The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) notified the National Offshore Wind Policy in October 2015, to realize the Offshore wind power potential in the country. To instill confidence in the wind industry, the government also declared a long-term target of 30 GW Offshore wind power capacity additions by 2030. In addition,the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has released an Expression of interest for 1 GW Offshore wind farm development in Gujarat. Development of an Offshore wind sector in India will require local training and skill development programs. It is thus relevant to take stock of the current situation with respect to the active institutions, available training, key gaps, training
requirements in the Offshore industry and provide possible recommendations for strengthening the Offshore skill-building ecosystem in India. This study will help to highlight the skills that are needed, which might either be available already or will have to be developed through possible collaboration with training facilities/institutes in the European Union (EU).
Ascertaining the need for developing a strong skill base The Offshore wind development in India will require multi-disciplinary knowledge with participation from institutions in developing a strong base for further development. The target of achieving Offshore installation of 30 GW by FY 20301 set by the government of India, will be difficult to achieve without focusing on holistic development of inherent
capacities. The capacity enhancement needs to take place across segments such as strengthening of existing training facilities, development of new dedicated training institutions with certificated courses/ apprenticeship programs, designing of courses/training modules specific to target audiences, development of standardized guidelines/ protocols with respect to adoption of international standards for testing and finally creation of new qualification packs (QPs)/ course curriculums, which allows people to gain employment opportunities. The knowledge dissemination should involve the central and regional policy actors for on ground skill development monitoring and improved decision making.
The planning phase will involve energy assessments, Wind Resource Assessment (WRA) studies, geotechnical surveys, marine Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), bathymetric surveys, health and safety, permitting knowhow, stakeholder management, etc. During the construction (including commissioning) phase, skills relevant to technical design and engineering such as preparation of wind farm layout, Offshore cable routing, foundation design, foundation installation, turbine installation, Offshore substation design and installation, Offshore cable design and installations, procurement, financing, etc. will be required. Post the construction phase, the O&M will play a crucial role to ensure
longevity of the Offshore plant and achieve the desired energy generation levels, which will require specialized skills. Much of these required skills do not overlap with the Onshore wind segment. Hence capacity building will be necessary.
As a first step towards the assessment of Offshore skill-building, this section covers major European and Indian institutes which have been established for wind energy training program development, deployment, and research. There are several government and private sector training providers active in the sector. The subsequent section provides examples of relevant Indian and European institutes.
Relevant Indian Institutes
In India, there are several public and private sector institutions which have been providing relevant technical training to both local and international target audience in Onshore wind technology. dditionally, there are various institutions which have proven track record in the field of marine and oceanic engineering, forecasting meteorological conditions. Currently, there is no single institute which provide trainings catering to Offshore wind industry needs. This section covers relevant Indian institutes which have training courses in Offshore area and in wind technology.
188.8.131.52. NIWE (National Institute of Wind Energy)
The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) is a premier autonomous Research & Development institution under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India, catering to the growth of wind energy-based technologies in India. NIWE does undertake relevant activities for performance improvement of existing wind turbines, including Wind Resource Assessment, Wind Turbine Test and Measurement analysis (both for large/small wind turbine) for certification of Wind Turbines, wind power forecasting and supports information exchange through education and training. Tailor made training program on resource assessment to the industry NIWE is has been designated as the nodal agency for implementing and facilitating Offshore projects in India, including capacity building efforts required for local skill development. As per the National Offshore Wind Policy, NIWE will undertake promotional activities such as organizing workshops & symposiums to bring awareness in the local wind turbine manufacturers and components manufacturers including potential investors to boost Offshore wind power development.
Universities and research institutes
For most of the European universities’ wind energy curriculum is included as separate courses in more general study programs such as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and electrical engineering, while a few universities are offering dedicated MSc programs on wind energy for example the Technical University of Denmark17 and Leibniz Universität Hannover.The European Wind Energy Master’s Program19 is an example of a multi-national collaboration where four institutions (the Technical University of Denmark, TU Delft, NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and the University of Oldenburg, jointly offer a MSc program including the option of specializing in
Offshore engineering. Some universities also offer online courses and programs for example wind energy courses at TU Delft20 and the Wind Energy Master Online Programme21 offered by the Technical University of Denmark. The table below provides a list of EU universities which are dedicating efforts to the field of wind energy.
In the development phase, the preparations and planning for the Offshore wind farm are carried out. The development phase involves pre-construction activities including a wide range of financial and technical preparations including analyses of wind and sea conditions and characteristics, site selection, supply chain studies, etc. Compared to the subsequent phases of construction, commissioning and operation, more tasks in the development phase are carried out as office work.
