While offshore turbines deliver 50% higher plant load factor (a measure of capacity utilisation) than onshore farms because of higher wind speeds at sea, the capital cost of tapping offshore wind could be over Rs 30 crore a MW, five times that of onshore, says this report
I am not sure it is five times the onshore cost, I think it is about 2-3 times the capex cost of onshore, for offshore, but much more costly, offshore is.
A senior official in the ministry of renewable energy agreed that the higher expense means that the government is unlikely to push the offshore case any time soon. “Given the condition of our distribution companies, we can’t expect them to pay such rates,” he said.
For industry leaders, the focus is pretty much onshore. For Ramesh Kymal, CMD of Spainbased Gamesa, the immense potential of onshore wind is reason enough not to get bogged down in the offshore marsh. Estimates for onshore wind vary, but could be aywhere between 100 GW and 300 GW, with installed capacity less tha 20 GW! Also, Kymal said offshore wind needs clearances from 10 departments. “You have to deal with bureaucracy and red tapism.
Evacuation of power produced will be a key issue too. The likes of Gamesa, Siemens, Vestas, Suzlon-owned REpower and Areva, all of whom have significant India presence, have driven offshore wind in global markets, particularly Europe. But in India, they would rather wait than rush in.