Government Classifies Ocean Energy Under Renewable Sources

Projects utilizing ocean-based sources for energy generation can now be considered for non-solar renewable purchase obligations


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has informed all the stakeholders that energy from the ocean like tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion, will be accepted as renewable energy. Projects utilizing ocean-based sources of energy can be considered as non-solar renewable purchase obligations (RPO) that are required to be fulfilled by various entities.

Presently, the identified potential for tidal energy in the country is 12.45 GW. The locations where tidal energy can be potentially harnessed have been earmarked as Khambat and Kutch regions. The total available wave energy along India’s coast is projected at 40 GW at present. This figure may change with further studies and research in this area. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) has a potential of 180 GW in India if the technology to harness is ready.

In tidal energy, the difference in the height of the water from low tide to high tide is the potential energy that can be harnessed and converted into electricity by capturing it during high tide and forcing it through a hydro-turbine during low tide. In wave energy, the kinetic energy produced by the movement of waves is harnessed and converted to electrical power using turbines. Currently, Gulf stream and tidal currents with submerged turbines like wind turbines are used to harness energy and generate electricity. The Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) technique uses ocean temperature differences to generate steam that is used to create power.

The aim of the technology program is to improve and hasten the identification of ocean energy as a resource to generate electricity and to overcome the hurdles in this regard. Entities are invited to execute projects in India. Research and development (R&D) are being undertaken by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in the country. Stakeholders who are interested in harnessing ocean energy are being called upon by the MNRE to demonstrate their technological know-how under research, design, development, and demonstration program or policy of the ministry.

Earlier this year, the government approved the proposal put forward by the Ministry of Power to include large hydropower projects with a capacity over 25 MW under the aegis of renewable energy.

In a comprehensive analysis, Mercom previously analyzed if this was a good move on the part of the government. Read the full report here.

Image Credit: Aubrey Dale [CC BY-SA 2.0 ]


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