Coastline offers a great opportunity to make both renewable energy generation and logistics efficient. The nascent nature of the coastal shipping and offshore wind energy generation are two sectors that can boost the new infrastructure creation. India spends about 14 percent of GDP on logistics and is a large consumer of energy.
According to the Ministry of Shipping, coastal shipping costs are one sixth of what rail costs which results in large cost savings. Coastal shipping can also do load shaving from the other modes of transport like road and rail as ships are involved in bulk transportation. For some of the government projects like Sugar Mala project coastal shipping is an integral part.
The main shortcomings in shipping transportation are lack of finance for ships, lack of infrastructure at the major and minor ports and the lack of road network to deliver the goods to the end user. Taking steps today will bear fruit in the years to come, initiating the policies today will impact the industry later. Therefore we need to be patient for the results.
Statoil- Norway based oil and gas operator has also taken a step to show its support towards the acceptance of renewables rather than fossil fuels. This is the same company that developed the first floating farm in Scotland in 2017.
To put the things to perspective, A recent study by Renewable Energy Agency (IRNEA) shows that average wind energy generation cost offshore is $140/MWh, onshore $60/MWh. But the offshore wind generation costs will dip well below $100/MWh by 2020.
For development of such technology to deliver results and provide energy on a large scale, significant investments will be required in development of wind farms, transmission of energy and creating port infrastructure to service the industry. To unlock the given potential India needs to invest with technical expertise in infrastructure and project developments.
Source: The Economic Times
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