Standing Committee asks MNRE to apprise it of efforts to assess tidal energy potential

In theory, estimated potential of tidal and wave power in India is 12,455 MW and 41,300 MW, respectively
Photo for representation: iStock
Photo for representation: iStock

The Standing Committee on Energy, in a new report tabled in both houses of the Parliament, has asked the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to apprise it of initiatives and their outcomes towards assessing the tidal, wave and thermal energy potential in the country.

On July 20, 2023, the panel considered and adopted the 20th report, Tidal Power Development in India. The report was presented in the Lok Sabha August 5, 2021 and tabled in the Rajya Sabha the same day.

Replies from the MNRE to the observations and recommendations contained in the report were received on 22nd September 2022.

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences was requested to perform the assessment on the Committee’s initial recommendation, the MNRE stated in a reply on September 21, 2022. 

The Committee would also like to be informed of the results of the reassessment process, the report said. The estimated potential of tidal and wave power in India is 12,455 Megawatts (MW) and 41,300 MW, respectively.

However, the estimated potential of tidal and wave power is purely theoretical and does not necessarily constitute practically exploitable potential. Moreover, the potential for ocean-thermal has not been estimated to date.

In 2021, the Committee stated that the first step is to determine the country’s actual exploitable potential for tidal, wave and ocean-thermal power.

A study, Tidal and Wave Energy in India — Survey on Potential and Proposition of Roadmap, conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai in association with Credit Rating Information Services of India Ltd, suggested a roadmap to set up commercial tidal power projects by 2030.

The Committee pointed out that the MNRE has not furnished details about the action taken by the Government on the findings of the study and the proposed roadmap. The same may be submitted to the Committee without any further delay, the report stated.

On August 22, 2019, the MNRE issued a notification clarifying that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion, etc. shall be eligible for meeting non-solar renewable purchase obligations.

The Panel also asked to be apprised about the proposed share of tidal power in the renewable energy targets for 2030 in the report.

The Committee had recommended that the MNRE set up one demonstration tidal power project in the country at a favourable cost-effective location, like the Gulf of Kutch. 

The MNRE, in its action-taken reply in the recent report, said a call for proposals has been issued under the Renewable Energy Research and Technology Development Programme, which will include tidal power.

The research and development and pilot projects proposals received in the area of tidal power will be examined as per the notification and relevant proposals will be considered, the MNRE stated.

Merely issuing a call for proposals is not enough, the Panel stated. 

The ministry “should actively engage in preparing the groundwork for a demonstration/pilot tidal power project so that the feasibility of commercial generation of tidal power can be explored. Nonetheless, the Committee would like to be apprised of the progress made in the area of tidal power under RE-RTD,” it further said.

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