Indian Offshore Wind fact-finding mission to Hamburg

More than 35,000 visitors from over 100 countries met in Hamburg at the world’s leading wind energy expo - HamburgWind 2018. Over 50 conference sessions put attendees at the forefront of the wind industry. Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) in collaboration with the Hamburg Representation Mumbai and Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) organized a high rank official Offshore Wind fact-finding mission to this trade fair. Principal Secretary Energy, Shri Raj Gopal, Govt. of Gujarat, led the fact-finding mission with active participation at several seminars on logistics and finance, representation of India at several sessions of the WindEurope 2018 Conference, field visits to the offshore wind farm Nordergünde at the coast of Bremerhaven as well as to the Cuxhaven harbour infrastructure of Cuxport. The interest received from German companies for Indian offshore plans came not as a surprise, since many are involved in recent project proposals made to the Government of India, who is planning to install 30 GW of Offshore Wind until 2030 and 5 GW by 2022.  Key industry players from Germany briefed the Indian delegation about aspects of logistics and financing of Offshore Wind on the 24th September 2018 at the German Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg. The seminar was organized with support from the German Stiftung Offshore Windenergie and its CEO Mr. Andreas Wagner. Amongst others, Ms. Sumati Sud, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and Ms. Seema Singh from the Consulate General of India in Hamburg participated in the event with lively discussions on best practices for India. Required vessels for construction and operation of an Offshore Wind farm, the evolution of Offshore accommodation and necessary harbour infrastructure to cater the need for a 1 GW Offshore Wind project in Gujarat were discussed. The day ended with an evening reception at the cities town hall hosted by Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg with well-known market players sharing up to date sector insights. This visit was facilitated by Ms. Lea Miram, Hamburg Representative in India. On the second day Mr. Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Energy, European Commission and Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency welcomed the delegates at the trade fair followed by a guided tour with visits to Innogy SE, Senvion GmbH, E.ON Wind Service GmbH, wpd AG, PNE pure new energy amongst others. The delegation also participated in a briefing on the Indian Wind market informing interested participants about the ambitious target of 100 GW wind capacity by 2030. This briefing took place at the booth of the German Federal Ministry for Energy “Energy Solutions made in Germany” and was moderated by Mr. Winter, Director of the Indo-German Energy Forum Support Office. One highlight was an exclusive B2G Roundtable organized by IGEF and IGCC at the WindEurope 2018 Conference. Dr. Martin Schoepe, Head of Division International Energy Cooperation, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and Shri Raj Gopal, Government of Gujarat shared this B2G roundtable on Offshore market development in Gujarat. Participants from banks and industry interested in the upcoming 1 GW Offshore Wind tender in Gujarat were given the opportunity to directly address the Government officials and raise questions and concerns. Most participants were keen to know if the tender will be floated still this year, requested more precise data on conditions at the site and were concerned that Government of India is not sufficiently considering the necessary learning curve and therefore expecting too low prices per kWh. With the present planning, where the bidder for the Offshore Wind project has to also include the costs for the non-existing grid infrastructure, including offshore substations, the price will be higher than for solar PV and wind on land, which might make it politically more difficult to justify going for Offshore even though the numerous advantages of Offshore Wind are clear. One solution discussed for bringing the costs further down, was to introduce a Build-Transfer-and-Operate (BTO) or pure Build-Transfer (BT) model into the upcoming tender, similar to recent tenders in the UK. The bidder would build the grid infrastructure including substations but would hand it over to the Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation after completion. Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation has access to Green Energy Corridor funds under the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy and would therefore be able to get the grid infrastructure at a much lower price. Cost for financing would also be reduced, because of international public financing available at much lower interest rates to support the energy transition of India. At the end the Discom Gujarat Vij Company Limited would be able to buy the electricity at a much lower price per kWh. A win win for the country and for the developer. Similar discussions were held at the official WindEurope Conference 2018 side event “Offshore Wind Opportunities in India” organized by IGEF and IGCC with support from the European Union and Ministry for Energy, Germany. Mr. Thorsten Herdan, Director General Energy Policy, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), welcomed the participants and special guests from Government of India amongst them Consul General of India to Hamburg, Shri Madan Lal-Raigar. More than 100 key industry players from Germany and India discussed the present and future offshore market developments in India, drivers for german offshore wind, offshore wind market development outside Europe and the upcoming offshore tender for the coast of Gujarat. Another highlight was the following panel discussion on “Facilitating Offshore Wind in India”, moderated by Mr. Steve Sawyer, Senior Policy Advisor, Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The participants had the chance to introduce their companies and their mission and objectives during the pitching session. International experts shared up to date sector insights directly from the Indian Offshore Wind developments.