Prof Soli J. Arceivala
Formerly, Director, NEERI, Nagpur and Chief, Env He...
results in a substantial quantum of power generation since the energy generated varies
according to the square of wave hei...
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Harnessing renewable energy in crz territory. by-Dr Arceivala


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Discussing the interesting issue of harnessing wind and wave energy from the regulated coastal zones.

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Harnessing renewable energy in crz territory. by-Dr Arceivala

  1. 1. HARNESSING RENEWABLE ENERGY IN CRZ TERRITORY by Prof Soli J. Arceivala Formerly, Director, NEERI, Nagpur and Chief, Env Health, UN/WHO SE Asia Region Coastal areas are now being put to newer uses which we did not even imagine a few years ago. Coastal areas have now become important sources of electricity from wind and wave energy. India has a long coastline, and many of our large cities and towns located on it like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata are in constant need of more electrical energy. Harnessing renewable energy from wind and waves will increasingly happen in future and some structures will have to be constructed within CRZ territory for the purpose. The objective of my intervention is to request that the location of these structures in CRZ territory should not become unduly difficult because of any new Regulations that may come up. Whatever new Regulations are made should not cause undue problems for us in securing permissions to construct them. Wind Energy The Norwegian energy giant “StatoilHydro” has successfully built the world’s first full-scale floating wind farm on the open sea as an experiment to harvest electricity in an environment of strong, low-level winds and fewer space restrictions than are found on land. The US has approved construction of the first offshore wind farms in Massachusetts and Germany has likewise approved installations in the North Sea. Even though capital costs are considered to be much higher for sea-based systems than for land-based systems, and permissions are needed from more authorities than earlier, the idea is sure to catch on in India where land is difficult to get anywhere inland. Using the open sea or part-sea-part-land may seem attractive where land purchase seems difficult or ridden with politics. The method is destined to increase electricity production substantially in the future and some conflicts with CRZ regulations may arise. Construction for harnessing wind energy mainly consists of erecting several wind towers or slender columns to carry the turbines and 3-bladed fans. Connecting cables and operating platforms, etc, have to be provided. Generally, these are provided in the continental shelf area with a foundation on the sea floor. In deep sea conditions and where soil does not permit fixture of the wind turbine column to the soil with a solid foundation, the slender columns are kept hollow and filled with gravel and water as ballast. Slack moorings anchor these turbine columns to the seafloor. Wave Energy Another important form of renewable energy is wave energy. Scope exists for its usage in India. Not much research work, however, appears to have been done as yet in India with this system, and I would like to urge organizations like NEERI to consider undertaking some research work in this regard. Wave energy would appear to be more promising for use in India. The wave potential is said to be around 1,000 times more than the wind potential. Waves are a stable and predictable source of power, taking into consideration diurnal and seasonal variations. Wave energy
  2. 2. results in a substantial quantum of power generation since the energy generated varies according to the square of wave height. In addition, water is some 850 times denser than air. Infrastructure requirements are also said to be much less, since wave energy needs only 1/200 of the land area of wind energy. Generating wave energy entails lower infrastructure costs. According to an UNFCCC update (EB 51) four different technologies are under development in USA and elsewhere. Among the mature ones, is the “Terminator” installed near shore in California and is capable of producing electricity at about 10 cents/KWh (Rs 5 to 6 per kWh). In India, the cost would surely be lower. I am illustrating the principle below in Fig 1. Portugal and Philippines are also reported to be working on these devices. No R & D project on wave energy harnessing yet appears to have been set up in India in spite of its long coastline. The presence of important ports and cities on India’s coasts would indicate a great scope for use of such devices to convert wave energy into electricity at reasonable cost. Every city is hungry for more electricity. In my opinion, India must pay very serious attention to this source of renewable energy. Its cost seems affordable, its technology not very difficult and 3 major cities (Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata) are on the coast. Fig 1 shows a turbine device to generate electric power from wave energy. Possible conflict with CRZ rules The location of the structures would generally be within the CRZ territory. Both the above methods entail some structures to be erected in CRZ territory. However, insignificant these structures may be, the related processing work to obtain no-objection-certificates (NOC’s) may become formidable tasks unless specific exemptions are included in the bye-laws. The purpose of this presentation is to draw the attention of experts attending this workshop to this aspect of the problem as it is feared that unnecessary paperwork may slow down the implementation of useful renewable energy projects. Chamber Incoming waves Waves make water rise and fall in chamber This forces the air back and forth through turbine and generates power Turbine & Generator