GWEC has been working with the EU to develop a four-year roadmap for the implementation of offshore wind in India. But now Sawyer believes there is a greater drive to make it a reality, with work on pilot projects possible by 2019.
"The genesis of this was with the previous Indian government, who were mildly interested in exploring the options for the sector in India in a post-2020 timeframe," he said. "With the new government with its enthusiasm for its Made in India project and its commitment to renewable energy, they want turbines in the water yesterday.
"So we're accelerating the pace of the project, trying to facilitate their efforts to see if there's a real opportunity in india."
GWEC is carrying out a number of port surveys and infrastructure studies, as well as assessments of the offshore wind resources in the states of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
Despite India's significant onshore wind potential, Sawyer believes there is still significant interest in offshore wind.
"In varying degrees the wind onshore is monsoon dependent," he said. "[Offshore wind] is also close to load centres — that certainly would be the case in Gujarat. But I think probably the most significant thing is that you don't have to deal with the incredibly vexing land tenure questions that all of the onshore developers are up against."
GWEC is working with DNV GL as a technical partner, and two Indian institutes are also involved in the realisation of the project.