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India Plans Offshore Wind Energy Agency, Minister Says

India plans an agency to oversee the development of offshore wind farms as the country’s best sites on land fill up, prompting it to promote projects at sea.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will seek cabinet approval soon to set up the agency, the government said today in a statement, citing Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah.

India is already Asia’s biggest wind-turbine market after China in terms of annual installations. The country has built 20 gigawatts of projects onshore, drawing about $16.5 billion a year in investment. Now it’s looking to expand at sea since most of the best sites on land are occupied and poor roads limit the introduction of larger, more productive turbines.

The ministry issued a draft offshore wind policy in May, which proposed incentives such as a 10-year tax holiday and concessions on duties for equipment purchases. Abdullah has also urged the Finance Ministry to restore a tax break for wind farms in its interim budget next month, according to the statement. The measure expired in March 2012, contributing to a 47 percent slump in installations the following financial year.

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