IT Power’s India and UK teams recently organised an offshore wind study tour for an Indian delegation visiting the UK. The delegation was led by Alok Srivastava – the Joint Secretary of the Indian Government’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) – and comprised representatives of Indian industry, government institutions and research organisations including; C-WET, CSTEP, ONGC, GPCL and Suzlon.
The visit, which spanned 5 days, was aimed at providing exposure to the UK’s planning, development and implementation of offshore wind energy projects. As the world leader in offshore wind, the UK has amassed valuable operational experience, complemented by extensive scientific research from which India can immensely benefit. The tour enabled the delegation to gain a perspective of how offshore wind projects are developed and how this might translate to the emerging sector in India.
The week commenced with a workshop at RenewableUK which provided an introduction to the UK’s industry, its policies, the project development process and history, and the current key issues facing developers. A key learning was the significance of initial background research on wind resource, metocean and seabed conditions when considering potential sites and a meeting with the UK’s Crown Estate helped to demonstrate this.
Information on electricity markets, regulatory mechanisms, OFTO and financial incentives were discussed during a meeting with Ofgem – the UK’s energy regulatory and monitoring body. At a workshop with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), representatives presented the UK’s industrial strategy for offshore wind and the development of the UK’s renewable energy policy.
A highlight of the week was a visit to Vattenfall’s Thanet Offshore Wind Farm off the Kent coast. Despite the fair weather, sea conditions were rather rough and this highlighted the distinct challenges of working offshore and accessing turbines for O&M.
Lawrence Graham hosted a workshop on financing and speakers from LG, Grant Thornton and Green Giraffe presented on; how the projects in the UK and Europe have been financed; how to develop bankable projects; the planning of contracting to share risk; and possible options for the financing of offshore wind projects in India.
The week culminated in a visit to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Whitehall, where a large workshop was held to allow the delegation to meet and discuss topics with a range of organisations from the UK’s industry. An evening reception in Durbar Court provided further networking and business-to-business meetings and engagements.