Renewable Energy Expansion in India

Renewable Energy Expansion in India

India needs to make judicious use of land to achieve its renewable energy expansion goals.

A report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has examined this fact on how much land the country might need to achieve net zero emissions status by the year 2050.

Key findings

  • According to the report the amount of land needed for solar is at least 1.7% up to 2.5% of India’s total landmass. This is equivalent to at least 50,000 to 75,000 square kilometres of land. Meanwhile, for wind, 1,500 to 2,000 km2 are needed for turbine pads, sub-stations, roads, and buildings or 15,000 to 20,000 km2 for the total project area including space between turbines and other infrastructure.
  • Along with this, the size of the land, its location and its impact on human settlement, agriculture and conservation of natural resources should also be evaluated.

Main Proposal

  • The overall land use requirements for renewable energy should be reduced (where a net environmental benefit can be ensured) by providing incentives for offshore wind, rooftop solar and solar (mostly artificial) on water bodies.
  • Identification and assessment of land for renewable energy generation should be optimized by developing clear environmental and social criteria for rating potential sites, limiting unwanted regional concentration and supporting widely distributed renewable energy generation.
  • There should be more emphasis on Indian agrivoltaics (solar power generation along with farming on agricultural land), so that farmers can get benefits and reduce the pressure on other types of land.

Source – The Hindu

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