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Govt declares ocean energy as green power

  May 12, 2020

Govt declares ocean energy as green power

News: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has clarified to all the stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion among others shall be considered as renewable energy and shall be eligible for meeting the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO).

What is the status of the Ocean energy in India?

  1. As of date, there is not any installed Ocean Energy capacity in India. Some applications were received by MNRE for projects in this field. They wanted clarity on the status of Ocean Energy as Renewable Energy. Therefore, MNRE has issued the notification.
  2. According to MNRE, the total identified potential of tidal energy is about 12,455 MW, with potential locations identified at Khambat & Kutch regions, and large backwaters, where barrage technology could be used. 
  3. The total theoretical potential of wave energy in India along the country’s coast is estimated to be about 40,000 MW – these are preliminary estimates. This energy is however less intensive than what is available in more northern and southern latitudes. 
  4. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) has a theoretical potential of 180,000 MW in India subject to suitable technological evolution.
  5. Also, India has a huge offshore wind energy potential that is lying untapped.

What are Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO)?

  1. Under Section 86(1) (e) of the Electricity Act 2003 (EA 2003) and the National Tariff Policy 2006, Renewable purchase obligation (RPO), is a mechanism by which the obligated entities are obliged to purchase a certain percentage of electricity from Renewable Energy sources, as a percentage of the total consumption of electricity. RPOs are categorized as Solar and Non-Solar RPO. 
  2. With the objective to achieve the target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, including solar energy capacity of 100 GW, Ministry of Power (MoP) has notified the target RPO trajectory up to the year 2022. 
  3. The RPO targets specified for solar and non-solar power are to be adhered and met uniformly by the Obligated Entities of all the States and Union Territories. 
  4. Obligated Entities includes Discoms, Open Access Consumers and Captive power producers. They are obligated to purchase a minimum share of their electricity from renewable energy sources as per RPO targets.

What is Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) and?

  1. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a process or technology for producing energy by harnessing the temperature differences (thermal gradients) between ocean surface waters and deep ocean waters.
  2. Energy from the sun heats the surface water of the ocean. In tropical regions, surface water can be much warmer than deep water. This temperature difference can be used to produce electricity and to desalinate ocean water. 
  3. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) systems use a temperature difference (of at least 77° Fahrenheit) to power a turbine to produce electricity. 
  4. Warm surface water is pumped through an evaporator containing a working fluid. The vaporized fluid drives a turbine/generator. The vaporized fluid is turned back to a liquid in a condenser cooled with cold ocean water pumped from deeper in the ocean. 
  5. OTEC systems using seawater as the working fluid can use the condensed water to produce desalinated water.