliminary estimates. Ocean thermal energy conversion has a theoretical potential of 1,80,000 MW in India subject to suitable technological evolution.

Technology although currently under-utilised, ocean energy is mostly exploited by just a few technologies: Wave, tidal, current energy and ocean thermal energy.