The FOWIND Consortium has commissioned India's first offshore LiDAR off the coast of Gujarat in the Gulf of Khambhat.

The data from this offshore LiDAR will support India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy's efforts towards exploring the full potential of offshore wind along India's long coastline.

India's National Institute of Wind Energy developed the offshore platform on which the FOWIND LiDAR has been commissioned.

This activity is another significant contribution by the GWEC led FOWIND consortium towards ensuring that the offshore wind sector in India is supported by strong underlying technical data. This offshore LiDAR is a Leosphere WINDCUBE v2 procured by FOWIND from MeteoPole.

India has the world's fourth-largest onshore wind market with a total installed capacity of close to 33GW. However, India does have an acute need for large-scale, clean and indigenous energy generation to fuel its rapidly growing economy. Offshore wind power could play a very important role in India due to the large wind resources available near centres of high-energy demand. Globally, offshore wind power is becoming increasingly cost-effective with installations close to 14.5GW at the end of 2016. 

"This is an important first step on the long road to establishing a vibrant and cost-effective offshore wind industry in India," said Steve Sawyer, GWEC secretary general. "I believe offshore wind will play an important role in India's clean energy future."

"Providing the industry with preliminary measurement data to get a better understanding of the resource helps a great deal to make the stakeholders more comfortable since they can better estimate the risks involved," said Mathias Steck, executive vice-president & regional manager Asia Pacific, DNV GL – Energy. "This will accelerate how offshore-wind in India will develop".

"This commissioning of LiDAR to measure the offshore wind resource will start a new era for India's offshore journey and will prove a big jump towards exploring the offshore wind MWs. This will be the first systematic step towards measurement campaign," said Balram Mehta, president (wind & asset management) at ReNew Power. 

The four-year FOWIND project aims to put together a roadmap for developing a sustainable and commercially viable offshore wind industry in India. Upcoming offshore wind feasibility assessments by FOWIND, would further add to the knowledge of businesses and government institutions as to what is required for developing a successful offshore wind industry in India. The FOWIND consortium aims to complete the preliminary roadmap for offshore wind development in India in early 2018.