Employment in the development phase
The Offshore windfarm developments typically span over a multi-year long period covering aspects like financing, site identification, Offshore surveys and data collection, Pre- Front End Engineering & Design (FEED) and FEED study, port assessments, securing grid connection, completion of permits and consents processes, etc. Prior to the consent applications, surveys and studies are needed to analyse the environmental impacts to develop an early wind farm design. These include meteorological and oceanographic studies, wildlife surveys, geotechnical and geophysical surveys, port studies, visual studies, economic studies, and Onshore studies.
The construction phase is the most important phase in project development, encompassing planning, execution, monitoring, commissioning, and closure phase of construction. During this phase the wind farm elements are manufactured, supplied, and installed at the wind farm site including cable connections to the electrical grid on shore. The key elements of an offshore wind farm comprise foundation, tower, turbine, cables, and substation, and the installation of the components relies on a skilled work force capable of operating offshore.
The operational phase indicates the period wherein a project in consideration is in operation after construction and commissioning is complete. The phase involves the tasks related to keeping the wind farm in operation for example maintenance and inspection of structures, turbines, cables, substation, etc.
Employment related to Operation and maintenance phase
In the following the local job creation opportunities related to the first 1 GW offshore wind projects in India are estimated based on information from the study Employment analysis (2019-2023) of various fields of activities in the Dutch offshore wind sector31. The study provides estimations of the number of jobs related to selected parts of the operation phase, which can be expected to result in local job creation. The study Employment analysis (2019-2023) of various fields of activities in the Dutch offshore wind sector was published in 2019, where the offshore wind energy capacity in the Netherlands was around 1 GW with an expected addition of around 3,7 GW by 2023. Although the Dutch offshore wind power capacity was already at 1 GW at the publication time, the study can arguably provide basis for job creation figures related to the first projects in India, and indicate the supply chain elements, which can be expected to be the first to develop locally. In the present study, the indications of job creation opportunities during the construction phase are based on two offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 1 GW, having an indicative of 83 turbines on the sites, which is based on an assumed power capacity of 12 MW per turbine.
Overview of direct employment in India related to operations and maintenance
The table below gives an overview of the direct employment related in the Offshore wind farms presented in the above paragraphs.
Based on the above direct job opportunities offered by Offshore wind projects, it has been estimated that 793 person-years jobs are directly generated with 1GW of offshore wind installation. The table below reflects the potential of such job opportunities with installation of 30GW of offshore wind projects in India by the year 2030, in line with MNRE’s target. While there will be one time job opportunities linked to installation and commissioning, there will be recurring job opportunities as well linked to operations and maintenance, which have been considered in the following assessment.
Overview of direct employment indication in person-year and full-time equivalent for the two offshore wind sites. In order to give high-level employment insights, this study makes a pragmatic move by converting full-time equivalent figures into person-years figures based on a factor 1. In total, this study estimates that the direct employment per year related to operation and maintenance of the first two wind farms in India amounts to around 90 person years/year. IRENA estimates33 that an offshore wind project of 500 MW results in 2.1 million person days considering the value chain from project planning to decommissioning over a project lifetime of 25 years. Out of the 2.1 million person days, a share of 24 % is attributed to operation and maintenance, which corresponds to around 5,000 person years per GW assuming 200 person days per person year. Considering a project lifetime of 25 years, the present study estimates a workload of 2,200 person years/GW. The 5,000 person years/GW estimated by IRENA is representing the entire work load related to operation and maintenance, while the 2,200 person years/GW estimated in the present study covers only the part, which, based on the Dutch example, is
expected to be carried out by a local work force. The 2,200 person years/GW does thereby include a potential for growth, which can be realized as the Indian offshore wind energy supply chain and skill base develops.
Conclusion and recommendations
Training and skill development will be critical to realize India’s ambitious Offshore sector plans. This study highlights the key skills that are needed for an Offshore wind sector development in India and assessed the available skills in India, active institutes that have a role to play, key gaps in existing training curriculum, major EU institutes active in Offshore wind training and key recommendations.
Introductory competencies overviews, created for the most relevant work packages, illustrate that a substantial amount of the employment in the offshore wind industry is related to the mid to higher level of wind technicians. Also, a substantial number of professionals working in the industry can be linked to the lower technical level especially for factory workers during the foundation construction and delivery and marine crew on the vessels. Although India announced its Offshore wind policy in 2015, till now no single institution has emerged as a central agency, having all kinds of skillsets to cater to Offshore requirements in the near future. Individually, many of the institutions have partial capacities comprising of Onshore wind, marine segments, environmental and safety etc. In general, some of the existing education programs in Onshore Wind/ Oil & Gas sectors in India should be able to support and serve the
Offshore wind sector with changes. Additionally, there is a need for specialized courses/trainings to be organized in cooperation between Indian institutes and EU education institutes. Recommendations have been developed for the Indian Offshore markets across 11 areas, which can lead to creation of a favorable market for the Offshore wind skill industry, backed by conducive institutional framework and policy instruments.