RWE and a subsidiary of Indian utility Tata Power have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the joint development of offshore wind projects in India.
The Indian government has announced that it wants to achieve 30GW of offshore wind installations by 2030 to meet the country’s growing power demands.
India has a 7,600km coastline and the government is currently devising a regulatory framework for the first offshore wind auctions off the coast of Tamil Nadu, the country’s southernmost state, and Gujarat, in the north.
The companies said offshore wind had the potential to create “significant” infrastructure development and jobs in the two states.
Under the terms of the MoU, RWE and Tata Power Renewable Energy will use their “complementary strengths” to help establish a competitive offshore wind market in India.
Tata Power is one of India’s largest integrated power companies, while RWE has expertise in offshore wind projects.
RWE has stated that it intends to triple its global offshore wind capacity from 2.4GW to 8GW by 2030, and has earmarked growth in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region, including India.
The company will begin to staff its existing office in India with experienced offshore wind staff from the country as well as Europe to ensure that it has the necessary expertise in place.
Tata power has a portfolio of nearly 5GW of renewable power, of which around 1.8GW is under construction.
The companies have not stated whether they envisage using floating platforms or fixed-bottom foundations or how much capacity they intend to build.
As part of the MoU, the two companies will conduct technical and commercial assessments of potential sites for offshore wind, as well as evaluate existing infrastructure, such as ports and grid connections.
This will help identify existing strengths in the offshore wind supply chain as well as what development is still needed.
Sven Utermöhlen, chief executive of offshore wind for RWE Renewables, said: “India has excellent wind resources, which can help to meet the country’s increasing energy demands. If clear regulations and an effective tender scheme are in place, we expect India’s offshore wind industry will gain a real momentum.”
Dr Praveer Sinha, chief executive and managing director of Tata Power, said: “In view of the Indian government's heightened focus on offshore wind farms to address the country's expanding electricity demands, the collaboration [with RWE] becomes even more significant.”