After wind energy and solar energy, Gujarat turns to marine energy

After pioneering in the solar power and wind power generation, the state government is now likely to come out with a tidal energy generation policy soon, given the huge potential of the state since it has the longest coastline in the country.

It has also decided to allocate a special grant of Rs 25 crore in the upcoming Budget for the purpose. Just last month, a solar power generation plant started operations at the Charnaka solar park in the Banaskantha district.

Sources in the state energy and petrochemicals department said, "The state government has decided to explore the state’s tidal power generation potential along with solar energy and wind power in the coming years. The state government has begun preparing a tidal power generation policy on the lines of its solar and wind power generation policies."

"The state government has decided to allocate Rs 25 crore in special grant in the upcoming Budget for conducting special surveys and studies to identify potential sites where tidal power generation plants can be set up. Initially, Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) and the state-run Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd (GPCL) will conduct this exercise. On the basis of their report, the state government will form a policy," they added.

The state government had signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UK-based Atlantis Resources Corporation last year and the company is expected to begin ground work this year. The MoU was part of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2011. The power plant is slated to be built in the Gulf of Kutch at a cost of around $150 million and will have a capacity of generating 250 MW of tidal power.

Atlantis had earlier conducted a study to ascertain the feasibility of the project which revealed that the country had excellent potential to mete out good levels of productivity in terms of tidal power.

The Indian government has categorized Gujarat as the best solar, wind and renewable power generation destination and has the 2nd highest renewable energy generation capacity in the country. It has been described as one of the best places which has a very high direct normal irridiance (DNI of 5.5-6.5) in the country. Higher the DNI, higher is the capacity of solar power generation and is also ranked among the states with the highest wind power density, necessary for the generation of wind energy.