New Delhi: The draft offshore wind energy lease rules, published by the Ministry of New And Renewable Energy inviting public views, are likely to dash the ambitious plan of installing 30,000 megawatt of offshore wind power by 2030. The rules say the power generation cannot be at the cost of the marine ecology and as such the leases of the wind farms will be cancelled if they are found posing threat to flora and fauna beneath the sea. They even propose penalty to the defaulter project proponents in the form of fine and imprisonment if they violate the norms.
The lease of an offshore wind power project can be cancelled if it is found to be “causing environmental damage to both flora and fauna beneath the sea and posing threat to human life and property while carrying out the activities under water and operation of the wind energy turbines during validity of the lease.” The draft rules also contemplate powers to the Centre to order closure of a wind farm pending an inquiry within a reasonable period if it finds “operation of the wind turbines is causing damage to environment or damage to property or pollution.”
In the offshore wind farms, the turbines are elevated over the seas level with different types of foundations, depending on the depth. Officials said the draft rules were framed in continuation of the national offshore wind energy policy notified in October 2015 providing the basic framework for development of the offshore wind energy in the country.